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3 national league talking points against Westmeath

Sport

HAND IN HAND Mayo’s Paddy Durcan tries to hold off the challenge off Westmeath’s Fola Ayorinde during Sunday’s National League game in Mullingar. Pic: Conor McKeown


Mike Finnerty

1 The state of play now
MAYO’S second win in seven days means that they have now qualified for the Division 2 league semi-final with a game to spare. And their hopes of bouncing straight back to the top-flight at the first attempt remain intact.
Should they beat Meath at MacHale Park in Castlebar next Sunday (throw-in at 1.45pm), then they will top the Division 2 North table and play the second-placed team in Division 2 South in the last four. That will be one of Clare, Kildare or Cork.
Should Mayo lose to Meath then they will take on the winners of the other regional division.
The semi-finals will be played on Saturday, June 12.

2 Squad rotation seems likely
THE fact that Mayo have already qualified for the play-offs means that James Horan is likely to use next Sunday’s game as an opportunity to look at some more of his squad.
Goalkeeper Rory Byrne looks set to make his long-awaited league debut while Jack Coyne (if he recovers from injury) is also in line to start in the full-back line.
Conor O’Shea, who was an unused sub against Westmeath, could also get a run-out while the Coen cousins, Darren and Stephen, will also be chomping at the bit at this stage.
Darren McHale and Eoin O’Donoghue are other players who haven’t featured yet.  

3 Mixed news on injuries
UNFORTUNATELY, our initial report on Aidan O’Shea’s knee injury has proved to be correct with the Mayo captain almost certain to miss a third game in a row next weekend.
James Horan will be hoping to have the Breaffy man back for the semi-final on June 12.
Jason Doherty will also be aiming to be involved sooner rather than later, as he continues his ‘return to play’ process. The Burrishoole forward could even feature next Sunday.
However, Brendan Harrison is understood to be still some way off a return.
But Enda Hession, who missed the Westmeath game, is likely to be back in contention.

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