Search Results for 'Tom Cunniffe'
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Mayo did the heavy lifting in first half in their 2014 championship opener, when they ground down the New York challenge with the minimal of difficulty. James Horan will have learned nothing new about his side, but will have been pleased to have been able to give some game time to likes of Alan Dillon who returned to Mayo colours for the first time since the All Ireland final as a second half sub, while debutant Diarmuid O'Connor marked his first senior bow with a well taken goal right at the start of the second half. The game also saw a little bit of history with the three O'Shea brothers on the field at the same time, for the first time when Conor O'Shea made his championship debut as a second half sub.
Mayo left Croke Park on Sunday evening with far more questions than answers, as a 14 man Derry team ran at them and right through them, into the National Football League final in a fortnight's time. For the second time in the space of a few weeks, Mayo had a man advantage and a decent lead, but they were unable to see the game out and came up short in Croke Park. When Fergal Doherty was shown a second yellow card and ordered off the field for a late challenge on Aidan O'Shea in the build up to Mayo's goal 24 minutes in, it should have been the staging post for Mayo's march to victory. But, they never got moving as freely as expected and Derry ran out deserving winners.
Cillian O’Connor remains the one injury doubt for Mayo from those who were available for selection last weekend for Sunday’s Allianz National Football League semi-final in Croke Park. The Ballintubber attacker, who had to leave the action after just 10 minutes in Elverys MacHale Park last Sunday, may not make it back into the starting line-up for this weekend’s game. The team is due to be announced at some stage today (Friday, April 11).
Derry travelled to Castlebar last Sunday to take on the home side in what was a crucial game for Mayo to see if they would qualify for the playoffs of the National league. I should have smelled a rat earlier in the week when the bookmakers had Mayo at an outrageous 1/16 to beat the Oak Leaf county. This game could have been a cracker but it turned out to be a damp squib. Derry fielded only one of their starting 15 which made us realise from the outset that they did not care about the result, we will only know for sure if Brian McIver got anything out of this game when we see the Derry line up on Sunday.
Mayo face into their final two regulation games of the Allianz National Football League over the next two weekends. Whether they will extended that league run until at least the semi-final stage on April 13 and potentially the final on Sunday April 27 (a week before the open their championship campaign in New York) will have a lot to do with how they get on tomorrow night against the Dubs. A win over the All Ireland champions would put them two points clear of the metropolitans and almost assure themselves of a spot in the last four, ahead of their final game at home to Derry in Elverys MacHale Park.
Three things of note from Sunday's game
Castlebar Mitchels are 60 minutes away from the holy grail of club football. To join the elite clubs like Nemo Rangers, Crossmaglen Rangers, and indeed our own Crossmolina Deel Rovers and Ballina Stephenites would be nothing short of a miracle. It took them 20 years to win the elusive Moclair Cup, now their eyes are firmly set on the Andy Merrigan. Castlebar have beaten the three hot favourites for the competition along the way to the final in Corofin, St Brigid's, and the dead certs until last Sunday, Dr Crokes of Kerry. There will not be a dry eye in Mick Byrne’s if they succeed.
Castlebar Mitchels 3-13
Firstly to admit an error broadcast by yours truly live on radio last Sunday during the Mayo v Tyrone game. With the entire furore over black cards, yellow cards and red cards, I was blissfully unaware that teams were now in fact allowed to make six substitutions.
If all 2,500 of Mayo’s season ticket holders make the trip to St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge, they will take over almost half the capacity of the Lillywhites home ground on Sunday. While it is not expected Mayo supporters in that number will make the trek east on Sunday a very healthy number of supporters will be on hand to see the latest update of James Horan’s Mayo make their proper competitive debut of the year, after the shadow boxing of the FBD League. Horan has given two players their Allainz Football League debuts with Aghamore’s Brendan Harrison getting the nod to start in the half-back line alongside Shane McHale and Lee Keegan. While Mayo Gaels’ Adam Gallagher will come into the team in the number 12 shirt in a half-forward line anchored by Keith Higgins and with Cathal Carolan on the other wing,