Aidan O’Shea will play his first football in Mayo colours since last years All Ireland semi-final replay defeat to Dublin when Mayo take on Cork in Páirc Ui Rinn on Sunday. The Breaffy man has been picked at centre-half-forward in Rochford’s first National Football League team.
Nine players from that defeat in Croke Park remain in the starting 15 for Sunday’s game with Garrymore newcomers Shane Nally and Caolan Crowe making up two thirds of the half-back line, with Lee Keegan who will captain the side completing that line on the field.
Ballina’s Ger Cafferkey will be the senior man in the full back line with Knockmore’s Shane McHale and Agahamore’s Brendan Harrision flanking him on either side with Robbie Hennelly behind the trio in goal.
Jason Gibbons and Tom Parsons will continue their partnership in the middle of the park, with the duo looking like a very effective pairing during the FBD League run.
The Mayo half-forward line of O’Shea, Kevin McLouhglin and last years Young Footballer of the Year Diarmuid O’Connor will be the most experienced line in the Mayo side and will be expected to do a lot of the heavy lifting on Sunday.
In the full forward line Evan Regan is back for his first start for Mayo since last years National League opener away to Kerry where the Ballina man had a blistering start, but a broken collar bone before the half time whistle in that game saw him miss the rest of the season with Mayo. He’ll be joined in the full forward line by Burrishoole’s Jason Doherty whose been leading the line all year so far in there and in a surprising selection, Donal Vaughan has been named at full forward, but the Ballinrobe man will be expected to operate further out the field.
Cork who named their team on Thursday night have made four changes to the side who started their McGrath Cup win against Clare last weekend. Peadar Healy made one change in defence from their last game with Jamie O’Sullivan coming in at corner back, with Andrew O’Sullivan and Luke Connolly coming in at wing forward and Peter Kellegher at full forward.
Only seven players remain from the side who were eliminated from last years championship when Kildare turned them over last Summer with Ken O’Halloran, Colm O’Driscoll, Eoin Cadogan, Jamie O’Sullivan, James Loughrey, Mark Collins and Paul Kerrigan staying in the starting 15.
Mayo: Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy ); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore ), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites ), Shane McHale (Knockmore ); Lee Keegan (Westport ),Caolan Crowe (Garrymore ), Shane Nally (Garrymore ); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields ), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber ); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore ), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy ), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber ); Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites ), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe ), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole ).
Cork:Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown ), Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh ), Eoin Cadogan (Douglas ), Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown ); Tomas Clancy (Fermoy ), Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh ), James Loughrey (Mallow ); Ian Maguire (St Finbarrs ), Mark Collins (Castlehaven ); Andrew O’Sullivan (Castletownbere ), Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers ), Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers ); Daniel Goulding (Eire Og ), Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael ), Brian Hurley (Castlehaven ).
Remember you can listen to our National Football League Preview Podcast at www.soundcloud.com/advertiserpodcasts/advertiserie-mayo-national-football-league-preview-podcast