Oran and Gaels in O’Rourke Cup decider

League finals weekend!

Hands off: Cathal Cregg shields possession from Feargal Lennon during last weekend’s O’Rourke Cup Division One clash between Western Gaels and Clann na nGael at Nash Park, Frenchpark. Clann emerged victorious on a scoreline of 1-14 to 1-11. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

No less than five football league finals are down for decision this weekend as the decks are cleared ahead of the start of the Roscommon club football championships.

There will be a lot of local interest in the O’Rourke Cup Division One final at Dr Hyde Park when neighbours Oran and Roscommon Gaels clash on Saturday night (7.30 pm).

It has been a super year for Sean Staunton’s Oran who have been very consistent so far and this is the first time the club have ever contested a league final at senior level.

They have plenty of very talented players, led by the likes of Tom Featherston and Mike Dwyer, but Colin, Darragh and Shane Walsh, Charlie Carthy, Ciaran Lawless, James Fitzpatrick and Shane Regan are all super performers and it would be a red letter day for the club if they were able to win this title ahead of the championship.

The Gaels have been performing well in recent weeks (although they lost to St Brigid’s last weekend) and they will be looking to the likes of James Featherstone, John McManus, Scottie Oates, Cian Connolly, Peter Gillooly, Cathal Dineen, the Gleesons and the Purcells to lead them on Saturday. It is very interesting to note that the town team have not won this competition since 1994, which is a long time for a club of their stature.

This is an ideal match to prepare for the championship in a couple of weeks’ time. A win here would be a timely boost for either side. I am predicting a close-fought match. If the Gaels can get enough ball to Peter Gillooly and Cian Connolly they can shade it, but Oran have every chance to make history.

In the O’Gara Cup Division Two final, there is an attractive pairing at O’Rourke Park in Castlerea, when county senior champions Strokestown pay a visit on Saturday at 4 pm. Castlerea will fancy their chances as Strokestown are short many of the players that propelled them to Fahey Cup glory last year. There won’t be much in this one either but home advantage might sway it for Castlerea.

In the Tansey Cup Division Three final, St Michael’s meet Strokestown on Sunday at Ardcarne Park at 1 pm and this will present Michael’s with a great chance to start their year with silverware.

The Division Four final is on Friday night in Boyle at 7.30 pm between Boyle and Fuerty and Strokestown are out again in the Division Five final at Ballyleague on Friday night at 7.30 pm when they play Kilbride.