Seamus Duke on Sport – 27th January

Rossie positives despite Mayo defeat

In the history of the FBD League there have not been too many games that have lingered too long in the memory of the few who go to see them but last Sunday’s contest between Roscommon and Mayo in Kiltoom was a rare exception. Played on a beautiful day, it was a cracking game and we saw two teams who did not want to lose and it made for a great bit of entertainment. It would certainly be right not to look too far into what happened but I would wager that both sides were very happy with what they saw on Sunday.

  From a Roscommon point of view there were a number of positives. To score 2-16 against very decent opposition was excellent and the likes of Enda and Donie Smith and Cian Connolly and Tom Corcoran to a lesser extent impressed up front although I am not sure that full-forward is the best position for young Corcoran. I would still like to see him tried in the middle of the field. He has a lot to offer. Tadhg O’Rourke did well in midfield last Sunday while David Murray, Niall McInerney and John McManus did well in defence. The jury is still out on Ultan Harney at centre half-back and it will be interesting to see who the selectors will pick in that position on Sunday week in Omagh. Remember too that there were a number of players missing last Sunday such as Seanie McDermott, Niall Daly, Sean Mullooly and Conor Devaney to name just a few.

  Certainly the football we saw from Roscommon in the third quarter was a joy to watch and some of the scores were excellent. However, the failure to close the game out when leading by eight points with just eight minutes left was a disappointment for sure. We gave the ball away a number of times especially in those last ten minutes or so and to concede three goals in those final few minutes was careless. But let’s not get carried away. This was an FBD league game in the middle of January. Despite the fact that it was a very enjoyable game it will not make any difference at all in the long run.

  One thing that annoyed a lot of Roscommon people last Sunday in Kiltoom was the excessive way that Andy Moran celebrated his winning goal. If he scored the winning goal in the All-Ireland final I doubt he would have celebrated as much, kissing the badge on his shirt and making gestures to the crowd. I realise that it was a sensational finish and the rivalry between the sides is intense but it was a bit much. These things have a habit of coming back to haunt you in the future.

  It all means that Roscommon will now face Galway in the FBD League final on Sunday next. As with the game against Mayo it is another chance for Kevin McStay and his selectors to fine tune preparations for the league opener on Sunday week. I wouldn’t be looking too much into the result once again but the performance is all important. The league and championship are where it’s at.

Connacht bow out bravely

Connacht made a brave exit from the Champions Cup last weekend in Toulouse and they will have to finish the season strongly to ensure that there is continuity going forward.

  Pat Lam, who has done such a brilliant job since he has come in, will be leaving and the powers that be must be very careful to get the right man in to replace him. The last thing that Connacht need is a slip in the standards that we saw under Lam. A return to the bad old days of Connacht being the poor relation of Irish rugby would be a disaster. In the game last weekend the bad start was the key and despite a stirring second half display they let Toulouse get too far ahead.

  Elsewhere, Ulster also bowed out but Leinster and Munster have both home games in the quarter-finals. Munster have a great chance of beating Toulouse while Leinster should also get to the semi-finals.

  The competition stops for the Six Nations now and Joe Schmidt and his troops will now take centre stage. I must say I am really looking forward to that competition this year. Ireland have a great chance of doing well. 

‘Rocket’ Ronnie the man to beat

Ronnie O’Sullivan was another record breaker last weekend becoming the first player ever to win seven Masters titles. We have seen some great snooker players over the years but O’Sullivan is the greatest of them all. He has a suspect temperament but when he is on his game there is no one like him. The game of snooker was one of the most popular on the TV up to 15 or 20 years ago and now it makes for an odd headline only. There are not many characters around in the game but O’Sullivan is one of them and it is a pleasure to watch him play. He will be the man to beat in the World Championships. That’s if he is ‘switched in’ of course and that’s not guaranteed!

Another good weekend for Chelsea

It’s still looking good for Chelsea in the Premier League. Spurs look their nearest opposition as the rest are faltering. Liverpool’s result against Swansea was a disaster and I would say it destroyed many an accumulator last weekend. You cannot lose to the bottom team in the league at home and hope to win the title. Manchester United dropped two points once again against Stoke. They are playing fairly well but they are not scoring enough goals.

  Wayne Rooney saved United with a spectacular goal against Stoke and he broke Bobby Charlton’s long standing United scoring record which has stood for almost 50 years. A lot of fans are divided about Rooney but his record stands for itself. When he retires he will be seen as a United legend and rightly so too in my humble opinion. But he is coming near the end of his career. 

Gaels’ appoint new chairperson

Congratulations to Teresa Hession on her appointment as Chairperson of the Roscommon Gaels GAA Club last weekend.  She will be hoping to oversee the return of the Fahey Cup to the town in 2017 among other things!

From the Internet

Just to show you that top level sport is not always terribly serious…

  Robbie Keane made an appearance on today’s Soccer AM at the weekend to talk about his illustrious 20 year career. John Fendley questioned Keano on the greatest prank he ever played on a teammate. Now, obviously having played for twelve clubs, you would imagine it would take Robbie a long time to think. He’s played alongside a couple of tricksters in his career.

  No, Keane responded almost instantly. He said that he’s played plenty on teammates over the years but the ‘harshest’ involved former Spurs vice-chairman Paul Kemsley – someone Keane is still friendly with. After a brief moment of uncertainty, he brought out a gem of a story involving Jamie Redknapp, Martin Jol and Kemsley. Kemsley apparently wasn’t the best with keeping his mobile phone in his pocket. Keane once found it unattended.

Robbie said:  “I don’t even want to say this.The vice-chairman of Tottenham was Paul Kemsley. Me, him and Jamie Redknapp – anytime someone went to the toilet, we used to nick their phones, if they didn’t lock them. I texted Martin Jol saying ‘You fathead Shrek lookalike’ on the vice-chairman’s phone. He didn’t speak to him for four weeks after that…He didn’t know it was me but he does now.” Good Craic! (Courtesy of