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Dublin: 13°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Cillian O'Connor to start Mayo's clash with Donegal

James Horan makes two changes to the side which beat London in the Connacht football final.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

CILLIAN O’CONNOR IS set to return to the Mayo starting XV for Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Donegal.

O’Connor missed the Connacht semi-final win over Roscommon with a shoulder injury but seized his opportunity when he came off the bench in the provincial decider against London, scoring a hat-trick in the space of 15 second-half minutes.

The two-time Young Footballer of the Year replaces Darren Coen at corner-forward, one of two changes made by James Horan for the meeting of last season’s All-Ireland finalists.

Donal Vaughan starts at centre-back with Keith Higgins reverting to corner-back and Chris Barrett dropping to the bench.

Goalkeepers David Clarke and Kenneth O’Malley are still injured and so Breaffy’s Robert Hennelly continues in goal.

For Donegal, 2012 Footballer of the Year Karl Lacey is the only new face in the team which lost to Monaghan in the Ulster final.

Mayo (SF v Donegal): Robert Hennelly (Breaffy); Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber); Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Andy Moran (capt, Ballaghaderreen).
Substitutes: Brendan Walsh (Ballintubber), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Michael Walsh (Ardnaree), Kevin Keane (Westport), Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels), Enda Varley (Garrymore), Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber).

Mayo ‘colluding’ with Monaghan, claims Donegal coach Rory Gallagher

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Niall Kelly

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