Mayo injuries the 'major concern' over league final flop, says retired four-time All-Star

The defeated league finalists will face Galway in the Connacht SFC quarter-final this weekend.

Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

RETIRED MAYO STAR Colm Boyle says he is more concerned by the injury tally in the squad than their poor performance in the Division 1 final against Kerry.

A number of key starters were ruled out of that decider due to injury, including Paddy Durcan, and Diarmuid O’Connor, while Oisín Mullin was a late withdrawal before throw-in. Kerry’s 15-point romp to victory grabbed the headlines in the aftermath of the final, as well as the puzzling nature of Mayo’s limp showing in Croke Park.

The All-Ireland finalists will begin their Connacht SFC campaign this weekend with a quarter-final clash against Galway in MacHale Park, where James Horan’s men must produce a response to their league final display.

Speaking at the launch of RTÉ’s 2022 championship coverage, Boyle said that he was initially worried about Mayo’s lack of fight in that game, but that his focus quickly switched to what’s ahead for his county this season.

“I was [worried] but when I sat down and thought about it after, I was more worried about how the next three weeks would go in preparation for Galway just with so many injuries.

“I think that was my major concern, because the way that Mayo set-up against Kerry and how much they were overran in the middle third where nomally we are so strong, when I sat down and thought about it, and thought about the players that were missing, Oisin Mullin, Paddy Durcan, Diarmuid O’Connor, those three especially – and Jordan Flynn is obviously an injury doubt as well now.

“Kerry really overran Mayo in that middle third and when you get those four/five players back eventually, Mayo will be very different around that sector. The injuries are more of a concern for me at the minute. Who is going to be available for Galway and what level of training will they have done up to that?”

Boyle added that the performance of James Carr was a big positive to take from the Kerry game, as well as the return of Cillian O’Connor from an achilles tendon injury. However, he insists that the injury status of those other absentees is crucial as the Connacht quarter-final approaches. 

“It is very different if you are just back on the Wednesday night, you have nearly a full session done and you are playing on the Sunday. Have these boys been back training for the last week or two, that is the big thing for me and that is the big level of concern?

“Rob Hennelly is another big injury doubt at the minute; for me he is an integral part of Mayo’s game. Don’t get me wrong, Rory Byrne had a really good league final, he kept Mayo in it but if you are looking for that bit more out of your keeper, Rob just has that and you have really seen him come to the fore in the last two years and if he is out of that game as well then you are down another couple of points.

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“These are all factors that would worry you as a Mayo supporter but again I don’t know what is going on, I don’t know who is training. That would be more worrying than the actual result against Kerry itself.” 

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