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Dooner's Weekend Predictions - November 8th

 

 

Best of luck to both Castlerea Celtic and Ballinasloe Town, who are in New Balance FAI Junior Cup action this weekend.

  Meanwhile, there are plenty of fixtures down for decision across the three divisions following last weekend’s break due to the FAI Cup Final between winners Shamrock Rovers and League of Ireland champions Dundalk at the Aviva Stadium.

Friday, November 8th

RDFL Premier Division

Skyvalley Rovers v Shiven Rovers. 8.15 pm

Identical records so far but home advantage could prove crucial.

Prediction: Skyvalley Rovers

Norio’s Takeaway Division One

Castlerea Celtic B v Rahara Rovers. 8.15 pm

Leaning towards the hosts here.

Prediction: Castlerea Celtic B

Hanley Quarries Division Two

Ballinasloe Town B v Moore United B. 8.15 pm

Home win.

Prediction: Ballinasloe Town B

Saturday, November 9th

RDFL Premier Division

Moore United v Ballymoe FC. 8 pm

The visitors earned their first win of the season last weekend. They’ll be hoping to follow it up with another result this weekend.

Prediction: Draw

Hanley Quarries Division Two

Glen Celtic v Boyle Celtic B. 8 pm

Home win.

Prediction: Glen Celtic

 

Sunday, November 10th

New Balance FAI Junior Cup Round Four (2 pm)

Castlerea Celtic v Merville United

The hosts should hopefully progress. Prediction: Castlerea Celtic

MCR FC v Ballinasloe Town

Away win.

Prediction: Ballinasloe Town

RDFL Premier Division

Moylough ’79 v Boyle Celtic

A game of the must-win variety for the visitors.

Prediction: Boyle Celtic

Norio’s Takeaway Division One

Ballaghaderreen FC v Dunmore Town. 11 am

If results go their way the hosts could be as high as fourth with games in hand this weekend.

Prediction: Ballaghaderreen FC

Roscommon United v Cloonfad United. 2 pm

A mixed start to the season for the hosts while Cloonfad have lost just once so far.

Prediction: Cloonfad United

Hanley Quarries Division Two (2 pm)

Cloonfad United B v Manor United B

On recent form, this should be closely contested.

Prediction: Draw

St. John’s Athletic B v Ballaghaderreen FC B

Home win.

Prediction: St. John’s Athletic FC B

 

Top two go head-to-head in Creggs

 

 

 

Unbeaten league leaders Connemara and Creggs go head-to-head in the Connacht J1 League in Creggs this Saturday evening at 6 pm.

  This promises to be a Titanic tussle for Creggs against a high-flying Connemara side, who recorded a resounding 48-0 away win over Buccaneers last Sunday. After Creggs’ impressive bonus point win in Tuam, just one league point separates the sides at the top of the table.

  A big crowd is expected for what is possibly the most attractive fixture in Connacht rugby so far this season.

 

The Sporting Brief - November 8th

 

Handball

 

Rossies impress

Recently crowned 60x30 U-14 All-Ireland champion, Rory Carthy, lost out in the U-15 final of the 40x20 Liam Burke Commemorative tournament in Newport, Co. Mayo last weekend. Rory lost 9-15, 3-15 to Cormac Finn of Sligo.

  Rory’s brother Eoghan was defeated in the U-13 semi-final by Moycullen’s Christopher Hanley while Shona Kennedy lost the Girls’ U-13 final to Ava Sweeney of Galway.

 

Darts

League update

Last Friday’s results in the Hannon’s Hotel Roscommon Darts League were: Sideline Bar 5 The Hollywood Bar 4; An Bothar Rua 7 Dalton’s 2; McDermott’s 6 Cosy Bar 3; The Holly Tree 4 Flanagan’s 5.

  This week’s fixtures: The Holly Tree v An Bothar Rua; Flanagan’s v Sideline Bar; Cosy Bar v Molly’s; Dalton’s v The Hollywood. McDermott’s have a bye.

 

Golf

Last four!

We tee off in Boyle where Padraic O’Connell, Gerry Carty, Michael McHale and Sean Heslin will contest the semi-finals of the King Harmon Cup.

  Meanwhile, Charlie O’Donnell, Ross Andrew, Tommy King and Seamus Gallagher won last weekend’s Fourball Shambles for the Drumderrig Cup with 96 points.

