No injuries ahead of the rematch
THE Mayo senior football squad returned home from Dublin yesterday (Monday) to begin the countdown to next Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay against Kerry at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick (5pm).
The 26-man panel all remained in the capital on Sunday night after their dramatic draw at Croke Park to rest and recover, and to begin formulating plans for next weekend’s rematch.
Apart from full-back Ger Cafferkey, who had cramping issues with both of his calf muscles and had to be replaced in the 70th minute, Mayo are reporting no injury concerns despite the energy-sapping nature of last Sunday’s high-octane game.
James Horan and his selectors will decide later this week who will come into the Mayo team to replace the suspended Lee Keegan, who was red-carded for kicking out at Kerry’s Johnny Buckley in the closing stages of the first half.
The Mayo GAA Board were expecting to receive the two-time All Star’s sanction last night (Monday) and a spokesperson told The Mayo News that they were ‘likely’ to appeal whatever suspension was being proposed.
Keegan is likely to miss Saturday night’s game, but would be free to play in the All-Ireland Final on September 21 were Mayo to get there.
One of Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison or Richie Feeney seem the most likely replacements for the Westport defender in the Mayo half-back line.
There is also some some speculation that Tom Parsons could force his way into midfield, alongside Seamus O’Shea, while the full-forward position seems to be a straight shoot-out again between captain Andy Moran and Alan Freeman.
THE capacity of the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick is believed to be between 46,000 and 47,000, but it remains to be seen whether or not Saturday evening’s replay will be a sell-out.
Stand tickets have been reduced to €30 from €40 and terrace tickets from €25 to €20. Children’s tickets are also available for €5.
“The Mackey Stand is covered and the North Stand opposite it is seated and open,” Mayo GAA Secretary Vincent Neary explained to The Mayo News last night.
“There are maybe 15,000 seats in both stands and, between the two, we’re hoping to get half of them. If Mayo don’t pick up all their allocation they will go to Kerry, and if Kerry don’t pick up all of theirs they can come back to Mayo.
“There’s a terrace behind each goal. They are cheaper tickets but are standing and not ideal for kids. Families are used to bringing kids to Croke Park for quarter-finals and semi-finals and there was no hassle and people could get to Croke Park for a reasonable cost and great comfort. We’re hoping Mayo fans will travel again in big numbers.”
All-Ireland SFC Semi-Final replay
Mayo v Kerry
Saturday, August 30
Limerick at 5pm
Referee: C Reilly (Meath)