SOS – sights on SAM!

Have a look at page 52 in issue 31/8/07 Intro  This Sunday the Bank of Ireland All-Ireland SFC Final will take place, with Munster rivals Kerry and Cork meeting at Croke Park. The People asked some well-known Roscommon GAA personalities who they thought might win Sunday’s game, and – unlike with our recent hurling final preview – everyone is not in agreement! Jimmy Mannion (St. Brigids, former Roscommon senior football team manager) ‘Kerry would prefer to be playing any other team in the country in this final than Cork and Cork would rather play Kerry than anyone else, so it promises to be a mighty game and I think it will be very close.    ‘Cork will give every last drop of blood, sweat and tears to win this All-Ireland final, make no mistake. They would give up all their Munster title wins against their old rivals to win this one game.   ‘Cork have a very strong defence and if this is a dour, low-scoring final it will suit them. However if it is a high-scoring game of open football Kerry will win it. Cork are the underdogs but that will mean little on Sunday. It reminds me of 1980 when Kerry were such strong favourites but we nearly beat them and should have done so.    ‘I have a feeling that Cork will have their homework done on this Kerry team and that they could be too strong for them on the day. I’ll go against the perceived  wisdom and tip Cork to cause a surprise.’ Prediction: Cork.   Donie Shine (Clann na Gael senior football team manager, former Roscommon senior football manager) ‘I think that Kerry will win it for a few reasons. All their big players and especially Dara O’Se are playing well. That will be the difference on Sunday next.    ‘I have seen Cork in a number of their games this summer and they have not been great. Against Louth and Sligo and even against Meath they were less than convincing.    ‘Kerry have been very consistent and they were superb in that game against Dublin when they were really tested. Ciaran Whelan was played out of the game by Dara O’Se and that takes some doing.  ‘ Anthony Lynch will be a massive loss if  he is not playing and that could tip the game in Kerry’s favour. I just think that Kerry have the better players overall and I think that they will win another title.’ Prediction: Kerry.   Mickey Menton (Roscommon Gaels) ‘I think that Kerry will be too strong for Cork on Sunday. Anthony Lynch will be a huge loss for them and I believe Kerry will take advantage.    ‘Kerry got their wake-up call against Monaghan and they have improved since then and were excellent against a strong Dublin team in the semi-final. Dublin had them on the rack but they responded very well and they look to be too strong. I think Kerry will win.   ‘I’m also looking forward to the minor match. I hope that Galway do the business and I think that they will beat Derry in the curtain-raiser to make it two Connacht wins in a row.’ Prediction: Kerry.   Gay Sheeran (St. Ronans and former Roscommon senior football team manager) ‘I’m predicting a very, very tight game and since the semi-final I just about favour Kerry. Anthony Lynch will be a huge loss  to Cork if he cannot play and I also think that James Masters coming back might disrupt the team. The Cork forwards that were there did very well without him in the semi-final.   ‘You must remember too that Masters is coming back from a broken jaw and an All-Ireland final is not the place to be minding yourself so that might not work in Cork’s favour. However, I think that Kerry might be under pressure at midfield. Dara O’Se was injured the last day and he doesn’t look right at the moment and Cork are very strong at midfield.    ‘Having said that Kerry have the classier players but I expect that Cork will give it everything and they will be very, very close at the end of the day. I am going to have a few bob on a draw but I know you want me to make a prediction one way or the other so with the gun to my head I have to give a hesitant vote to Kerry.’ Prediction: Kerry.   Michael ‘Junior’ Smith (Boyle) ‘I think that Kerry will win it. They have the experience gained over the last few years in finals and that will stand to them again on Sunday. Cork have won through on merit but their passage has not been as hard as Kerry’s. The games against Sligo, Louth and Meath were not as convincing as the Kerry games were.    ‘The Kerrymen were asked all the tough questions againt Dublin and Monaghan and they came up with the answers. They have improved in every game and they have the quality players to win it.    ‘Cork will give it everything but class will tell in the end and I think that Kerry will win it after a good tussle.’ Prediction: Kerry.   Martin McDermott (Strokestown, Chairman of Roscommon Ladies Football Board) ‘I have a strong fancy for Cork to win. They are so used to playing Kerry, that has to be an advantage for them. No other team know Kerry as well (as Cork do) and although Kerry have beaten them more often than the other way around Cork know them inside out and Kerry will not like playing them at all on Sunday.    ‘Billy Morgan is a wily old fox and he has been around for so long he will have something up his sleeve to deny Kerry and they will burst a gut to beat them in an All-Ireland final.    ‘If Cork can put the shackles on The Gooch then there is no reason why they cannot win this game. Kerry have good players but they are no world-beaters and if Cork play up to their potential on the day I think that they will win it.’ Prediction: Cork.