Roscommon Senior HurlingChampionship preview

Roscommon Senior Hurling Championship preview This Sunday the 2007 Roscommon SHC starts with three games in Athleague. The  championship is being seen as very open this year with defending champions Athleague and championship specialists Four Roads heading the betting. However a good case can be made for all the other teams with Roscommon Gaels and Tremane being the outsiders of the seven contenders. Here is a look at all the  challengers. Four Roads  Titles: 25.  Last title: 2005. Key players: Michael Mulry, Noel Cunniffe, Michael Kelly, Tomas Lennon, Liam Gately, Ray Mulry.  Team manager: Andy Lawlor. Chances: Possible champions. Tremane  Titles: 11.  Last title: 1995. Key players: Adrian Coyne, Sean Healy, Marty Healy, Mike Keaveney (if fit). Team manager: Tommy Kelly. Chances: Will be a bit of a struggle for Tremane who lack quality players at the present time. St. Dominics Titles: 3.  Last title: 1999. Key players: Liam Murray, Conor Fallon,  Damien Fallon, Peter Keogh, Mike Lyons. Team manager: Aidan Hanrahan. Chances: Dominics could be the surprise packet this year. They have a strong panel and if they can avoid injuries they could be a match for anyone. Athleague Titles: 17.  Last title: 2006. Key players: Niall Connolly, Tommy Reddington, Alan Cunniffe, Mervyn Connaughton, Joe Fallon. Team manager: David Kelly. Chances: The defending champions could have a job to hold on to their title as a lot of last year’s team are either retired or injured. They should be in the shake-up despite all their problems. Roscommon Gaels Titles: 21.  Last title: 1970. Key players: Waldron brothers, Liam Casey, James Durkin (if available), Cian O’Brien, John Maloney, Eoin Browne. Team manager: Gerry Browne. Chances: They have failed to build on their semi-final place two years ago. They could be dangerous though if they can get a full team out. Casey and Durkin need to be playing for them to have a chance. Oran Titles 5. Last title: 2004. Key players: The  Kelly brothers, Keith McDermott, Francie Quine, Gerry Fallon, Damien Kenny. Team manager: Michael Fallon. Chances: On their best form Oran are very dangerous opponents and they should make the semi-finals. Padraig Pearses Titles: 2.  Last title: 1987. Key players: Darragh Mulvey, David Loughnane, Alan Loughnane, Shane Sweeney. Team manager: John Donohue. Chances: This Pearses team have been knocking on the door a good bit in recent years and maybe their time has come. They have the team to go close, if not win it. Sunday’s games (all at Athleague) Four Roads v St. Dominics (1.30 pm) A tight game to call here. Both sides would love to start with a win. Dominics have a few injuries so Four Roads look the better bet. There will not be much in it though. Prediction: Four Roads.  Tremane v Padraig Pearses (3 pm) This is a big year for Pearses whom I expect to give this championship a real go. Tommy  Kelly will have Tremane well prepared but John Donohoe’s men should be too good. Prediction: Pearses.  Athleague v Roscommon Gaels (4.30 pm) Athleague will have a much-changed line-up from last year and The Gaels will welcome back Liam Casey and maybe James Durkin. There could be a shock here. Prediction: Roscommon Gaels.