Pearses and Brigids to make it a South Roscommon final?

Ruby Oil Roscommon SFC semi-finals Padraig Pearses v St. Faithleachs (Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday at 2.30 pm) Form: Padraig Pearses drew with Kilbride, lost to Elphin by a point and then beat Kilbride in a play-off. In last weekend’s quarter-final they scored 0-15 (0-10 from play) to beat Kilmore by 6 points. St. Faithleachs beat Castlerea and  lost to Kilmore. Faithleachs then beat Castlerea in a play-off game. In the quarter-finals last Sunday St. Faithleachs scored 2-12 (2-6 from play) to beat Elphin by 5 points. The Managers: Eamonn Mahon (Pearses) and Wally Burke (St. Faithleachs).  The Odds: Pearses 11/10; St. Faithleachs 5/6;  Draw 13/2. Top Scorers: Padraig Pearses: Sean Fahy (0-18). St. Faithleachs: Enda Kenny and Aidan Dooney (1-7) each.  Key Players: Padraig Pearses: John Whyte, Denis Whyte, Enda Barret, Jarlath Egan, Sean Fahy. St. Faithleachs: Derek Thompson, Ray Cox, Gary Cox, Stephen Ormsby, Aidan Dooney. The Call: A difficult game to analyse. Both sides have played very well so far without setting the world alight. Faithleachs have continued their good form in the championship this year after getting to the final last year and they were very impressive against the pre-match favourites Elphin last Sunday. The fact that they won that game without Gary Cox and Ray Cox is all the more noteworthy.      Faithleachs have some excellent young players like Stephen Ormsby, Aidan Dooney and Darragh Hussey, all of whom have been showing the way to the more experienced lads like Derek Thompson, the Kennys and the Coxs. They were not that far away from St. Brigids last year and they will want another appearance in the final at least.   Faithleachs have been well ahead in a couple of their games (against Castlerea and Elphin) before easing up on the accelerator so they will want to watch out for that against  resilient Pearses on Sunday.   Pearses are going along nicely and they are scoring well. Sean Fahy and Ja Egan have been on fire this summer and Egan looks like the player he was when he set the minor and colleges football ranks alight some years ago. Enda Barrett is blossoming into one of the best club players of the summer and when you add in the strength and experience of John and Denis Whyte and Michael Duignan Pearses look to have a very strong team this year.   I went against St. Faithleachs last weekend (against Elphin) and I was wrong and the Ballyleague men will be delighted to hear that I am leaning slightly towards Pearses, whom I think have more scoring power. If Egan and Fahy keep up their level of performance I think they will shade it by a point or two. Prediction: Padraig Pearses.   Roscommon Gaels v St. Brigids (Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday at 4 pm) Form: Roscommon Gaels drew with Western Gaels and beat Strokestown. They scored only 0-9 (0-8 from play) to beat St. Aidans by a point last Sunday in the quarter-final.   St. Brigids beat Clann na Gael and St. Aidans to qualify for the quarter-finals. They scored 3-8 (2-6 from play) when beating Strokestown by two points last Sunday evening. The Managers: Roscommon Gaels: John Foley. St. Brigids: Anthony Cunningham. The Odds: St. Brigids 4/9; Roscommon Gaels 2/1. Draw 8/1. Top Scorers: Roscommon Gaels: J. McHale and R. Gaynor (0-8) each. St. Brigids: Karol Mannion (2-3), Senan Kilbride (1-6). Key Players: St. Brigids: Karol Mannion, David O’Connor, Frankie Dolan, Peter Domican, Mark O’Carroll, Senan Kilbride. Roscommon Gaels: Brian McNeela, Mike Ryan, David O’Gara, Robbie Gaynor. The Call: St. Brigids were coasting along nicely in this year’s championship until last Sunday evening when they were really lucky to emerge with a win against Strokestown after a mighty battle. It was the wake-up call that Brigids probably needed to kick-start their championship season. They looked decidedly shaky at the back where John Rogers and company ran riot and that will be a worry to Anthony Cunningham and his selectors as they prepare for this game. However on the plus side Karol Mannion and Mark O’Carroll looked very strong at midfield and Frankie Dolan, Senan Kilbride and David O’Connor pose a major scoring threat inside.   The Gaels were very poor last Sunday and were lucky to beat St. Aidans. They can thank Brian McNeela and his defensive colleagues for performances in Johnstown which kept them in the championship. The Gaels attack looked toothless and they will have to improve out of all recognition if they are to trouble the champions in this semi-final. Mike Ryan should be back from injury which will be a big boost to the town team. They will need him badly on Sunday.   