Glaveys and Croans tipped?in Intermediate semi-finals

Ruby Oil Roscommon SFC Relegation play-off replay: Western Gaels v Kilbride (at Tulsk on Saturday at 5.30 pm) The Managers: John Donnellan (Western Gaels); Stephen Banahan (Kilbride).  Form: Both sides began the championship well – but went downhill after that. Western Gaels drew with Roscommon Gaels before losing to Strokestown. In the relegation battle they lost to Castlerea by four points before drawing with Kilbride.    Kilbride also began with a draw when they ended ‘honours even’ with Padraig Pearses. However they were beaten by Elphin and by Pearses in a play-off game. They then lost by five points to Clann na Gael but played well in the drawn game against Western Gaels. So both sides are very well matched in terms of form. Top scorers: Eddie Lohan (Kilbride) 0-15, Cathal Cregg (Western Gaels) 0-11. The Odds: Western Gaels 1/1 v Kilbride 1/1;  Draw 13/2. Key Players: Kilbride – Seamus O’Neill, Colm O’Neill, Conor Devanney, Anthony McDermott, Eddie Lohan. Western Gaels – Seanie McDermott, Cathal Cregg, Kevin Higgins, Donal Casserly, John Nolan.  The Call: After playing poorly throughout most of the championship these two teams produced an excellent encounter in the drawn game. Kilbride played their best football of the year in that game and were probably unlucky not to have won.    The stakes here could not be higher as the relegation trap door to the Intermediate football championship awaits the losers. Kilbride look to have the better team on paper but Western Gaels are renowned battlers and they have great leaders in Seanie McDermott and veteran Donal Casserly.    Kilbride will be relying on the excellent  Conor Devanney to engineer most of their scores and unless he can get help from Seamie O’Neill Kilbride could still be in trouble. There is nothing to separate these teams and I have a feeling that there might be extra-time needed to produce a winner.    I went for Western Gaels last time and I will stay with them to edge the outcome by a point or two. Prediction: Western Gaels. Roscommon Herald Intermediate Football Championship semi-finals Michael Glaveys v Eire Og (at Castlerea on Sunday at 3.15 pm) The Managers – Joe Garvey (Michael Glaveys); Seamus Egan (Eire Og).  Form: Michael Glaveys have been the form team of this intermediate football  championship. They beat Shannon Gaels and Tulsk in the group stages with the minimum of fuss but were given plenty to do by St. Michaels in the quarter-final before emerging victorious.    Eire Og have made steady progress despite a narrow defeat to St. Dominics in the group stages. They played well against a good Castlerea side in the quarter-final to win by five points in what was a high-scoring game.    Ross Nolan has been sensational and is arguably the most potent forward playing club football in Roscommon this summer. However Glaveys have been very good so far and would be favoured slightly on the form shown en route to this semi-final. Top Scorers – Eire Og (Ross Nolan) 5-15,  Michael Glaveys (Alan Daly) 2-6.  The Odds: Michael Glaveys 4/7 v Eire Og 13/8; Draw 7/1. Key Players – Michael Glaveys: Stuart, Alan and Ian Daly, Eugene Coggins, Kevin Cummins. Eire Og: Ross Nolan, Barry Nolan, Ray Doorey, Paul Freeman. The Call: This has been a great year so far for Glaveys but all known form goes out the window when two teams meet in a local derby. Bragging rights for the next twelve months at least are up for grabs in this intriguing game.      Ross Nolan has been on fire for the Loughglynn men this summer and if Glaveys do not mark him tightly they could be in trouble. However throughout the field I think that Glaveys are stronger and with the Dalys and Kevin Cummins leading the way I take them to win this semi-final narrowly. Prediction: Michael Glaveys.   St. Dominics v St. Croans (at Castlerea on Sunday at 4.30 pm).   