  Boyle Golf Club pays tribute to the late Paddy Daly and extends its sincere sympathies to the Daly family. Paddy served as captain in 1972 and as President in 1987 and was a longtime supporter of the club. RIP.

  Castlerea Golf Club members and sponsors enjoyed a night of presentations on October 11th. Following that, Patricia Hession presented the Hession Cup to winner Nicola Devine on October 15th.

  There will be a special Mass for deceased members of the club this Friday (8th). All are welcome.

  Athlone Golf Club’s final presentation of the season will take place at 8 pm this Friday at the clubhouse. All prizewinners are asked to attend.

  Recent winners in Athlone include: James Martin (Club Medal); David Cunniffe (Barber Bob’s Eclectic Competition); Thomas O’Connor (RBK Golfer of the Year); Catherine Fitzgerald (Ladies’ SVDP competition); Kevin Ryan (Halloween Open); Carol McGertrick (Ladies’ Halloween Open); Gerry Brennan (Wednesday Open); Eugene Rafferty (Johnny Bracken Trophy); Michael Rock (AWGS); John Costello (Captain Bryan O’Looney’s Turf Competition).

  Phil Emmett was crowned Ladies’ Player of the Year in Carrick recently. Phil started the year by winning the Marie Talbot Perpetual Cup and featured in 12 of 14 competitions this year. Runner-up was Ann Keenan while Marie Leydon was third.

  Phil also claimed the Silver Medal ahead of Siobhan Talbot and Mary King, and also the Silver Spoon ahead of Siobhan Talbot and Attracta O’Connor while Marie Leydon won the Bronze Medal ahead of Elizabeth Muldowney.

  Glenamaddy Golf Society had its sixth outing of the year to Roscommon Golf Club recently.

  There was a big turnout and winner on the day was Captain Gerry Haslam with 42 points. Padraig Molloy and Christy Dolan were second and third respectively.

  The Player of the Year was Des Morgan, closely followed by John Molloy. Captain Gerry presented Des with the Fr. Glynn Memorial Cup.

  In Roscommon, new officers, President Tresina Smyth, Captain Tommie Grealy Jnr. and Lady Captain Sandra Kelly are wished luck for the coming year.

  The recent men’s competition was won by Padraig Kelly while Sunday’s competition was won by Mal Lyons. Margaret Egan won the ladies’ competition and Mary Mulhern took senior honours.

  Congratulations to the Ladies who defended their county title in Strokestown last weekend and also to Thomas Higgins and Simon Walker on placing third and fourth respectively in the Munster Boys Amateur Open in Ballybunion.

 

Gymnastics

National Series

Best of luck to members of Athlone Gymnastics Club who compete at the National Series Teams event in the National Indoor Arena this weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

Roscommon Gaels to celebrate 60 years

 

 

 

Roscommon Gaels GAA Club is preparing for a major night of celebration on Friday, November 15th as the club marks 60 years in existence.

  In May 1959, the two town clubs of Eoghan Ruadhs and St. Coman’s amalgamated to form club now known as Roscommon Gaels. To honour the 60th Anniversary the club will bring 2019 to a close with a dinner dance and club awards night on Friday, November 15th in the Abbey Hotel at 7.30 pm.

  The Hall of Fame Award for 2019 will be presented to Noel Rowe. Noel won five county senior hurling titles with Roscommon Gaels (1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970), two Connacht Junior hurling titles, and in 1965, an All-Ireland Junior hurling medal with the Gaels.

  After twenty-one years in Roscommon Town Noel left to work in Sligo and has returned to his native Co. Westmeath in recent times. He continues to support the club and regularly attends matches.

  Alongside the Hall of Fame award the annual club awards for 2019 will also be given out for young and adult players of the year for camogie, ladies football, football and hurling as well as the Club Person of the Year. County Junior camogie championship medals will also be presented after the club claimed its first title in 27 years this year.

  Organisers encourage current and past members to attend the event and to reunite with former teammates for an evening of celebration and memories.

