Burke relishing break, then an onslaught on All-Ireland series

“That’s the league and Connacht Championship over for us but there is a huge amount of football still to be played”. Roscommon manager Davy Burke pictured with one of his backroom team, Gerry McGowan, during last Sunday’s Connacht SFC semi-final in Dr. Hyde Park. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

Roscommon senior football team manager Davy Burke says the “huge positives” he can take from aspects of last Sunday’s performance against Galway at Dr Hyde Park will energise preparations for this season’s new-look All-Ireland series, being run on a ‘round robin’ format.

Speaking to the Roscommon People after Sunday’s 1-13 to 1-9 defeat to Galway in the Connacht semi-final, Burke lamented his side’s poor first-half display but expressed satisfaction with the subsequent fightback.

“We were very, very flat early on and maybe the emotion of two weeks ago (v Mayo in Castlebar) got to us a little bit, but we rallied really well in the second half and a couple of bounces of the ball went against us there.

“Cian McKeon did very well when he came on and when we got going in the second half we looked like a decent team. I was glad that we showed character and got back into the game”.

Looking ahead, Burke was pleased that a short break is on the cards ahead of the exciting upcoming challenge in the All-Ireland series.

“That’s the league and Connacht Championship over for us but there is a huge amount of football still to be played. We wanted to be in the Connacht final and we are disappointed now.

“We are going to take a few days off and we will have three weeks to prepare for the All-Ireland series. There are huge positives there again today for us and we will be back for certain” he concluded.

Galway manager Pádraic Joyce acknowledged afterwards that they were very happy to be leaving Hyde Park with a win after what had been a tough second half.

“We mixed the good with the bad out there today. We knew we would get a fierce challenge from Roscommon. I thought we controlled the game in the first half and they only managed to score three frees. The plan was to go out in the second half and stretch that four-point gap.

“But fair play to Roscommon, they scored 1-3 – but our lads settled back into it and Damien (Comer) got a great goal. I thought we had the chances to close it out but we allowed Roscommon to stay in the game. Look, any day you come down to Hyde Park and win a championship game is a good day.

“Roscommon are an excellent team and mark my words, they will have a big say in this championship yet, but we are delighted to come here and win.

“There are not too many of our players with Connacht medals in that dressing room. We have taken this championship very seriously and we will be looking to improve in the final. After today we will need to. But at least we are there” he concluded.