Ryan hoping for clean bill of health for Wednesday night

Cadburys Connacht U-21 Football championship Final Roscommon v Mayo (On Wednesday 9th April in Kiltoom at 6.30 pm) Seamus Duke  Roscommon’s U-21s, who came back from the dead to beat Sligo in a thrilling semi-final last weekend, face Mayo in the Connacht final at Kiltoom next Wednesday evening and a tight battle and an exciting game is in prospect.   Roscommon team manager Michael Ryan and his selectors will not be able to finalise their team until Sunday or Monday when the national league game against Dublin has been played. However it is likely that the team will be similar to that which played in the second half in the semi-final against Sligo.   That would mean St. Brigids’ Peter Domican lining out at full-back and Kevin Higgins retaining his place in the forward-line. I would presume that Paul Garvey will come back into the attack instead of the suspended Conor Devanney and that Niall Carty wiill retain his place in the half-back line after a  brilliant display when he was introduced in the semi-final against Sligo.   Like Roscommon, Mayo played very poorly in the first half of their semi-final against Leitrim which they won by 1-15 to 1-5. They were lethargic in the first half but they upped the ante on the resumption and they ran out very easy winners.   Mayo have several very talented players, all of whom have tasted success at minor and U-21 level in the past few years. Shane Nallen is their very impressive goalkeeper and others to watch out for are Thady Gavin, Brian Gallagher, James Burke and senior attacker Aidan Campbell – however Mayo’s most impressive line is at midfield where Tom Parsons and Seamus O’Shea will be hoping to give them a pull in that area.   Roscommon will be hoping that they can play for 60 minutes the way they played in the first half last week against Sligo. Michael Kilillea and James McDermott took a long time to get going last week at midfield but if they are on form they can match the highly-rated Mayo midfield.   If they do that, Roscommon are in with a great chance. Enda Kenny is an excellent target-man and in Donie Shine, Roscommon have the priceless commodity of a top class free-taker. David Keenan, Cathal Cregg, David O’Gara and Stephen Ormsby are all top class players and if Roscommon play well then they could easily win this Connacht title.   With all the controversy surrounding Roscommon GAA in recent weeks it would be just the boost that is needed if Roscommon were to win this game and they certainly have the players to do so. The tough game against Sligo should bring them on a ton. I am expecting a cracking game and if Roscommon can improve from their win against Sligo they can take this title. Prediction: Roscommon to win. Note: In next week’s Roscommon People we will have full match reports, after match reaction, photographs, and reaction from Tony McManus on the big game from Wednesday night in Kiltoom.