  Tickets for the evening are €40 (€30 OAP/Students) and are available from the following club members: Teresa Hession (086-1916808); Orla Fleming (086-8178259); Tom Fitzmaurice (083-8368056); Finbar O’Reilly (087-9266923); Peter Mullen (086-8577430); Ollie Moran (087-9042089); Cahal Mahon (086-1010153); Yvonne Lambe (086-6063534); Chris Grogan (087-7908569); Yvonne Donohue (086-8294778).

Penalty heartbreak for Oran as Tulsk triumph

 

 

 

Mulryan Construction IFC Final Replay

Tulsk 0-14

Oran 0-14

(Tulsk won 4-2 won on penalties after extra-time)

 

It’s sure to be a quiz question in years to come. This is the first adult championship in Roscommon to be settled by a penalty shootout. Tulsk proved victorious and have finally got their hands on the Jimmy Murray Cup as Intermediate Football champions for 2019 and will play senior football in 2020. That’s the bottom line, and no one would begrudge them the title after the heartbreak that have gone through in recent years.

 

  However one can only have the greatest of sympathy for Oran, who matched Tulsk all the way to the bitter end only to finish empty handed again, and in such controversial fashion too.

  In the opinion of this writer, this was a totally unsatisfactory way to settle an entire championship. It should have been decided on the field of play and the teams could have played again on Bank Holiday Monday, under the lights in Kiltoom during the week or even next weekend. If the Connacht IFC championship had to go back a week, so what? It’s terribly unfair and smacks of the authorities wanting to get club championships ’out of the way’ as quickly as possible. It’s not a swipe at Roscommon: it happened in Galway recently too and presumably it’s happening all over the country. The people who organise fixtures will have to sort it.

  The match itself was played on a bitterly cold evening and despite the closeness of the scoring it was not as good a game as we had seen the week previously. Both sides had periods of dominance and just when it looked like one team would go ahead and win it the other team came back into it. There was also frustration in both camps at a number of controversial refereeing calls throughout, which added to the tension.

  The first half was very poor with just two points from play. The first came in the opening minute from Kieran Whyte and the other was a fisted effort from Padraig Scott in the 10th minute and at half-time it was Tulsk ahead by 0-4 to 0-3. It was a forgettable half of football as both teams seemed paralysed by fear after the drama of the previous week. The stop-sart nature of the game with so many frees was also a reason for the poor quality.

  The second half was much better. Tulsk went two ahead (0-6 to 0-4) by the 36th minute with points from Thomas O’Rourke (free) and Tadgh O’Rourke, while Oran’s point came from the boot of Darragh Walsh (a free). Then it was Oran’s time to turn up the heat and four points on the bounce saw them two ahead by the 43rd minute. Thomas Fetherstone was on as a second-half sub and playing well in midfield once again. Points from Charlie Carthy and Darragh Walsh (frees) were added to by splendid efforts from Kieran Whyte and Fetherston.

  But in the nature of this battle Tulsk came once again. Sub David Carlton pointed a free and then Callum Fahey kicked a super score from 40 metres. And when the same player was on target again, Gerry Lohan’s men were ahead by a point with ten minutes to play.

  The baton was handed to Oran then, and Darragh Walsh swung over the point of the game to level it and then Ciaran Casey nudged them ahead in the 58th minute. But Tulsk were not to be denied. Thomas O’Rourke is a top class free-taker and he obliged a minute later from a placed ball 30 metres out. No one would have been surprised when both sides scored in injury-time to send the game into extra-time. Evan Flynn kicked a mighty point for Tulsk but Darragh Walsh showed the coolness of a veteran to tie the scores again with a pointed free four minutes into injury-time. It was Oran 0-11 Tulsk 0-11 and extra-time beckoned.

  The players were tiring now and the pace slowed. In the first period Darragh Walsh and Charlie Carthy pointed frees and Thomas O’Rourke was on target with a long-range effort which left Oran ahead at the break.

  When the play resumed O’Rourke continued with his free-taking exhibition with two more splendid efforts. And just when it looked that Oran would fall short by a point, Thomas Fetherston burst forward two minutes into injury-time and for a split second a goal was on, but he elected to fist the ball over the bar and it was stalemate once again.

 In fairness, the penalties situation was clearly stated in the match programme, and now it was a reality. The spot-kicks were taken at the graveyard end of the ground and Mikey Monaghan (Oran) and Regan Fahey would be the men who had the unenviable task of facing the penalty kicks.

