Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC (Round Three)
Game of the Weekend
Western Gaels v St. Faithleach’s on Saturday in Strokestown at 5.30 pm
The options here are very simple: The winners will go on to the play-offs while the losers will enter a relegation battle. The extra week will have given both sides a chance to put extra preparation in, and this clash promises to be a tight and tense game. Western Gaels were involved in the relegation play-offs last year and they won’t want to go back there again. They are still dependent of many of the stalwarts who have given so much great service to the club over the years like Cathal and Finbar Cregg, Kevin Higgins, Ciaran Cafferky and Seanie McDermott.
Faithleach’s have been unlucky in their two games to date. Two bad defensive mistakes cost them against Clann na nGael while they were unlucky not to have got at least a draw against Boyle. The two Murtaghs are key but Faithleach’s have a good solid base and if they replicate the form they showed in the first two matches and against Boyle in particular they could win this by a couple of points.
Prediction: St. Faithleach’s.
The only issue to be settled here is who will finish second and third in the group and in the match in Creggs, Roscommon Gaels will meet Michael Glavey’s. The Gaels have a number of players returning from injury and from abroad and they will be much stronger now. On the other hand, Glavey’s have a number of injury worries and that could be crucial. The Gaels should win.
The other game on Friday night is a ‘dead rubber’ with Oran already in the quarter-finals and Elphin getting ready for a relegation battle.
The big game of the day between St. Faithleach’s and Western Gaels is previewed above, but the other game at Dr. Hyde Park should be a good match as the top two teams in the group, Boyle and Clann na nGael, meet. The winners will top the group and go into the quarter-finals as seeds. If the Lennons are back for Clann they will be much stronger but Boyle look very good going forward and they should edge this one.
The clash of Strokestown and Pádraig Pearses will be interesting as Pearses must draw or win to be absolutely certain of a place in the quarter-finals. They will surely want to put that horror show against St. Brigid’s behind them and anything other than a win for the champions would be a major surprise. Strokestown will give Pat Flanagan’s men plenty to think about but they should prevail.
Tulsk did very well to draw with Strokestown in round two and they have one more chance to avoid a relegation play-off with this clash against St. Brigid’s. The men from Kiltoom have been the best team in the championship so far and they look odds on to continue their unbeaten run.
Callington Ltd. IFC (Round Three) (All games on Sunday)
The highlight here will be the clash of neighbours Fuerty and Creggs in Dr. Hyde Park. Both are through to the quarter-finals but neither will want to lose this one. Creggs might just edge it but it should be a cracking game. St. Croan’s must win or draw against Kilmore to go through while Kilmore are staring at a relegation battle. St. Croan’s to win.
St. Dominic’s are through and they should continue their winning streak against St. Aidan’s while in the other game Shannon Gaels have one last chance to avoid the relegation play-offs but St. Brigid’s look to be too strong and they should win in Croghan.
‘Game of the Weekend’ in the Intermediate championships is at Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday at 2 pm as Kilbride and Clann na nGael clash in a ‘winner takes all’ encounter. Kilbride have been very poor so far but Gerry Lohan and Seamie O’Neill will be hoping there is one big performance in their team. They might just edge it.
Castlerea and Éire Óg will get a chance to see what their form is like in Ballinlough as both are through. Castlerea get the nod to maintain their unbeaten record.