All systems go for Sunday


Mayo have made two changes for Sunday's Connacht final clash with Sligo from the team that lined out against Galway in Pearse Stadium in their semi-final win in Salthill five weeks ago. Back into the starting line up comes Ger Cafferkey and Donal Vaughan, with the Ballinrobe man wearing the number three shirt and Cafferkey the number two jersey. Whether both men actually play in those positions on Sunday remains yet to be seen, with Cafferkey normally occupying the full back position. Out of the side have gone Belmullet's Chris Barrett and Westport's Kevin Keane, Keane missing out after he picked up an injury in last Sunday's A v B game in Elverys MacHale Park.

The reintroduction of both Cafferkey and Vaughan means that Mayo will start with the same back six that started against Kerry in last year's All Ireland semi-final replay. As for the rest of the starting line-up, David Clarke holds on to his place in goal after he overcame an injury that saw him miss club championship action for Ballina Stephenites in the weeks after the semi-final win, while Tom Parsons and Seamus O'Shea will once again pair up in the middle of the park. Diarmuid O'Connor who has not played since the win over Galway after picking up a hairline wrist fracture, is fit enough to retain his place in the number 10 shirt, while his big brother Cillian has been named at full forward. Andy Moran who had to go off injured early in the semi-final also retains his place in the corner, with Jason Doherty in the other corner. Aidan O'Shea has been picked on the 40' but will be expected to push into the full forward position he has made his own this season once the game gets under way, with Doherty expected to drop further out the field despite wearing 15.

Sligo are not expected to make many changes from their starting 15 that saw off Roscommon in their semi-final win, in the modern game using 21 players over the course of 70 minutes has become the norm, Sligo only used 17 players in that game, one of them being enforced when Criostóir Davey was black carded just after the break. The reintroduction of the two experienced heads at the back for Mayo could have a lot to do with curbing the influence of the Sligo full forward line of Adrian Marren, David Kelly, and the imposing Pat Hughes who plays on the edge of the square. Cian Breheny and Niall Murphy will be expected to disrupt the Mayo midfield duo. Castleconnor's Kevin McDonnell lined out at full-back in that win over Roscommon, and will be handed the task of marshalling Aidan O'Shea when he moves into the edge of the square in the game.

With Mayo going for five Connacht titles in a row and a 46th overall, and Sligo having just won the title three times in history, the last time in 2007, it should be another classic encounter this Sunday. Throw in is at 4pm. We will have the game covered with reports and reaction on on Sunday evening to make sure you can relive the events not long after the final whistle.


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