A BUSY MAN Fionn McDonagh from Westport is due to line out with the University of Limerick in the Sigerson Cup next Sunday against IT Sligo. Pic: Sportsfile
MORE than 30 Mayo club footballers are set to line out for their respective third level colleges as the Sigerson Cup gets underway across the country next Sunday, January 12 — earlier than ever before as part of the GAA’s new revised fixtures plan.
The headline game from a Mayo perspective sees IT Sligo entertain the University of Limerick in Ballinode at 2pm, with eleven Mayo footballers eligible to line out for their respective teams.
The University of Limerick boasts nine Mayo representatives, including county senior panellists Fionn McDonagh, James Carr and Ryan O’Donoghue.
The likes of Mayo Under-20 defender Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport), Brian O’Malley (Westport), James Lyons (Aghamore), John Cunnane (Ballyhaunis), Joe Dawson (Louisburgh) and Conor Igoe (Bonniconlon) could also feature for UL.
Meanwhile, on the IT Sligo side, Westport goalkeeper Paddy O’Malley is expected to line out in goals, while Cillian Upton (Bonniconlon) could also see game time.
The Mayo News understands that O’Malley’s inter-county transfer to Roscommon – the former Mayo Under-20 goalkeeper is eligible to line out with the Rossies under the parentage rule – was to be officially sanctioned at a meeting last night (Monday).
O’Malley, who lined out for the Mayo seniors in last year’s FBD League, is eligible to play for Roscommon as his mother was born in the county.
Elsewhere, NUI Galway, managed by former Mayo forward Maurice Sheridan, will take on University College Cork in Dangan at 4pm on Sunday, with nine Mayo players in the NUIG squad.
Mayo seniors Matthew Ruane, Eoin O’Donoghue, Tommy Conroy and Oisin Mullin are all studying in Galway, although Mullin also lines out with Kilmaine in the All-Ireland Junior club championship semi-final on Saturday so may not feature on Sunday.
Stephen Brennan (Claremorris), Evan O’Brien (Ballinrobe), Gavin Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), Kevin Quinn (Ballinrobe), Donovan Cosgrove (Kiltimagh) and Niall McManamon (Westport) are also togging with NUI, Galway this season.
Dublin City University, who have Ballaghaderreen’s Shairoze Akram in their ranks, welcome the Garda College, who have four Mayo club men on their panel — Thomas Clarke (Moy Davitts), Aidan Walsh (Castlebar Mitchels), Damien Geraghty and Alan McLoughlin (both Swinford) are playing with the Templemore-based side.
University College Dublin, who face Ulster University in Belfield at 2pm, will have Mayo senior Stephen Coen wearing their colours once again, with his Hollymount/Carramore team-mate Cian Ferriter also involved.
Maynooth University, who welcome St Mary’s University to Maynooth at 2pm, can call on Mayo senior panellist Ben Doyle, as well as former Mayo underage star TJ Byrne (Kiltimagh).
The final Mayo senior panelist in action is Oisin McLaughlin, whose Trinity University Dublin side face a trip to Belfast to face Queens.
Other Mayo natives that could see game time over the weekend are Athlone IT trio Luke McHale (Balla), Cian O’Dea (Killala) and Brian O’Neill (Ballyhaunis), who will face Sam Neary (Bonniconlon) of Letterkenny IT; while Keelan McDonnell from Ballintubber is part of the IT Carlow squad who will head for Kerry to face IT Tralee.