All-Ireland final: Darragh Ó Sé’s guide to the Mayo team

The men in green and red will look to finally cast off the shackles and win Sam Maguire

1. Rob Hennelly

Club: Breaffy. Age: 31. Debut: 2011 v London. Occupation: Marketing manager

A potential match-winner for Mayo who could be crucial at both ends of the pitch. Excellent shot-stopper and his long-range frees have been very good in this championship.

2. Pádraig O’Hora

Club: Ballina Stephenites. Age: 28. Debut: 2020 v Tipperary. Occupation: Social care assistant

A hardy divil. Happy to play it any way you want it, which must give the rest of his team huge confidence. Whoever he man-marks has a long day ahead.

3. Lee Keegan

Club: Westport.Age: 31. Debut: 2011 v Cork. Occupation: Engineer

A proven competitor over the years. Didn’t have a great season in 2020 but has roared back to form this time around. Looks to have made peace with playing in the full-back line.

4. Michael Plunkett

Club: Ballintubber. Age: 25. Debut: 2019 v New York. Occupation: Intercompany analyst

Minds the house at the back for Mayo, allowing the likes of Keegan, Mullin and Durcan to get forward when the mood takes them. Sticky and dogged, all you’d want in a corner back.


5. Paddy Durcan

Club: Castlebar Mitchels. Age: 26. Debut: 2015 v Sligo. Occupation: Bank official

Big-game player. Driving force in the Mayo team, whether it’s shutting down an opposition forward or barrelling forward to take scores. Physical too, for someone who isn’t massive.

6. Stephen Coen

Club: Hollymount/Carramore. Age: 26. Debut: 2015 v Dublin. Occupation: PhD Student

Has developed into a typical Mayo half-back. Does his job in defence, has buckets of pace going in either direction. Maybe doesn’t get as many scores as he should.

7. Enda Hession Club: Garrymore. Age: 20. Debut: 2021 v Sligo. Occupation: Student

Brought huge energy and pace to Mayo when he came on in the first half against Dublin. Everything was positive and he wasn’t a bit fazed by the occasion or the opposition. Tyrone beware.

8. Matthew Ruane

Club: Breaffy. Age: 25. Debut: 2019 v New York. Occupation: Supply-chain analyst

The outstanding midfielder in the 2021 championship. Playing with a level of abandon this year, a match-winner against Galway and excellent against Dublin. Should have the legs on the Tyrone midfield.

9. Conor Loftus

Club: Crossmolina Deal Rovers. Age: 26. Debut: 2016 v London. Occupation: Development Analyst

The dynamic between him and Ruane is working well and they complement each other with great understanding and chemistry. Does a lot of donkey work but a lovely kicker too when the chance comes his way.

10. Diarmuid O’Connor

Club: Ballintubber. Age: 26. Debut: 2014 v New York. Occupation: Teacher

Never stops running. The energy he puts into every performance is a huge part of what makes Mayo good. He is relentless and as we saw in the semi-final, he doesn’t know what a lost cause is.

11. Aidan O’Shea

Club: Breaffy. Age: 31. Debut: 2009 v New York. Occupation: Planning coordinator

A massive leader for Mayo and someone who I expect a big game from here. Such a selfless player, he can do a massive job winning possession and moving it on. Could always do with more help from referees.

12. Bryan Walsh

Club: Ballintubber. Age: 25. Debut: 2020 v Leitrim. Occupation: Buyer

Had a good impact when he came on against Dublin, showing he is worth his place on the biggest stage. Well able for the physical stuff, he’ll be important around the middle third trenches.

13. Kevin McLoughlin

Club: Knockmore. Age: 32. Debut: 2009 v New York. Occupation: Teacher

Took a while to get into the championship after injury but has rarely been found wanting down the years. Links play very well. Mayo need him to take charge earlier to avoid another bad first half.

14. Tommy Conroy

Club: The Neale. Age: 22. Debut: 2020 v Leitrim. Occupation: Student

So enjoyable to watch. Goes for the jugular and doesn’t get put off if he’s out of the game for a while. Needs to play more than in spurts but Tyrone will struggle to keep him quiet for the whole game.

15. Ryan O’Donoghue

Club: Belmullet. Age: 23. Debut: 2020 v Leitrim. Occupation: Student

Big day for the Mayo free-taker. Punchy and hard-working in general play, I think he is slightly under-rated. But today is the day they need his frees to be solid.


Rory Byrne, Colm Boyle, Brendan Harrison, Oisín Mullin, Jack Coyne, Conor O’Shea, James Durcan, Jordan Flynn, Darren Coen, Eoghan McLaughlin, James Carr

On the face of it, the Mayo bench probably looks a bit less potent than the Tyrone one. But then you remember that against Galway and against Dublin, it was the subs that turned the game both times. Darren Coen and Jordan Flynn both kicked points at crucial times in the semi-final while Oisín Mullin will be chomping at the bit. If one of the defenders goes down, Brendan Harrison is some option to have ready to go. And good luck to the lad who gets in Colm Boyle’s way if he gets on the pitch. All in all, there’s plenty to call on here.