Allianz NFL Division Two (Round 6): Offaly v Roscommon at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Sunday at 2 pm
With Galway travelling to Derry, Roscommon footballers need to beat Offaly in Tullamore to set up a final day showdown with the Tribesmen on Sunday week.
For much of this campaign, the general view was that Offaly were one of the whipping boys in the division and that Roscommon could chalk down two points when they met The Faithful.
However, events over the past two weeks have changed that narrative. Offaly were somewhat unfortunate to only draw with Meath before coming back from Newry with a well-deserved win last Saturday. Survival is now in their own hands and they know a win against Roscommon would go a long way towards staying in this division.
Roscommon, meanwhile, were looking good when they went six points up against Derry last weekend but they lost their way in the second half and were happy to walk away from the ‘mayhem’ with a draw so this is a very tricky assignment for Anthony Cunningham’s men.
Add into the mix the fact that John Maughan is now at the helm in Offaly and he would be more than happy to preside over a home win against a side that he managed in the past.
Roscommon fans will not need to be reminded that it was Offaly who denied the county of glory in the All-Ireland U-20 final last year and now Maughan has introduced a number of that successful team into the senior ranks.
However, the hosts will be relying on their more experienced players to produce a performance against Roscommon. Paddy Dunican, Niall Darby, Ruari McNamee, Bernard Allen and the evergreen Niall McNamee will be crucial to Offaly’s chances on Sunday.
Roscommon’s second-half fade-out against Derry was a worry, but it has to be said that Rory Gallagher’s team were the best side that Roscommon have played in this campaign by some margin.
Sunday’s game for Roscommon is all about getting the two points. They will have to be careful and keep focussed on the job in hand and make sure that they get the job done.
Looking at both teams, Roscommon have the better performers overall and although there could be a scare or two along the way, they are capable of prevailing by three or four points.