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Thu, Nov
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Shane all set for final test

Sport

EYES ON THE PRIZE Mayo’s Shane Boland gathers possession during heavy rain against Leitrim in the Nicky Rackard Cup semi-final last Saturday. Pic: Ciara Buckley

Feature
Michael Commins

SHANE Boland, Mayo’s top scorer in the Nicky Rackard Cup series this season, is delighted to be back in Croke Park this weekend.
It marks a return to the stadium where Mayo captured similar honours when defeating Armagh in the Rackard Cup Final in 2016.
“We were almost shocked when we heard confirmation of the news on Monday that the game was part of a double-header along with Kildare and Down in the Christy Ring Cup decider in Croke Park on Sunday,” the Tooreen star told The Mayo News.
“There were lots of rumours in recent days that our game with Donegal might be played in Sligo or Carrick-on-Shannon. We would take wherever was chosen anyway as we are so glad to have reached the final but it is truly special for all of us to play in Croke Park.
“The lads are thrilled with the news,” says Shane.
He has happy memories of the 2016 game and Mayo’s triumph on the day. Among the stalwarts on the day were Keith Higgins, Cathal Freeman, Kenny Feeney, Brian Hunt, David Kenny, and the Boland brothers, Eoghan Collins, Padraig O’Flynn, Seán Regan, Corey Scahill and Ger McManus.
Last year, Shane took up an assignment with the Department of Agriculture and is based in Naas.  He is a brother of Mayo footballer and dual player, Fergal Boland, who is no stranger to Croke Park in recent years.
“Donegal are a good side and we face a tough assignment on Sunday,” he added. “It takes a good team to reach any final and they have chalked up some very big scores along the way.
“We beat Donegal in the semi-final of the Nicky Rackard Cup in 2016 but it was a close game.
“This will be a new experience for some of our young players like Brian Morley, Eoin Delaney, Jason Coyne, Liam Lavin and Cormac Phillips. But it is one we should all relish as it is such a special honour to reach a final and play in Croke Park in the year that is in it. 
“There is a great spirit in our camp and I hope we can bring the cup home to Mayo on Sunday night.”

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