  Charlie Carthy was first to go and the Oran youngster’s shot was saved by Fahey. Then Tulsk were ahead when Callum Fahey was on target. Oran sub goalkeeper Paul Brandon was next and he scored and Tulsk nudged ahead again when county player Tadgh O’Rourke was on the mark.

  Young Colin Walsh kept Oran in the hunt with a fine score but the experienced Richie Feeney made sure for Tulsk with their third successful penalty. Darragh Walsh then stepped up and Fahey brought off another fine save. If Tulsk scored next the title was theirs and sub David Carlton drove his shot low and hard past Mikey Monaghan and it was all over. It was dramatic surely, but unsatisfactory to say the least.

  For Tulsk Evan Flynn, Ryan Galvin, David Coyne, and Callum Fahey were very prominent but the Man of the Match was young Thomas O’Rourke who was front and centre of all Tulsk’s good play.

  For a devastated Oran, who were losing their third final in four years after a replay, Colin Walsh, Mike Dwyer, Kieran Whyte, Darragh Walsh and sub Thomas Fetherston were outstanding on the day. Oran must be wondering this week just what they have to do to win an intermediate title. This loss may be the most painful of all. This way of deciding a county final must never happen again.

 

Kilbride well beaten in Connacht decider

 

 

 

 

Connacht LGFA Senior Club Championship Final

 

Kilkerrin-Clonberne 3-21

Kilbride 1-6

 

Kilbride closed the gap on Connacht champions Kilkerrin-Clonberne, but were still well beaten by the Galway side, who made it back-to-back provincial titles in Enfield last Sunday.

 

  Ollie Lennon’s side had suffered a 40-point defeat when these sides contested last year’s provincial semi-final and they decided to adopt a defensive approach last Sunday. However, Kilkerrin-Clonberne hit the opening five points of the game with Annette Clarke, Claire Dunleavy; Olivia Divilly, Nicola Ward and Chloe Miskell grabbing scores.

  The Roscommon county champions responded with a Siobhan Tully point after Eilish Fannon saw her goal effort saved by Kilkerrin-Clonberne goalkeeper Lisa Murphy. However, the Galway side responded immediately as Louise Ward burst through the Kilbride defence before finishing to the net.

  The sides then exchanged scores before Ailish Morrissey pointed for Kilkerrin-Clonberne and then Nicola Ward latched onto an Olivia Divilly pass to score their second goal. The seven-in-a-row Galway champions struck the final three points of the half through Olivia Divilly, Lynsey Noone and Ailish Morrissey as they led by 2-11 to 0-2 at half-time.

  Kilbride brought on Aisling Hanley at the interval and she struck the opening score of the half but Kilkerrin-Clonberne responded with Louise Ward, Ailish Morrissey and Annette Clarke all finding the target. Ailish Fannon hit back for Kilbride as they continued to battle despite the deficit.

  Olivia Divilly punished any indiscipline in the Kilbride defence and she moved Kilkerrin-Clonberne 2-15 to 0-4 ahead after 39 minutes. The All-Star nominee then set up Chloe Miskell for another score.

  Kilbride earned themselves a penalty in the 44th minute but Aisling Hanley’s effort was saved by Lisa Murphy. However, as Tara Taylor sought to gather the rebound, she was dragged down in the square and Hanley got a second chance. The 15-year-old made no mistake second time around as she finished to the roof of the net.  

  Kilkerrin-Clonberne hit back with six of the next seven scores including a Nicola Ward goal to seal a 21-point victory and an All-Ireland semi-final against Leinster champions Foxrock-Cabinteely from Dublin.

Kilkerrin-Clonberne: L Murphy; S Gormally; A Costello; S Fahy; C Dunleavy (0-1); N Ward (2-1); H Noone; S Divilly (0-1); L Ward (1-1); L Noone (0-1); O Divilly (0-6, 6 frees); C Miskell (0-2); E Noone; A Clarke (0-2); A Morrissey (0-5).

Subs: K Mee for S Fahy (35 mins); C Boyle (0-1) for E Noone (35 mins); C Costello for S Gormally (40 mins); S Fahy for L Noone (40 mins); C Boyle for H Noone (50 mins).

