Pendulum has swung in Fuerty’s favour




Mulryan Construction Roscommon IFC Final Replay

Fuerty v Oran on Saturday in Strokestown at 3 pm


It didn’t take a genius to work out that there would be very little between the two neighbours in the final a couple of weeks ago, and so it proved and the sides are back to do it all over again this Saturday.

  Replays seldom follow the pattern of the drawn game. In the preview for that encounter I went for Oran because of the incisive attacking play they had shown against Kilbride and Tulsk. However, due to the injury to Jack Earley, and the fact that Paul Kenny is very doubtful for Saturday’s game, the pendulum has swung back towards the Fuerty men in my view.

  Oran were probably the unlucky team in the drawn game. They had a stonewall penalty denied to them in the first half and Gearoid Keenan was clean through in the second half only for the play to be called back. But all credit to Fuerty, they stuck to their guns and when their talisman Niall Kilroy went out of the game in the second half Gearoid Ennis took the baton and got the vital scores they needed.

  My worry from a Fuerty point of view is that they are still very reliant on Niall Kilroy. The Roscommon player was in scintillating form in the opening 25 minutes in the drawn game and looked like he could win the game on his own before Oran tightened up on him after the break. Gearoid Ennis did shoulder some of the attacking responsibility but Fuerty will need more from their attack on Saturday. Aengus Lyons, Peter Leahy and Eamon Bannon will all have to make their presence felt in attack. They are good players and capable of shouldering the burden.

  The midfield battle will again be crucial. Eoin White and Niall Keenan will face James Regan and the very impressive Gearoid Keenan and they will need at least an even break in that area. The Fuerty defence did well for the most part in the drawn game and Tom Bannon, Philip Neilan and Peter Kellehan have plenty of experience.

  Matthew Whyte is a huge asset for Oran between the posts and Tom Featherston will once again have the unenviable task of marking Niall Kilroy. Mike Dwyer was inspirational in the drawn game and Jack Casey and Kevin Concannon will be expected to put the shackles on the Fuerty attackers.

  Oran have some really impressive attackers, but without Jack Earley and if Paul Kenny were to be ruled out they may be blunted somewhat. The likes of Darragh Walsh and Ciaran Lawless, Kieran Whyte and Eamon Kenny are super players to watch but without Earley and Kenny it might be a bridge too far.

  Fuerty are battle hardened at this stage. They have been though the final mill more than once and they will know that they probably got out of jail in the drawn game after having been in the driving seat for much of the first half.

  I am expecting another tight game but the resilience of this Fuerty team should pull them through in the finish. If Fuerty can get an even break at midfield, Kilroy and Ennis can win it for them.


Prediction: Fuerty