BY CHRIS MCNULTY
HOT on the heels of his record-breaking 160th Donegal appearance against Tyrone last weekend, Colm McFadden will make his first start of 2015 on Sunday in Castlebar.
Donegal face Mayo in their final game of the regulation League season, with survival in the top flight secured and with a semi-final place still a possibility.
Captain Michael Murphy will miss the game owing to a suspension after he was black carded in the Tyrone game, meaning McFadden will be handed the start.
McFadden broke Brian Roper’s appearances record when he came on as a second-half substitute against Tyrone and the St Michael’s man will now go straight into the void left by Murphy’s absence.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Colm in from the start against Mayo,” Donegal manager Rory Gallagher said.
“He’s been building along very impressively in training. His fitness is coming close to where he’d want it to be.”
There are two changes to the Donegal team with Paddy McGrath returning from injury to reclaim his spot, with Neil Gallagher unavailable because of a hamstring strain.
Under-21 stars Ryan McHugh and Hugh McFadden are also included in the Donegal XV.
DONEGAL (NFL Division 1 v Mayo): Michae Boyle; Eamonn Doherty, Neil McGee, Eamon McGee; Paddy McGrath, Karl Lacey, Frank McGlynn; Martin McElhinney, Christy Toye; Martin O’Reilly, Odhrán MacNiallais, Ryan McHugh; Patrick McBrearty, Hugh McFadden, Colm McFadden. Subs: Mark Anthony McGinley, Anthony Thompson, Ciaran McGinley, Mark McHugh, Joe Gibbons, Daniel McLaughlin, Gary McFadden, Stephen Griffin, David Walsh, Eoin McHugh, Darach O’Connor.