Reigning Connacht club champions, Pádraig Pearses, remain firm favourites to retain their Roscommon senior title this year, but a number of clubs including fellow south Roscommon powerhouses Clann na nGael and this year’s O’Rourke Cup winners, Boyle, have the Woodmount club in their sights…
Group A: Elphin, Michael Glavey’s, Roscommon Gaels, Oran
This group will be a hard-fought series of games and all four teams will have ambitions of getting through to the last eight.
The big local derby between Oran and Roscommon Gaels this Friday night will give the winner local bragging rights, and the reality is that one victory will most likely be good enough to see any club through.
Michael Glavey’s might struggle without Cathal Heneghan (injured) while the Gaels are without several key players. They will hope to have them back for the latter stages of this group.
Oran have a very talented young team and will be hoping to get further than last year’s quarter-finals. Elphin could struggle but they will revel in the role of underdogs in this group.
To qualify: Oran, Michael Glavey’s, Roscommon Gaels
Group B: Boyle, Western Gaels, Clann na nGael, St Faithleach’s
Boyle will come into the championship full of confidence after their O’Rourke Cup win not least because they have a very potent attack. If they have close to a full team they should account for Western Gaels in round one.
Clann na nGael have under-performed in the last couple of championships but they should be good enough to open with a win against St. Faithleach’s. There will be twists and turns in this group before it is decided but it would be a shock if Clann and Boyle do not make it through. The last place will be between Western Gaels and Faithleach’s.
To qualify: Boyle, Clann na nGael, St Faithleach’s
Group C: Pádraig Pearses, Tulsk, St Brigid’s, Strokestown
Most pundits are of the view that this championship is Pádraig Pearses’ to lose and the Connacht club champions are certainly the justified favourites. They should open with a win against Tulsk. St Brigid’s are the team who are most likely to lower Pearses’ colours while Strokestown would be happy to qualify for the quarter-finals.
To qualify: Pádraig Pearses, St Brigid’s, Strokestown