We’ve named our team for this evening’s do-or-die Super 8s clash with Donegal at MacHale Park (throw-in 6pm). Here’s the starting fifteen we’ve selected.
Mayo (All-Ireland SFC quarter-final Phase 3 v Donegal, 3/8/2019): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore); Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy); Fionn McDonagh (Westport), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Fergal Boland (Aghamore); Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), James Carr (Ardagh).
So, on paper at least, it’s three changes from the team that started the last day against Meath. In come Robbie Hennelly, Eoin O’Donoghue and James Carr and they replace David Clarke, Kevin McLoughlin and Donal Vaughan.
The official team announcement for this game has come so late that it was preceded by the 26-man team sheet from the match programme, which started to become available online a few hours ago. In case you haven’t seen our list yet it’s here and Donegal’s is here.
The inclusion of Tom Parsons in the match-day 26 was telegraphed from as early as last night. Fifteen months on from that horrific knee injury he suffered at the same venue against Galway, it’s nothing less than incredible to see him back to full fitness, incredible too to contemplate all the hard work and dedication that has got him back to this level.
I’d say it would be safe enough for the County Board to issue the tender documents for a new roof to the stand ahead of throw-in this evening. Because, believe me, that roof isn’t staying on when Tom readies himself to join the fray before the match is out.
Another notable inclusion in the 26 is Matthew Ruane, who was cruelly sidelined with a broken collarbone earlier in the summer. He’s clearly got good healing powers too and it’s great to see him back in the saddle as well.
With Keith Higgins and Paddy Durcan also recovered from injury and listed among the subs, you’d have to think that there’ll be a few alterations to the named team ahead of throw-in. As ever, though, we’ll need to wait and see until around twenty minutes from throw-in before knowing for sure what fifteen we’ll be going with from the start.
Regardless of who is or isn’t on the pitch for us at 6pm, all the very best to James and the lads in this crunch fixture.