Despite the fact  that I am a Gaels man myself I honestly think that they will put it up to Brigids and give them a good game but I cannot see where the Gaels are going to win it. Brigids have simply too much power around the field and I expect them to emerge victorious. Prediction: St. Brigids. Ruby Oil Senior Football championship Relegation PlayOff Kilbride v Western Gaels( Saturday at 6pm in Elphin) This game will be fought with the same (or even more) intensity as any of the other club games this weekend. The simple facts of the matter here are that the losing team will drop down to Intermediate championship football  for next year. The slide of Kilbride down the ranks has been  very surprising. At the start of this year I was marking them down as possible championship contenders but they seem to be a side very short of confidence after bad losses to Pearses and Clann na Gael in recent weeks.. They have loads of  top class players. Men like the O Neills Conor Devanney the Lohans  Anthony Mc Dermott and Thomas  O Grady have all inter-county experience which is all the more puzzling why they are in this position, one step away from the relegation trapdoor. Western Gaels have had a frustrating summer. They should have beaten Roscommon Gaels in the first round of the championship but things have gone downhill since then. Against Castlerea last Saturday they played well for fifteen minutes ande scored 1-4 in that period and they will have to play well for a longer spell this weekend if they want to win.  Cathal Cregg Seanie Mc Dermott John Nolan Donal Casserly and Eamonn Ryan are all top class players and  if they all perform up to their capability then we are in for one hell of a struggle in this game. Kilbride have the better players man for man but I have a feeling that Western Gaels will battle  until the very last second for the cause and they might just survive by the skin of their teeth. Don’t rule out a draw but I give an extreemly hesitant vote to the men from Frenchpark. Prediction: Western Gaels. Bookies Odds: Kilbride 11/10 Western Gaels 4/5. Draw 6/1. Roscommon Herald   Intermediate Football Championhip Quarter finals St Domnics v St Ronans( Elphin- Saturday at 3pm)- note change of venue If this game were held three weeks ago I would be giving Domnics a confident thumbs up to win fairly esily. However they  were very poor against Fuerty and were lucky to win. They have not re-captured the form which saw them get to last year’s final which is a big worry for them. They have loads  of good players like Mark Miley Michael Finneran Conor Fallon Liam  Murray and plenty more who have loads of experience but they just hav’nt put it together this summer so far for some reason. St Ronans hav’nt exectly set the world on fire this summer either. They were beaten by St Croans but scraped by Ballinameen in a low scoring encounter. Gay Sheerin will have them firing on all cylinders for sure though.  Mark Healy Andy Mc Padden and Damiehn Kielty  and others will have to raise their game massively if they are to be in contention here.  I get the feeling that St Domnics are a team short on confidence at the moment  but they should be good enough to deal with the challenge of St Ronans this weekend. Prediction: St Domnics Bookies Odds: St Domnics 4/5 St Ronans 11/10 Draw 13/2. Castlerea St Kevins v Eire Og (Ballinlough Saturday at 6pm) Castlerea have been the surprise packets of this years Intermediate championship and they have coasted into the quarter final on the back of two excellent wins over  St Michaels and Boyle. They have loads of  good young players who tasted Junior success with this team  a couple of years ago. On their best form they are a match for anyone in this championship and Eire Og will be well warned. Eire Og have been reasonably consistant so far and they beat Fuerty well before losing out narrowly to St Domnics. They have plenty of good players too-men  like Ross Nolan Barry Nolan Paul Freeman and others who are top class at club level.  I have a suspicion that this might not be as easy as Eire Og might expect  but I still think that they have the players to qualify for the semi final. Prediction: Eire Og. Bookies Odds: Castlerea St Kevins 1/1 Eire Og 1/1 Draw 7/1. Roscommon Herald Intermediate Football Championship Relegation Play Offs Ballinameen v Shannon Gaels(Saturday in Ballyfarnon at 6pm) It has been a poor year for Ballinameen who have suffered with players out through injury and players who have gone away to work in the UK and further afield.  They were beaten by St ronans and St Croans to find themsleves in this predicament. Shannon Gaels were very dissappointed as how they did in the championsip proper- losing to Tulsk and Michael Glaveys. It may be a bit of a struggle but I expect The Gaels to survive. Prediction: Shannon Gaels Bookies Odds: Shannon Gaels 11/10 Ballinameen 5/6. Draw 6/1. Boyle v Fuerty(Saturday in Tulsk at 2pm) Boyle’s slide down the ranings has been another surprise this championship summer. They have lost so many players  since winning the Intermediate championship two years ago it has weakened them. Fuerty won last years junior championship and they almost  caused a shock running St Domnics to one point in the last round. The Bookies odds strongly favour Boyle but if they are not ready to battle hard they could be caught by a Fuerty team that will give it everything. I have a suspicion that Boyle will just be good enough. Prediction: Boyle Bookies Odds: Boyle 2/7 Fuerty 3/1. Draw 10/1. (all odds courtesy of First Choice Bookies Castlerea)