Redemption day In Tullamore?

After a league campaign with more ups and downs than a roller-coaster in Salthill it’s down to this final crucial game in Tullamore as Roscommon senior footballers go in search of one last win to secure a place in the top two of Division 2A thus ensuring a place in Division two for next season.   This is truly the last chance saloon for John Maughan’s men and trying to predict what will happen on Sunday is almost a fruitless exercise given what has happened in this Division so far.   Roscommon were well beaten by the division’s best team Monaghan but they went on to win against Clare and London and they limped to victory over Carlow.   Most experienced followers expected Roscommon to struggle against Longford after that but they produced their best display by far  to win well and just when it seemed like the corner was turned Roscommon collapsed against Leitrim when in a winning position.   Put simply, if the Roscommon we saw against Longford turn up then a win will be achieved however if the Leitrim form is repeated then it will be Offaly who will take the two points.   Roscommon should be along expected lines with the experimentation at full-back to continue. Seamus O’Neill and Michael Finneran will be at midfield and a lot will depend on how they perform. Up front Roscommon need Karol Mannion, Ger Heneghan and Gary Cox to perform on Sunday in order to win the game. They are the experienced players and they need to lead on Sunday.   Offaly are not the force of old but they are notoriously hard to beat on home turf. In Niall McNamee they possess one of the best forwards in the country and if he gets enough ball Roscommon will be in trouble. Other Offaly players who will be expecting to do well on Sunday will be Karol Slattery, Pascal Keelehan, Neville Coughlan and Niall Grennan.   This is a real knock-out game and as Offaly need to win too it is sure to be very competitive. Some of the Offaly players will have been in action in the Leinster U-21 football championship final the day before against Laois and that could be a factor too. If Roscommon win it will almost certainly guarantee them a place in Division Two for next season as Leitrim would then have to beat Monaghan by a wide margin to replace Roscommon in second place on the table.   In the event of an Offaly win the permutations are endless and we will have to wait until Sunday to see how it pans out. Roscommon fans will be travelling in the hope that the team can reproduce some of their better form shown in this league. I am at a loss to say how it might go. Naturally I’ll be hoping for a win and a good performance but who knows what’s going to happen?    All will be revealed at O’Connor Park (throw-in at 3.30 pm.)