Saturday, April 09, 2022

Having been denied the use of any players under the parentage rule for the entire duration of the Allianz Hurling League, Mayo have received a massive boost in advance of this Sunday’s Christy Ring Cup opener after Croke Park sanctioned their use of three external players.

The Mayo team is now much changed from that which took to the field for the opening round of the Allianz Hurling League in February. Picture: David Farrell Photography

Facilitated in that exact same way for the past decade, but in both league and championship, it had come as a surprise to Mayo to learn that they were not being permitted to field any ‘outside’ players in this year’s National League campaign which ultimately saw them relegated from Division 2B when beaten in a playoff by Wicklow. However, at the most recent meeting of Central Council in Dublin, agreement was given that they can select three players from other counties who have at least one parent from Mayo.

And so it is that going straight into the team at full-back and full-forward respectively for this Sunday’s clash with Kildare are brothers Ger and Joe McManus, both of whom have been Mayo regulars in the past but who play for St Jude’s in Dublin. Their father Padraig hails from Barnacarroll, near Claremorris. Also selected by manager Derek Walsh is former Galway U21 player Joseph Mooney who will man the centre-back berth. Mooney plays club hurling for Loughrea but his mother Julia Howard is a native of Belmullet.

The trio’s involvement actually brings to four, the number of non-Mayo born players on the team, as Kilkenny man Paul Kirwan is selected at left corner-back but he is actually a member of Ballyhaunis GAA club.

The Mayo team is captained by Shane Boland and together with last year’s captain Keith Higgins, they will flank Joe McManus in what has the makings of a formidable full-forward line.

Mayo hurling team manager Derek Walsh has received a timely boost in advance of his side’s Christy Ring Cup opener. Picture: David Farrell Photography

Sean Kenny and Daniel Huane man the engine room at midfield with fellow Tooreen players Stephen Coyne, Gary Nolan and David Kenny bringing tremendous experience to the defence.

Eoin Delaney, Brian Hunt and Adrian Phillips are named in the half-forward line.

Kildare are potentially the toughest of the teams Mayo will face in the round-robin Christy Ring Cup but the Green and Red will hope to make the most of home advantage. The game in James Stephens Park, Ballina will throw in at 1pm. Referee is Westmeath native Caymon Flynn.

Mayo (v Kildare): Bobby Douglas; Stephen Coyne, Ger McManus, Paul Kirwan; Gary Nolan, Joseph Mooney, David Kenny; Daniel Huane, Sean Kenny; Eoin Delaney, Brian Hunt, Adrian Phillips; Shane Boland (C), Joe McManus, Keith Higgins. Subs: Barry Lane, Mark Phillips, Kenny Feeney, Patrick Lyons, Danny Hill, Darren Murray, Aaron Ketterick, Shane Crinnigan, Conal Hession, Kealan Gallagher, James Gallagher.

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