AIB Connacht Club IFC semi-final:
Easkey v Castlerea St Kevin’s on Saturday in Markievicz Park, Sligo at 2.30 pm
Castlerea St Kevin’s will park the celebrations following their recent dramatic county final win against Éire Óg when they face Easkey in a Connacht semi-final this Saturday. On their best form, Castlerea have every chance of progressing to the decider. However, the Sligo champions will also have ambitions to advance, and have the advantage of this game having been fixed on their home (Sligo) soil.
Easkey are very much a dual club. Not only did they win the Sligo Intermediate football championship in 2023, they also completed a senior hurling four-in-a-row! In fact Easkey battled all the way to the All-Ireland junior club hurling final earlier in the year where they were defeated by Cork side Ballygiblin.
Andrew Kilcullen is the star name. Also a top class hurler, he lines out at full-forward. Watch out too for Niall Kilcullen, Rossa Sloyan and Bernard Feeney in defence, while Jack Scott and captain Rory McHugh form a solid midfield partnership. Joe McHugh and Mikey Gordan provide good support for Kilcullen in attack.
Castlerea will be relying once again on the men who brought that intermediate title back to the town three weeks ago. David Farrell between the posts and Jack Keane, Sean Joyce and David Quinn will expect to be prominent in defence.
Jonathan Hester and Michael Conroy will start at midfield, but don’t be surprised to see Hester on the edge of the square where he was so effective in the county final.
The three McDermotts – Aaron, Darren and Adam – will be expected to do the bulk of the scoring for Dara Bruen’s men and you can be sure that Easkey will have a plan to try to curb Adam McDermott in particular, as he is an established match-winner for Castlerea.
On past form a Roscommon club would always have at least an even money chance against the Sligo champions of the day. I am hoping that the spirit and never-say-die attitude that we saw from Castlerea in the county final will be evident again on Saturday. If it is, then they should advance.
Prediction: Castlerea St Kevin’s.