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Kilmeena savour Jack’s senior debut

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FIRST DAY OUT Jack Carney (left) and Ben Doyle (2) are pictured after making their National League debuts for Mayo against Westmeath last Saturday. Pic: Conor McKeown


Edwin McGreal

MAKING his Mayo senior debut last Saturday afternoon was not just a big day for Jack Carney from Carrowholly and his family, but also for everyone in Kilmeena GAA club.
When the 21 year-old replaced Diarmuid O’Connor near the end of the second half, he became the first Kilmeena player to play senior league or championship for Mayo in 34 years.
The last occasion was when Joe O’Grady lined out at full-forward in Mayo’s 0-6 to 0-3 win over Meath in their 1987 Division 1 league clash in Fr O’Hara Park in Charlestown.
The last Kilmeena man to play senior for Mayo was James Ryan, who lined out at midfield with Barry Moran in an FBD League clash against IT Sligo under Mickey Moran in 2006.
Of course, the most renowned Kilmeena man to grace the county colours remains Michael Gavin.
The teak-tough defender made 44 appearances for Mayo from 1977-1983, winning a coveted Connacht senior championship medal in 1981 at corner-back, ending a barren run of 12 years without the Nestor Cup coming to Mayo.
The club have had plenty of fine players over the years, and indeed many of them have had to emigrate. One of them, Danny Ryan, lined out against Mayo in the Connacht championship in the past while wearing the colours of London.
Kilmeena GAA club stalwarts will be hoping that Jack Carney, who is training to be a Primary School teacher like his father Peter (who is the principal of Carrowholly NS), goes on to make his first senior championship appearance in the coming weeks.
Ben Doyle from Westport, who is a son of Joe Doyle, the head of logistics with the Mayo senior football squad, also made his league debut last weekend.
He started the game against Westmeath at corner-back and was replaced at half-time.

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