Hanley missing for Galway

Galway captain Finian Hanley has been ruled out of the team to face Mayo in Sunday's Connacht SFC quarter-final clash at Pearse Stadium (throw-in 4pm).

Hanley missing for Galway

Galway captain Finian Hanley has been ruled out of the team to face Mayo in Sunday's Connacht SFC quarter-final clash at Pearse Stadium (throw-in 4pm).

Although Hanley's shoulder injury stood up to a closed doors challenge game against Clare last week, manager Alan Mulholland has decided not to risk the Salthill/Knocknacarra clubman.

Instead, Colin Forde, who led the county to All-Ireland Under-21 glory in 2011, will step in at full-back in a Galway team that shows six changes to the side that lost to Antrim in last year's All-Ireland qualifiers.

Spiddal goalkeeper Manus Breathnach will make his Championship debut, replacing Adrian Faherty between the posts, while Gary Sweeney and Gary Sice come in on the left side of the defence.

Niall Coleman has been tasked with filling the midfield void left by the retired Joe Bergin, joining forces with Fiontan O Curraoin who captained the Galway Under-21s to an All-Ireland title earlier this month.

Another of the Under-21 starlets, Thomas Flynn, will line out in the half forwards with Danny Cummins preferred to Mark Hehir at top of the left.

This is Galway's first Championship meeting with Mayo since they were beaten by their arch rivals 1-12 to 1-6 at the semi-final stage of the 2011 Connacht Championship.

There are only five survivors from that game in the Galway team this weekend - Forde, Johnny Duane, stand-in skipper Gareth Bradshaw, Sice and Paul Conroy. Michael Meehan and Cummins were used as substitutes when the counties met just under two years ago.

Previewing Sunday's showdown in Salthill, Galway boss Mulholland told Newstalk: "We're at home and we're playing against last year's All-Ireland finalists. It's a big challenge for this team.

"Mayo have been the standard bearers, they've been very consistent and their performances in Division 1 and the Championship have been very good.

"We are underdogs going into this, there isn't much expected of us in the county and we like that position - we have a point to prove.

"Our players would see themselves as being as good as Mayo. Without the pressure and the favourites' tag, being underdogs, we're going to give this a right rattle and hopefully play with a bit of flair and abandon, take it to Mayo and see where it gets us."

GALWAY (SFC v Mayo): Manus Breathnach; Johnny Duane, Colin Forde, Gary Sweeney; Gareth Bradshaw (capt), Keith Kelly, Gary Sice; Niall Coleman, Fiontan O Curraoin; Thomas Flynn, Paul Conroy, Conor Doherty; Sean Armstrong, Michael Meehan, Danny Cummins.

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