O’Mahony rings the changes for Sligo clash

MAYO boss John O’Mahony has dropped full-forward Aidan O’Shea as he hands out four championship debuts and makes five changes in personnel from the NFL Division 1 final loss to Cork, for Saturday’s Connacht SFC quarter-final against Sligo in Markievicz Park.

Injuries have forced O’Mahony’s hand in some of his selection decisions with Trevor Howley and Alan Dillon, who both started the league final, sidelined with problems, and Pat Harte, Aidan Kilcoyne and Barry Moran all unable to force their way into the reckoning from the start due to fitness concerns as well.

The four newcomers to championship football are right corner-back Chris Barrett from Belmullet, centre-forward Breaffy’s Seamus O’Shea, full-forward Alan Freeman from Aghamore and Garrymore’s Enda Varley at left corner-forward.

The changes from the league final team see in defence Keith Higgins return from injury to start at left corner-back instead of Liam O’Malley while Tom Cunniffe replaces Howley at centre-back. Ronan McGarrity comes back into the team at midfield after a spell out with injury, in a move that sees Seamus O’Shea switch to centre-forward instead of Dillon. In the full-forward line Aidan O’Shea and Mark Ronaldson are omitted in favour of Freeman at the edge of the square and Varley at left corner-forward.

Limerick boss Mickey Ned O’Sullivan has handed a championship debut to Gerald Griffin’s goalkeeper Brian Scanlon for Sunday’s Munster SFC semi-final tie against Waterford in Dungarvan.

U21 goalkeeper Scanlon came into the team for the NFL Division 4 final victory in April and came upfield to point a crucial late ‘45 in their 1-16 to 1-14 victory.

O’Sullivan also welcomes back established defensive trio Johnny McCarthy, Stephen Lavin and Stephen Lucey from injury as he makes four changes from that league decider win over Waterford.

McCarthy replaces hamstring victim Conor Mullane at full-back, Lavin comes in at right half-back for Diarmuid Carroll, while Lucey’s inclusion at centre-back sees Padraig Browne move to right half-forward and John Mullane is the player to lose out. The final change comes in attack where Stephen Kelly is named at left corner-forward, Ian Ryan goes to the edge of the square, James Ryan comes out to centre-forward and Cormac Joyce-Power drops to the bench.

Meanwhile, All-Ireland champions Kilkenny have been dealt a blow ahead of the opening defence of their Leinster title on June 20 against either Dublin or Laois with an injury to Cha Fitzpatrick.

The Ballyhale Shamrocks midfielder injured his hamstring in a local league match last weekend and now faces a spell of up to a month on the sidelines.

Cavan boss Tommy Carr has received a major boost ahead of Saturday week’s Ulster SFC tie against Fermanagh with the news that star attacker Seanie Johnston will be available for selection. Johnston missed the county’s entire NFL Division 3 campaign after breaking his elbow while featuring for DCU in the Sigerson Cup in early February but is now in the frame to start in the Kingspan Breffni Park clash.

MAYO (SF v Sligo): D Clarke; C Barrett, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; D Vaughan, T Cunniffe, K McLoughlin; T Parsons, R McGarrity; A Moran, S O’Shea, T Mortimer; C Mortimer, A Freeman, E Varley.

LIMERICK (SF v Waterford): B Scanlon; M O’Riordan, J McCarthy, A Lane; S Lavin, S Lucey, P Ranahan; J O’Donovan, J Galvin; P Browne, J Ryan, S Buckley; G Collins, I Ryan, S Kelly. Subs: C Ranahan, S Gallagher, E Joy, C Fitzgerald, E O’Connor, J Mullane, C Joyce-Power, D Carroll, R Hayes, G Noonan, S O’Carroll, C Mullane, J Cooke, B Fitzpatrick

LIMERICK (JF v Waterford): P Ivess; D Woods, K O’Connor, E Mulcahy; E O’Donnell, B Teahan, E Barry; M Behan, E Horan; T Collins, J O’Connell, D McCarthy; L Costelloe, T Butler, R Lynch. Subs: C Wallace, T Begley, E Fitzgibbon, R Browne, S Mulcahy, W Enright, M Galvin, D Finnerty, M Lyons.

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