New York v Mayo, Sunday, Gaelic Park, 7.15pm
The beginning of the championship on Saturday with Mayo crossing the Atlantic to play New York at Gaelic Park with a 7.15pm throw in Irish time. We will, of course, be providing live score updates of the game on Sunday night.
New York have been long dependent on players from Ireland to fill the starting line-up but according to New York GAA secretary, Joan Henchy speaking to RTE said that a development plan was put in place 18 months to develop homegrown American players. This has certainly worked, Henchy said that there are currently 4 players on the panel. She said, “Immigration is a big problem at the moment, so we have to start looking at our own kids and what we can do to bring them on and put New York back on the map.”
Mayo boss James Horan will be aware that the last two seasons teams like Roscommon and Leitrim have struggled. Leitrim last season only won by a point with a last gasp effort, while in 2016 Roscommon also won by a point. Mayo impressed in the league and was obviously crowned league champions beating Kerry. Mayo in defence has players like Lee Keegan, Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle and Paddy Durcan. Andy Moran, Aidan O’Shea and Kevin McLoughlin will be key in the attack.
The teams have met 4 times in the championship since 1999, Mayo winning on all occasions.
Previous Championship Meetings
1999 Mayo 3-13 New York 0-10
2004 Mayo 3-28 New York 1-08
2009 Mayo 2-19 New York 0-10
2014 Mayo 4-18 New York 0-08
Mayo is entering the championship as Allianz League (Div 1) champions for the first time since 2001. They beat Kerry in this year’s final, having earlier won five of seven divisional games.
Jason Doherty was Mayo’s top scorer in the Allianz League on 0-27 (0-20 frees). The top scorers from play were Kevin McLoughlin (2-5), Matthew Ruane (2-4), Diarmuid O’Connor and Fionn McDonagh (1-6 each).
The winners will play Roscommon or Leitrim in the Connacht semi-final on May 26.
New York: Vinny Cadden; Michael Creedon, Gerard McCarten, Robert Gorman; Paddy Boyle, Michael Naughton; Matthew Queenan, Cathal Compton; Sean Hurley, Shane Hogan, Luke Kelly; Daniel McKenna, David Freeman, Niall Madine, Peter Hatzer.
Mayo team v New York: Robert Hennelly; Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins; Patrick Durcan (captain) Lee Keegan, James McCormack; Matthew Ruane, Aidan O’Shea; Evan Regan, Jason Doherty, Fergal Boland; Kevin McLoughlin, Darren Coen, James Carr.
injured: Diarmuid O’Connor, Keith Higgins and Seamus O’Shea
Mayo are massive favourites and virtually unbackable at 1/200. New York are 25/1 outsiders and the draw is 50/1.
The handicap is -20 which looks very high considering the weather may be poor.