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Big guns likely to return to Mayo team


Mike Finnerty

STEPHEN Rochford’s biggest selection issue this week would seem to be whether or not to start Footballer of the Year, Andy Moran, against Tipperary next Saturday evening, or hold him in reserve.
Moran came off the bench to score two goals during Mayo’s win over Limerick earlier this month, but Rochford may decide to start the 34 year-old forward against Tipperary in next weekend’s Round 2 All-Ireland SFC Qualifier.
If Moran is recalled, then James Durcan seems the obvious choice to make way.
Both Lee Keegan and Diarmuid O’Connor are also likely to return to Mayo’s starting team with Ger Cafferkey and Cian Hanley the most likely players to lose out in the reshuffle.
It remains to be seen whether Donie Vaughan (groin), Barry Moran (Achilles) and Neil Douglas (hamstring) have recovered from their respective injuries in time to force their way back into Mayo’s match-day squad of 26.
Meanwhile, Adam Gallagher has left the Mayo squad and transferred to the Galway football club in Boston for the summer.
The Mayo Gaels forward started three of Mayo’s National League matches against Dublin, Kildare and Tyrone but failed to feature against either Galway or Limerick in Mayo’s recent championship outings.
Elsewhere, Tipperary manager Liam Kearns says he and his players are looking forward to playing ‘everybody’s second team’ in the All-Ireland Championship next Saturday in Thurles.
“It’s the glamour draw,” Kearns told The Nenagh Guardian. “Mayo supporters are the best in the country.
They’ll bring 10,000 or12,000 to Thurles without doubt. They bring colour and atmosphere everywhere they go.
“The Mayo team, outside of your own county, is everybody’s second team and would love to see them and their supporters rewarded with an All-Ireland.
“They have been in the last two All Ireland finals
“It’s the tie of the round, Sky [Sports] are covering it on television.
“As a player, if you don’t want to be involved in these matches, why do you train and play? “Tipperary footballers, many times, have played in front of 200 people and got a couple of lines in a match report.
“These are heady days for Tipperary football and we have got to make the most of it.
“We will be going all out for it and want it.
“We want to see a performance against Mayo and see where that takes us.
“Mayo are past masters at the Qualifiers and using it so they are going to be looking at us as a step up and hope to move on again.”

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