No room for sentiment for Keith Higgins and Eoghan Collins

Six days on from lining out together for their club Ballyhaunis, Mayo’s Keith Higgins and Clare’s Eoghan Collins will be ready to tear into each other in Cusack Park on Saturday.

Mayo native Collins has featured for the Clare side managed by his uncle Colm Collins in their last two championship games this summer, but all camaraderie will be parked as the Banner men plot the downfall of his homeland on Saturday.

Collins and Higgins played together last Sunday for Ballyhaunis in a league game against Shrule/Glencorrib — Higgins missed Mayo’s qualifier win over Derry due to suspension following his sending off against Galway, while Collins featured off the bench in Clare’s win over Laois the previous day.

Colm Collins’ brother John moved to Mayo, but the links to his county are clearly strong and Eoghan jumped at the chance to play senior inter-county football when approached in January.

The former Mayo minor and U21 player linked up with the Clare seniors earlier this year and according to Colm Collins, his nephew is champing at the bit to make his mark against his home team and his club mate, Higgins.

“Eoghan still plays his club football with Ballyhaunis, and himself and Keith Higgins play together,” said Colm Collins.

“He came on as a sub on the weekend, he did well against Laois. I’d say he’d be thrilled to be involved the next day. Of course he would be.

“Eoghan played underage with Mayo and he was in college in Limerick. I said to him that because of the parental rule he would qualify.

“I asked if it was something he’d be interested in and after a think about it he said he’d give it a go. It’s nice for Eoghan now to be up against Mayo.”

As well as the blood relation there is another Mayo link in the Clare set-up as team stats man Andy Tierney is a Mayo native, while team coach Alan Flynn — a Galway man — has close ties to Mayo manager Stephen Rochford after working together at Ballinrobe and GMIT’s Sigerson Cup sides.

Damian Barton’s reign as Derry football manager looks over. A Derry board statement said nominations were being sought for the post.

“We would like to sincerely thank Damian, his management and all players,” the statement said.

Offaly will part ways with manager Pat Flanagan after the county board last night moved to end his time as boss. Offaly lost out in the qualifiers to Cavan last month.



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