Kilbride: A Gavigan; C Taylor; Y Creighton; M Lohan; A Feeley; R Mullaney; J Fannon; A Kelly; N Shanagher; E Fannon (0-1); C Gormley; B O’Beirne; S Clabby; T Taylor (0-1, 1 free); S Tully (0-1). Subs: A Hanley (1-3, 1-0 pen) for S Clabby (half-time); F Tully for M Lohan (half-time); L Connor for A Gavigan (half-time); M Tully for C Gormley (50 mins); A Tully for A Feeley (53 mins).

 

Tooreen too good for Roscommon champions

 

 

 

 

AIB Connacht Club Intermediate Hurling Championship Quarter-Final

Tooreen 0-29

Four Roads 0-19

 

 

Four Roads’ Connacht championship campaign was short-lived as they were shown a clean pair of heels by a hugely impressive Tooreen outfit at cold but sunny Athleague last Sunday. The visitors were clinical in attack all through and thoroughly deserved their ten-point win. They now go on to meet the London champions in Athleague next Sunday with the winners facing the Galway champions in the decider.

  With 48 points scored by both sides, this was a splendid encounter with some marvellous score-taking on view, particularly from the Mayo side. Led by dual star Fergal Boland, they pulled away in the second quarter and in the ten minutes before half-time they outscored Four Roads by 0-8 to 0-2 and that proved decisive in the end.

  It was score for score early on. Fergal Boland, Sean Kenny and Shane Boland were on fire for Tooreen and always looked dangerous. But in fairness to Four Roads Padraig Kelly and Brendan Mulry looked sharp, while Cathal Dolan his customary deadly accurate self from play and frees.

  It was 0-4 apiece after eleven minutes with only two points having come from placed balls. With nineteen minutes gone it was 0-8 apiece with Dolan for Four Roads and Fergal Boland grabbing some inspirational scores from a variety of angles.

  But Tooreen got to grips with Padraig Kelly and Brendan Mulry and they prospered even further after that. Wing back Conor Henry scored two magnificent long-range points as they tightened their grip on proceedings and by half-time they led by 0-16 to 0-10.

 Despite a free-taking exhibition from Cahtal Dolan after the break, Tooreen were always able to keep Four Roads at arm’s length and the good sized crowd were treated to some breath-taking skills from the teams as the scores rained over the crossbar at both ends of the ground.

  With Fergal Boland scoring seven magnificent points from play Tooreen were ten points to the good when referee Shane Hynes blew the final whistle. Conor Henry, Sean Kenny, Sean Regan, Shane Boland and Kenny Feeney were also very impressive for the winners. Make no mistake; it will take a very good team to beat this Tooreen outfit.

  It was not Four Roads’ day and they will admit that they were beaten by a better team on the balance of play. Jack Donnelly, Padraig Kelly, Brendan Mulry and the outstanding Cathal Dolan were their best performers.

Tooreen: Stephen Lenehan; Gary Nolan, Michael Morley, John Cassidy; Conor Henry (0-2), Stephen Coyne, David Kenny; Cathal Freeman, Daniel Huane; Sean Kenny (0-7, 5 frees, 2 ’65s), Fergal Boland (0-7), Sean Regan (0-3, 1 s/l); Shane Boland (0-5, 3 frees), Kenny Feeney (0-2), Eoin Delaney (0-3).

Subs: Ciaran Finn for Feeney (47), Conor English for Kenny (55), Liam Lavin for Regan (57), David Harrison for Freeman (59).

Four Roads: David Dowd; Cormac Coyle, Jamie Lawlor, Martin McLoughlin; Johnny Moran, Micheal Kelly, Jack Donnelly; Shane Curley (0-1, s/l), Conor Coyle; Cathal Dolan (0-10, 5 frees ’65), Noel Fallon (0-1), Padraig Kelly (0-4 1 free); Andy Lawlor, Brendan Mulry (0-2), James Cunniffe (0-1).

 

Subs: Paddy Gannon for A Lawlor (29), Diarmuid Treacy for C Coyle (h/t), Johnny Coyne for Fallon (38), Donal Kelly for Moran (43), Niall Hynes for Cunniffe (61).

