The West’s Awake ahead of Sunday!


Connacht rivals get together in Murray’s

Murray’s Bar in Knockcroghery needs no introduction. It’s arguably the spiritual home of Roscommon football outside of Dr. Hyde Park. Glorious Primrose and Blue moments almost drip off the walls: this is Jimmy Murray’s place. The All-Ireland winning captain of ’43 and ’44 would almost certainly have approved of the footballing chat on Tuesday night. He may even have allowed himself a wry smile upon hearing talk of successful youngsters making a breakthrough in Roscommon colours.

  The game is a huge part of life in these parts and Jimmy’s son John was only too happy to host our get-together. Local fans were only too happy to take part too and we were inundated with football people looking to have their say on this Sunday’s big day out in Croke Park.

  There was great craic between the Roscommon contingent, the Mayo duo and a Tribeswoman – a Donegal fan even wandered in at one point!

  The Mayo women spoke of experience – both good and bad – while the Rossies looked forward to seeing what their young team could muster on the big stage. The Galway support remained optimistic albeit quietly so ahead of a tough tussle with the Kingdom.

  At one point I found myself surrounded by the Mayo contingent and my suggestion that Roscommon play in their ‘away’ strip to spook a Mayo side that has had problems against teams in blue didn’t exactly help my plight. Thankfully, the Mayo fans are so used to the Dubs at this stage I was allowed to leave in one piece!

  If editorial deadlines didn’t exist it would have been easy to sit there all night listening to insightful opinion and analysis. Alas, we had to leave the historic surrounds of Murray’s and head back to town as the key battles were discussed across the tables in the back lounge.