Sat, Dec
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Mayo just one point from safety


COLLISION COURSE Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke and Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh clash during Sunday’s NFL match in Omagh. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Finnerty

A WIN or a draw for Mayo against Donegal next Sunday in Castlebar (2pm) will guarantee them Division 1 football again in 2018.
That’s the bottom line for Stephen Rochford’s team after last weekend’s dramatic victory over Tyrone in Omagh as Mayo racked up their third victory of an erratic league campaign.
However, if Mayo lose to the Tir Chonaill men at MacHale Park then they could be relegated out of the top flight for the first time in 20 years — provided that Cavan beat Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park.
The Breffni men’s win over Mayo two weeks ago means that they hold the advantage if the ‘head-to-head’ record is needed to separate two teams level on points.
Another possible twist to the story would come if Tyrone beat Kerry in Killarney, Cavan beat the Rossies, and Mayo lose to Donegal. That sequence of results would leave Kerry, Cavan and Mayo all level on points and would mean scoring difference would be required to see who was relegated along with Roscommon.
At this stage, Cavan have the inferior scoring difference and so would be relegated.
Mayo have been installed as 8/15 favourites to beat Donegal (15/8) next Sunday, despite only winning three of their last ten home National League matches in Castlebar.

Injury update
THE chances of Ger Cafferkey or Seamie O’Shea being part of Mayo’s match-day squad next Sunday have improved after both lined out for their clubs last weekend.
O’Shea played his second successive full match for Breaffy in the space of a week in the Michael Walsh League semi-final on Sunday while Cafferkey is understood to have featured for approximately 25 minutes for Ballina in a challenge game.
All 21 players who featured for Mayo during last Sunday’s victory in Tyrone are expected to be available for selection again next weekend.
A Mayo GAA statement yesterday (Monday) confirmed that Donie Vaughan and Cillian O’Connor had passed head injury assessment tests after both receiving blows to the head in separate incidents in the closing stages of the game.
‘Both players passed SCAT 3 head injury assessment (HIA) and did not exhibit any delayed concussion symptoms on subsequent reviews,” read the statement.
Meanwhile, The Mayo News has learned that Breaffy’s Liam Irwin was released from the Mayo squad last week. The panel is expected to be trimmed further in the coming weeks.

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