Coming off the back of last Sunday’s defeat at home to Dublin, Mayo will make the long trip north on Saturday night to take on Derry in Celtic Park.
Last Sunday’s defeat to the metropolitans where Mayo kicked 18 wides over 70 minutes was compounded by the news after the game that Peadar Gardiner will be out for around three months with a broken elbow he suffered early in the contest, while Ronan McGarrity went off with a hamstring injury before the break. The injuries, combined with the Mayo u21 making their way to the Connacht semi-final to be played on St Patrick’s Day, has seen Mayo not making a decision on side for Saturday night’s game until the day of the match. While Mayo kicked 18 wides last weekend, the fact that they only managed three points from play over the 70 minutes is something that John O’Mahony will be hoping he sees the side put to right this weekend. This weekend’s opponents currently sit in sixth place in the table with one win from their three games with a 1-18 to 1-12 win over Tyrone on the opening night of the league campaign. In their last two games they went down to Dublin and Kerry, but over the past few years have been a thorn in the side of Mayo. They came to Ballina last year and went away with the points thanks to a 1-9 to 0-10 win, and they ended Mayo’s interest in the championship in John O’Mahony’s first year back in charge with a comprehensive win at the same venue.
While Mayo have had a good start to the league with four points in the bag, picking up another two points on Saturday would go a long way to securing their division one status, with tough trips away to Kerry and Cork to come along with a home game against Monaghan before the end of the league.