Rossies up and running in 2016

A very happy sporting new year to one and all. 2016 got going last weekend with matches for the Roscommon U-21’s and seniors. It is clear that the Hastings Cup is not top of the priority list for Mark Dowd and the U-21 selectors this year.

  A lot of his main players are either injured or playing with their colleges and the team that lined out against Westmeath will bear no resemblance to the team that will line out against Galway in the championship in March.

  However the Hastings Cup is a great competition to look at players on the fringe of the panel and it is a good way for players to make an impression and stake their claim on a starting spot for the championship later on. The second round game against Meath on Saturday should be another good workout for the U-21 team.

  The seniors got going in the first game under new management with a very easy win against a weak Sligo IT side on Sunday. Once again it was noticeable that the players tried to move the ball at pace as quickly as possible from defence into attack. Roscommon kicked some nice scores especially in the first half and the experiment of playing Cathal Cregg at centre half back was an interesting one. I would certainly like to see Cathal there again.

  It is a problem position for Roscommon. I know that you cannot look into any of these games in the FBD League with any degree of seriousness but it is a great competition for looking at players and different combinations and playing styles.

  I would be of the opinion that NUIG will pose a much greater threat this coming Sunday.

  They were level against Mayo in Castlebar with five minutes to go last Sunday so they have a good side and hopefully Ballyforan will be able to stage the game after all the rain we have had.

  It was amazing that almost all the inter-county games around the country went ahead last Sunday.

  It was also interesting to note the big scores that some counties put up last weekend in games that only last 60 minutes. Does it auger well for the future? It’s a bit early to say just yet.