THIS IS MAJOR Mayo players, from left, Cathal Keaveney, David Dolan and Lorcan Silke celebrate after Monday’s Connacht Final win. Pic: Sportsfile
SOMETIMES you have to remind yourself that David is only 16 years of age!
Given his size, the power and accuracy he can generate behind his kick-outs and long-range frees, and presence around the small square, he could easily pass for a Mayo Under-20!
The Balla teenager has really blossomed under the tutelage of Mayo goalkeeping coach, Shane Nallen, and last Monday evening had David Clarke in his corner.
He kept another clean sheet against Galway and kicked a point from a free for good measure.
CONSIDERING he is a natural wing-back, and only tried his hand at the specialist full-back position a few months ago, John’s consistent level of performance with the minors has been nothing short of remarkable.
Last Monday evening the Mitchels man didn’t put a foot wrong (as usual) and his ability to read the play, hold up and dispossess opponents, and use possession belies his tender years.
MAYO has become renowned for producing flying wing-backs over the years, and the St Colman’s College student is another one off the conveyor-belt.
But there is so much to Paul’s game than just line-breaking speed and pace; he is also a very disciplined and well-coached marker who looks equally comfortable going back towards his own goal as he does attacking.
The Connacht Final was his best display of the season so far.
EVERY team needs a player like James.
He is the quintessential modern wing-forward, tracking back, winning breaks, linking play and trying to get on the end of moves too.
In another season, he may have been playing much closer to goal, given that he has done a lot of his best work at underage level for Crossmolina in the inside line.
But Mayo have used his talents in a different role and he has been outstanding, especially in the two games against Galway.
THE last Mayo minor forward to generate this much excitement was Cillian O’Connor.
That will tell you just how consistently good Niall’s form has been over the course of Mayo’s five matches in the Connacht championship.
But he saved his best for the final, shooting five superb points from play and lighting up the game with his pace, skill, directness and accuracy.
It was no surprise at all to see him named man of the match.