The perfect solution to Mayo's midfield woes could be staring them straight in the face
Mayo's midfield has seen far better days.
Seamus O'Shea's exit from Semple Stadium on Saturday made for a tough watch for Mayo GAA fans. O’Shea fell awkwardly during Mayo's 1-19 to 1-11 round two qualifier win over Tipperary and that was that.
He had to be helped off the field shortly before half-time with the aid of an Oxygen mask. The stretcher was brought out, but the Mayo man didn't require it. However, it was clear then and there that the injury would rule him out for a long time.
Sure enough, Stephen Rochford confirmed to RTE Sport the very next day that O'Shea would be 'ruled out for the foreseeable future.' The injury, 'probably a shoulder dislocation.'
Just like that, Mayo's starting midfielders for the last two All-Ireland finals have found themselves on the long-term injury list. Tom Parsons dislocated his knee in the Connacht quarter-final defeat to Galway.
Colm Parkinson offered up Diarmuid O'Connor as a potential man to slot into the rapidly-thinning Mayo midfield. The former Young Player of the Year has his a bit of a slump recently, but Parkinson explained on the GAA Hour podcast that he might be better suited to midfield than the half-forward line given his current form.
"I think (Diarmuid O'Connor) needs a break from wing forward. In that kind of form, midfield might suit him where he's not having a fella following him around. He has potential to be better than he has been for the last year, really."
When O'Connor was introduced in midfield on Saturday, he received nothing but praise.
The fitness pulled mayo through that but for me Dohertys 3 points was the final nail in the coffin for Tipp. Theu didnt score after that goal from Durcan .Diarmuid O'Connor was excellent when introduced to midfield and will be there again. All in all a good day out for mayo
— Ah Ref! (@RefComeOn) June 23, 2018
Diarmuid O'Connor had his finest 35 minutes in a Mayo jersey. Stabilized midfield and tracked runners when others didn't.
— James Halligan (@jameshalligan) June 23, 2018
It appears as though Wooly was right.
You can listen to the segment on The GAA Hour Show right here. (From around the 58-minute mark)