 

Referee: Shane Hynes (Galway)

Seamus Duke on sport - November 1st

 

 

 

Finalists shouldn’t be put on the spot

Now that the dust has settled after last weekend’s epic Intermediate Football Championship Final replay I am even more convinced than ever that no championship final should be settled by penalty kicks. Despite what a couple of officials said to me at the weekend, there is nothing in the official guide that says that penalty kicks should decide anything. In fact, this is a new departure this year. Last year if you recall, the so-called ‘rule’ was 45-metre kicks. What happened to that? It seems to have been forgotten.

  The GAA at national level stand accused of once again making a laugh out of club fixtures. ‘Get them finished as fast as you can’ seems to be the policy. People who run the GAA get hyper-sensitive when there is any kind of criticism at all, whether it’s constructive or not, but the situation with this development is that they got it wrong and it should never be allowed to happen again.

  Of course, this is in no way any slight on Tulsk who won the intermediate championship in Roscommon in 2019 fair and square and they only operated within the regulations as they were laid down.

  Great GAA men like Gerry Lohan, Seamie O’Neill and Padraig Scott all said to me after the game that it was no way to settle the final and they are genuine guys who desperately wanted to win that title for their club.

  I also met a number of long-standing Tulsk GAA people out on the field after the game who were ecstatic at having won the title but all agreed it was not a satisfactory way to do it. 

  I’m delighted for Tusk. They deserve to win after the heartbreak in recent seasons. But on the other side are Oran who lost out. What a horrible and unjust way to lose a championship after the effort they put in.

  Since the game was played on Saturday evening I have not met one person who thought that it was a good idea to settle the championship on penalty kicks. The game could have been replayed on Wednesday night under the lights in Kiltoom or played next weekend. If the Connacht IFC fixtures had to go back a week, then so what? It’s about time that the people in clubs were front and centre of decision-making and not the egos of administrators in Croke Park who can say at the end of the year that they played their fixtures within the time limit set.

  I would be shocked if there are not a number of motions at convention this year from clubs who will want to ensure that this never happens again. If not, I’ll propose such a motion at my own club meeting. What we are talking about here are the local club championships being played by amateur players. It’s not the Champions League or the World Cup Final. It should be decided on the field of play, simple as that.

  Having said all of the above, I heartily congratulate Tulsk and wish them the very best in the Connacht Club Championship and in the Roscommon Senior Football Championship in 2020. This is not a swipe at anyone in Roscommon because fixtures are a very hard thing to manage but if something is unjust then it needs to be highlighted.

 

England will be favourites this Saturday

 

This Saturday’s Rugby World Cup Final should be a great game although England have to be the warm favourites. The way they dismissed the All Blacks last Saturday was awesome and one of the best performances that we have ever seen in the World Cup. In fact, they could have won by far more.

  South Africa were lucky enough to beat Wales but they will be going into the final as underdogs and that will suit them. They are a very physical team and they will be able to match England in that department but to me England have far too many class players and I have them to win by seven to ten points.

  Meanwhile, the fall-out (or lack of it) since Ireland’s quarter-final hammering by New Zealand is mystifying. None of the Irish players have done interviews since they returned and Joe Schmidt has gone to ground too.

  I understand they may be very disappointed but contrast that to the way New Zealand faced up to their big defeat by England at the weekend. All of their major players have been out expressing their devastation at their loss as has their coach Steve Hansen who put his hands up and admitted his part in the defeat.

Maybe there is a lesson in there for our players and the set-up as we go forward.

 

Focussed Pearses should go through

 

Pádraig Pearses face a tough task when they play Tourlestrane in the AIB Connacht Club SFC quarter-final on Sunday in Sligo. The Eamon O’Hara trained side are now seasoned campaigners and recently they won their fourth Sligo title on the trot and they have made no secret of their ambitions with regard to a Connacht title.

  Pearses will have to be at their best to win. Their warm-up was not ideal, losing the O’Rourke Cup semi-final to Clann na nGael last weekend. However, if they can bring their ‘A’ game this weekend then they can edge through.

Tiger does it again in Japan!

Tiger Woods has done it again. I thought that the supreme effort he had put in to winning a 15th major earlier in the year had finally taken its toll on him physically because he looked shattered later in the year. But he has had another knee surgery and he swept to another big win in Japan at the weekend.

  He fended off a world class field to win and now he is in a great position as we come towards the end of this year and the preparations for another year are close. If he can stay healthy he is well capable of adding to his majors total, which is incredible. He has won three times in the past 13 months. Who would have thought it was possible?

