This has caught me on the hop a bit, as I’m still out and about and heading for a work meeting shortly so, without further ceremony, here’s the starting fifteen we’ve named for Saturday evening’s Connacht semi-final against Roscommon at MacHale Park (throw-in 7pm).
Mayo (Connacht SFC semi-final v Roscommon, 25/5/2019): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), Lee Keegan (Westport); Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy); Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber, captain); Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore).
So it’s three changes from the team that started against New York in Gaelic Park a few weeks back. In come Chris Barrett, Michael Plunkett – for his first ever Championship start, the best of luck to him – and fit-again Diarmuid O’Connor, who’ll captain the team for the first time in a Championship game this weekend. Out go Colm Boyle, James McCormack and James Carr, though it’s very likely all three will see action at some stage the next evening.
Ten of the team named to start in this one also lined out for us on that wild night we played Roscommon in the National League at the end of January. The five who didn’t feature then were Chris Barrett, Michael Plunkett, Mattie Ruane, Darren Coen and Kevin McLoughlin.
The last time we faced Roscommon in the Championship was , of course, in the All-Ireland quarter-final replay of 2017. We’ve got eight survivors from that memorable day in Croke Park where Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan, Aidan O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Diarmuid O’Connor and Jason Doherty were all in the thick of it.
Roscommon have also named their team today for Saturday night, full details of which are here.