O’Neill ruled out

Roscommon will have to do without inspirational midfielder Seamus O’Neill when they take on Carlow in another crucial National Football League Division 2A game at Dr. Cullen Park on Sunday next. (Throw-in at 2.30pm).   O’Neill was outstanding and scored a crucial goal as Roscommon beat Clare in the last round of games two weeks ago at Dr. Hyde Park — however he pulled a hamstring in training last weekend and will be out for four to six weeks.   Despite this injury Roscommon will be expecting to win against a side that have been well beaten in all three of their games to date.   The Roscommon team will not be known until tomorrow (Friday) but is likely to show the minimum of changes from the team who played againt Clare in the last round, the injury to Seamus O’Neill notwithstanding.   Geoffrey Claffey will continue in the goalkeeping position with the full-back line expected to be the same as the last day which should give Castlerea’s Michael Killilea another chance to show what he can do at full-back. Sean Purcell and Seanie McDermott should be retained in the corners.   Stuart Daly and John Nolan of Roscommon Gaels did well against Clare and   should appear again in the half-back line.   However it is expected that David Casey might be moved to midfield to take Seamus O’Neill’s place with maybe John Nolan of Western Gaels coming in to the half-back line.   Michael Finneran will start at midfield while the forward line is expected to be along the same lines as that which started against Clare with Gary Cox and John Tiernan flanking Karol Mannion in the half-forward line and Derek Connellan, Ger Heneghan and Cathal Cregg operating in the full-forward line.   Roscommon team selector Eamonn McManus told the Roscommon People on Wednesday: ‘It’s another crucial match for us and we need to win it. Seamie O’Neill is a big loss to us but we feel we have the back-up talent to cope on Sunday.   ‘If we show the same attitude that we did in the second half against Clare then we should win but we certainly won’t be taking Clare for granted. It will be a tough game away from home. A narrow victory will do us grand’ he said.   Carlow football is going through a bit of a crisis at present with their most high profile player Tommy Walshe leaving the fold for a much-publicised transfer to Wicklow recently, something which created a lot of anger and bitterness within the county.   Team manager Brendan Shorthall appealed this week for the county’s supporters to have patience after a string of poor results.   Carlow were beaten by 11 points by Monaghan in Clones in the last round and are currently second from the bottom of the League table so on the face of it this should be a comfortable win for Roscommon. However Roscommon would be a big scalp for Carlow so John Maughan and his team will have to be wary of   a Carlow backlash on Sunday. That having been said it would be a major shock if the outcome were to be anything other than a Roscommon win which is badly needed with stringent tests ahead against Longford, Leitrim and Offaly ahead.