 

Remembering a gent of the press box

 

Sean Guinan is not a name that many Roscommon people will recognise but he is a man that those of us in the media have worked with over the years covering GAA games in Roscommon. He worked for the Athlone papers (principally the Westmeath Independent) and so he was usually to be seen whenever St. Brigid’s, Clann na nGael or Pádraig Pearses were playing and he also covered Roscommon league and championship games as well.

  Sean was ‘old school’. No laptops or social media for Sean. But he was a gentleman and I mean ‘gentle’. He always had a smile and a handshake for everyone he met and he loved going to matches and ‘having the chat’. He was also very knowledgeable about a range of sports not just GAA.

  Last week I was shocked when I heard the news of his untimely death. To his wife and family I extend my deepest sympathy on their loss. It was a pleasure to have known him. May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace.

 

New proposals just won’t work…

The more I think about the new proposals with regard to the sin-bin and the ‘advanced mark’ the more I think they will simply not work. They are innovations that may work in the inter-county games but when there are lower league club games with no neutral officials it will be very hard to police.

  I actually feel very sorry for referees. Now in addition to everything else they have to be able to guess how far a player kicks a ball (advanced mark) plus he will have to note the minute that he sends anyone to the sin-bin. Chances are that there will be substitutions, injuries and all sorts of distractions in-between. It is going to make an already hard job nigh on impossible. Referees are only human. There is only so much they can do.

 

Pearses enter uncharted provincial waters

 

 

AIB Connacht Club SFC Quarter-Final

Tourlestrane (Sligo) v Pádraig Pearses on Sunday in Markievicz Park at 2 pm

 

 

 

It’s brand new territory for Roscommon senior football champions Pádraig Pearses on Sunday when they meet a seasoned Sligo outfit Tourlestrane in what looks a tricky championship clash on away ground.

  There is no doubt that if Pearses bring their ‘A’ game they can certainly win this match but any complacency or slackness will be punished by a Sligo team which have just won their fourth title in a row and are eyeing up a good run in the Connacht campaign this year.

  The Sligo side are managed by Gerry McGowan and Eamon O’Hara and they have made no secret of the fact that they are determined to get to the Connacht final at least and they know if they can overcome Pearses on Sunday they will be facing the London champions in the semi-final.

  Looking at reports on their games within Sligo, Johnny Kelly is their ace in the pack and a lot of the play goes through him. They have good performers in Adrian McIntyre, Cathal Henry and Alan Gaughan, and make no mistake they will be gunning for Pat Flanagan’s men on Sunday.

  But Pearses showed in their last three games in Roscommon that they have plenty of championship mettle. Of course they will be looking to Niall Daly, Conor Daly, Davy Murray Niall Carty and Ronan Daly for leadership but Paul Carey, Hubert Darcy, Emmet Kelly and Conor Payne have all stepped up so far this year and will have to do so again to overcome the Tourlestrane challenge.

  I am not ruling out a shock here but if Pearses can display the same attitude that they did in the latter stages of the Roscommon championship they can win by a point or two.

Prediction: Pádraig Pearses

 

Clann favourites to land league title

 

 

 

 

 

Seamus Carty Auctioneers AFL Division One (O’Rourke Cup) Final

St. Faithleach’s v Clann na nGael in Ballyleague on Sunday at 2.30 pm

 

 

Having been so impressive earlier in the season the bottom has fallen out of St. Faithleach’s’ year following their relegation to the Intermediate Football Championship and the injuries to Brian and Ciaráin Murtagh in recent months.

  They have a chance to rescue their season when they have a home game in this league final against Clann na nGael on Sunday. Without the two older Murtagh brothers it will be a tall order and a lot of their chances will rest on the broad shoulders of Diarmuid Murtagh. Faithleach’s will have to step, however, if they want to win this prestigious title.

  By contrast, it looked like Clann’s season was in shreds after they were hammered by Boyle in the championship during the summer. But since then they have gone on to beat the eventual champions Pearses in the championship, survived a relegation battle without much fuss, and they actually beat the new county champions in the semi-final last weekend.

  Ciaran Lennon and Donie Shine are their scorers-in-chief and if they can come to Ballyleague with a full side it could be another disappointing day for the Faithleach’s men.

Prediction: Clann na nGael

 

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