AIB Connacht Club SFC semi-final:
St Brigid’s v Mohill on Sunday in Dr Hyde Park at 1.30 pm
Having easily dealt with the challenge of Coolera/Strandhill last weekend, St Brigid’s meet Leitrim champions Mohill in the Connacht semi-final this Sunday in Dr Hyde Park. At first glance this would seem to be a fairly straightforward tie for the Roscommon champions, but Mohill could prove very sticky opponents for Jerome Stack’s men.
There is a lot of experience in the Mohill dressing room. This is a side managed by former Sligo great Eamonn O’Hara, who will surely have them highly motivated to pull off a shock result.
Mohill have been in the last four Leitrim county senior finals – winning two (2020 and 2023). This year, they edged out St Mary’s in a thrilling match by two points (2-10 to 0-14).
The Leitrim champions have plenty of talented players in their ranks. Their talisman is county player Keith Beirne who leads the side from his position at full-forward. Shane Quinn, David Mitchell, Keith Keegan, Domhnaill Flynn and Ronan Kennedy have all been playing well this year and Mohill have put up some impressive scores in this season’s championship.
If Brian Stack misses out through injury, his absence would be a huge blow to St Brigid’s. In that eventuality I presume that Pearse Frost or Brian’s brother Ronan will be asked to fill in at full-back.
Shane Cunnane and Eddie Nolan will have a huge responsibility to win the territorial battle in the midfield sector. Up front, Ben O’Carroll will be a marked man as usual, and St Brigid’s will hope that the likes of Conor Hand, Paul McGrath, Ciaran Sugrue and Bobby Nugent can weigh in with the required scores.
St Brigid’s will be the favourites to advance, but they were certainly not impressive in that second half against Coolera/Strandhill last Sunday. I know that the game was over as a contest by that stage, but the Kiltoom men didn’t kick on and win with the ease that one might have expected. When Ruaidhri Fallon and Brian Stack went off, the Sligo side got a few scores, a development that may concern the Roscommon champions’ management.
I am still expecting Brigid’s to win, but this could be a tight game. If Brian Stack is not playing there may only be a point or two in it at the final whistle, but their overall quality should see St Brigid’s through.
Prediction: St Brigid’s.