The Managers: John McGowan (St. Dominics); Padraig Conama (St. Croans). Form: St. Dominics have been shaky in their role as the favourites to win this championship, but they are improving. They struggled against Eire Og and Fuerty in the group stages but were excellent against St. Ronans in the quarter-final.    St. Croans have been very steady this summer so far. They emerged easily from their group against St. Ronans and Ballinameen before beating Tulsk in a local derby in the quarter-finals. Not much to choose between the two on form here. Top Scorers: Conor Fallon (St. Dominics) 0-15, Eamonn Towey (St. Croans) 1-10.  The Odds: St. Dominics 5/4 v St. Croans 8/11;  Draw 13/2. Key Players – St. Dominics: Michael Finneran, Aidan Weir, Liam Murray, Conor Fallon.  St. Croans: Eamonn Towey, Brian Mullin, Martin Towey, Declan Lannon.  The Call: On paper this looks a very close semi-final and is a repeat of last year’s semi-final meeting which was won by Dominics. Croans look to be in the better form and Brian Mullin is having a great season for them, as is Eamonn Towey. Dominics were the pre-season favourites but they have started slowly. However they did play well in the quarter-final. They have a very strong midfield of Michael Finneran and Liam Murray and they will have to get on top on Sunday if the Knockcroghery side are to win.     Before the summer started I thought  Dominics would win the championship. Now I’m not so sure. I think that Croans might just nick it and qualify for the final. Prediction: St. Croans. Roscommon Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final: Roscommon Gaels v Padraig Pearses (at Athleague on Sunday at 3.30 pm) The Managers: Gerry Browne (Roscommon Gaels), John Donoghue (Padraig Pearses).  Form: Roscommon Gaels have qualified for the semi-final by virtue of four wins over Four Roads, St. Dominics, Tremane and Padraig Pearses. They lost to Oran and Athleague. Pearses garnered three wins and a draw to get into a play-off. They beat St. Dominics, Tremane and Athleague and drew with Oran. They lost to Four Roads and Roscommon Gaels before drawing with Oran (again) before beating them in the play-offs.    The Gaels’ form might be better but Pearses have had more recent championship games under their belts -which might stand to them on Sunday. Top Scorers – Padraig Pearses: Shane Sweeney (1-40), Roscommon Gaels:  Gary Waldron (6-13).  The Odds: Padraig Pearses 4/6 v Roscommon Gaels 11/8; Draw 7/1. Key Players – Roscommon Gaels: Eoin Browne, Gary Waldron, Kenny Doolin, Liam Casey, Cian O’Brien.  Padraig Pearses: Shane Sweeney, David Loughnane, Dara Mulvey, Robbie Donoghue, Teddy Galvin. The Call: This is a most interesting semi-final. The Gaels have already beaten Pearses in the championship this summer but that will count for nothing on Sunday. Pearses were rather lucky to survive against Oran in the drawn play-off game but they made no mistake in the replay, rattling in no less than four goals.    Pearses have excellent attackers like Dara Mulvey, Shane Sweeney and Teddy Galvin, players who are as good as anyone else in the county on their day.    The loss of David Casey (injured) and John Maloney (suspended) is a massive blow for Roscommon Gaels. They are a little too dependent on Gary Waldron for their scoring threat from play and they will have to play to the limit of their ability to win it. I am a Gaels man and I hope that I am wrong but I think Pearses will edge it by a couple of points. Prediction: Padraig Pearses. Roscommon SH Championship play-off: Oran v Four Roads (at Athleague on Sunday at 2 pm) This is the last chance saloon for both these teams in terms of reaching the county semi-final. Oran were well beaten by Pearses last Sunday and they will have to pick up the pieces quickly.    Four Roads beat Athleague easily in their last group game but Athleague were through at that stage. Oran are renowned championshoip battlers and they have a good record against Four Roads. However I know that Andy Lawlor’s men want a rattle at Athleague in the semi-final and I will be surprised if they don’t win this game. Prediction: Four Roads.   The Odds: Four Roads 4/9 v Oran 2/1;  Draw 15/2.