Sunday is D-Day in senior championship

Ruby Oil Roscommon SFC (All games on Sunday, 12th August) Padraig Pearses v Elphin (Pairc an Piarsaigh at 5.15 pm) The situation here is that a draw or a win will ensure that Padraig Pearses qualify for the quarter-finals along with Elphin. If Elphin win the game Pearses and Kilmore will have to play-off. Here are two teams that have great potential and Elphin’s good performance against Kilbride sends them in as favourites. The pressure is off them so they may not be as fired up as Pearses. However if Elphin want to be there at the business end of the championship they will not want to lose here. This could be a cracking game and on the evidence of their display against Kilbride I take Elphin to win narrowly.   Prediction: Elphin.   Bookies odds: Pearses 6/4. Elphin 8/13. Draw 7/1. Strokestown v Western Gaels (Strokestown 6.30 pm) Strokestown have to win or draw to stay alive while a draw or win for Western Gaels will see them through, so it’s a real do-or-die game. Western Gaels were unlucky not to have beaten Roscommon Gaels in Frenchpark and Strokestown were three points up and cruising  against The Gaels before they collapsed. This is a very difficult match to call. Cathal Cregg was out for the game against Roscommon Gaels and if he is missing again it could prove crucial. Strokestown are doughty championship battlers and I am giving them a very hesitant vote. Prediction: Strokestown.   Bookies odds: Strokestown 8/11. Western Gaels 5/4. Draw 7/1. Clan na Gael v St. Aidans (Johnstown 2 pm) This is a very simple do-or-die game. A win for either side puts them through. A draw and they will have to meet again. Donie Shine will be missing from the Clan team while Francie Grehan looks like he wil not be on the Aidans team. Clan were well beaten by St. Brigids but they scored 3-5. Aidans gave Brigids plenty to think about before Frankie Dolan’s wonder goal settled matters. I have a feeling that Aidans will win this vital game – but there will not be a lot in it. Prediction: St. Aidans.   Bookies odds: Clan na Gael 6/4. St. Aidans 4/7. Draw 15/2. Castlerea St. Kevins v Kilmore (Castlerea 5 pm) Castlerea are a real conundrum. They were unbeaten in the league yet they were deservedly beaten by Faithleachs who in turn were well beaten by Kilmore last weekend. On the form book, Kilmore should win this game easily but that’s not the way that it goes. Kilmore are a battling team – hard to beat at home especially – but Castlerea’s need is much greater here and I take them to keep their championship hopes alive with a win. Prediction: Castlerea. Bookies odds: Castlerea 1/2. Kilmore 7/4. Draw 8/1. Roscommon Herald Intermediate Football Championship Saturday: Ballinameen v St. Ronans (at Ballinameen at 7 pm) Ballinameen have been short of players, form and luck in the championship so far. St. Ronans were competitive against a strong St. Croans team but they were deservedly beaten in the end. Gay Sheeran’s men look too strong  for Ballinameen and they should win this one Prediction: St. Ronans.   Bookies odds: St. Ronans 1/2. Ballinameen 7/4. Draw 7/1. Sunday: Tulsk v Shannon Gaels (at Ballintubber at 2 pm) Shannon Gaels have to win here after their poor display against Glaveys the first day out. However they might not have much joy against  a Tulsk team who have been training hard under Tommy Kenoy. Tulsk should prevail here. Prediction: Tulsk.   Bookies odds: Tulsk 4/9. Shannon Gaels 2/1. Draw 15/2. Sunday: St. Michaels v Boyle (Cootehall at 5.30 pm) This is the hardest game of the weekend to call. Both sides have been beaten by Castlerea so it’s do-or-die here. Boyle have been very disappointing and St. Michael have a great chance to record a win at home. I have a feeling that they might just do it – but it will be close. Prediction: St. Michaels.   Bookies odds: St. Michaels 5/4. Boyle 8/11. Draw 15/2.