Roscommon Gaels meet Strokestown in game of weekend

Ruby Oil Roscommon SFC Roscommon Gaels v Strokestown (Hyde Park on Saturday at 7 pm): It’s a must-win situation for the Gaels, who grabbed a draw with Western Gaels last Friday night with a controversial equalising point. The Gaels did well to get a draw without their regular full-back (Brian McNeela) and centre half-back (John Nolan). They will need all their players back for this game because Strokestown will provide a very stiff test. Dessie Barry has taken over Strokestown this year and although they have not set the world alight in the league they will arrive in Hyde Park with all guns blazing. If Derek Hagan and Rory O’Connor get on top at midfield then the Gaels will be in trouble. The man the Gaels will have to stop is John Rogers who has been having a great year for ‘The Town’ in the half-forward line. This will be a cracking match and if the Gaels are beaten they are almost certainly out of contention. I think their need is greater and they might just snatch it. Bookies odds:  Roscommon Gaels 5/6, Strokestown 11/10. Draw 7/1.  Prediction: Roscommon Gaels. St. Aidans v St. Brigids (Ballyforan on Sunday at 6.30 pm): Brigids were impressive in their first outing against Clan na Gael and they put up a big score. There have been a few fiery clashes between these two in recent years and there has been little between them. It’s always hard to predict what’s going to happen in a local derby but Brigids have so much strength in depth that it’s hard to see them being beaten. It will leave the second place in this group a straight shoot-out between Clan na Gael and St. Aidans. Bookies odds: St. Aidans 11/4, St. Brigids 3/10. Draw 8/1.  Prediction: St. Brigids.   Roscommon Herald IFC  St. Ronans v St. Croans (Saturday in Ballyfarnon at 6 pm): This is a tough assignment for Ronans, despite the fact that they are at home. Croans were impressive as they put a disappointing Ballinameen to the sword in the first round. Ronans under Gay Sheeran will put up a good show but Croans should secure their place in the quarter-finals. Bookies odds: St. Ronans 6/4, St. Croans 8/13. Draw 7/1. Prediction: St. Croans.   Fuerty v St. Dominics (Saturday at Fuerty at 7 pm): This will be a very interesting game. Dominics are the favourites to win the Intermediate Championship and they began with a good win over Eire Og in the first round. They will be hot favourites to beat Fuerty, last year’s junior champions, but I have a feeling that Fuerty will give Dominics plenty of it at Mulhern Park. I still think Dominics will win – but it may be close. Bookies odds: Fuerty 2/1, St. Dominics 4/9. Draw 7/1. Prediction: St. Dominics.