This weekend’s club action previewed

This weekend’s club action previewed Seamus Duke   Ruby Oil Roscommon SFC 1st Round Kilbride v Padraig Pearses at Kilbride on Sunday at 2 pm A very hard game to call here. Both sides have sent out mixed messages in the run-up to the championship.    Kilbride have been fairly consistent in the league – without ‘setting the world on fire’. They will need all their big guns to fire on Sunday.   Players like Seamie O’Neill, the Lohans, Conor Devanney and Anthony McDermott will have to lead from the front.    Pearses went out of the championship rather tamely last year but they were so impressive as they put Louisburgh to the sword in the Leo Kenny Cup final.    The Whyte brothers, Niall Finneran, the Donoghues, Michael Duignan and Sean Fahy will be hoping to lead Pearses to victory.    This could be a cracking game and I am struggling to separate them. I have a feeling that if the ‘good’ Pearses team turn up they could win it. Bookies odds: Kilbride 10/11 v Pearses 11/10;   Draw 6/1 Prediction: Padraig Pearses St. Brigids v Clan na nGael at Kiltoom on Sunday at 6.15 pm A local derby to start off the champions’ season. Brigids have been poor enough in the league but they have shown good form recently and I know that they are back training hard. They have strength all around the field from one to fifteen and loads of young players on the way up too.    Clan na nGael have struggled in recent seasons and despite the return of their most successful manager, Donie Shine Snr, they are still a little short of being in a position to challenge the champions.    I expect that Clan will perform very well but anything other than a St. Brigids victory would be a massive shock. Bookies odds: St. Brigids 1/7 v Clan na Gael 4/1; Draw 10/1. Handicap betting: Clan na nGael plus 6 points 5/6.   Prediction: St. Brigids St. Faithleachs v Castlerea St. Kevins at   Ballyleague on Sunday at 6.15 pm Another tight call here at St. Faithleachs’ magnificent new Ballyleague pitch. Faithleachs had a great run in the championship last year, losing narrowly to St. Brigids in the final.    They have many good players, such as the Kennys Gary Cox and Stephen Ormsby. They will be anxious to win the first ever championship game to be played at their new pitch.    Castlerea come to Ballyleague as the form team in the county at senior level. They have had a great run in the league under Mickey Freyne and they are firing on all cylinders.    Ger Heneghan, Enda Kenny and Derek Duggan will give them plenty of firepower but they will have to get an even break at midfield to ensure that they get the scores. This is notoriously hard to predict but I’ll go with the form team and give Castlerea the hesitant nod. Bookies odds: Castlerea 4/5 v St. Faithleachs 11/10; Draw 13/2.   Prediction: Castlerea St. Kevins * Bookies odds compliments of Michael Rock First Choice Betting in Castlerea. Footnote: The SFC game between Roscommon Gaels and Strokestown will not be going ahead because of a wedding involving one of the Roscommon Gaels players. The first game in that group will now take place between Western Gaels and Roscommon Gaels on Friday week, 20th July.  Roscommon Herald Intermediate Football Championship 1st round Boyle v Castlerea St. Kevins in Boyle on Saturday at 7 pm. Under normal circumstances Boyle would be hot favourites to land the Intermediate championship this year. However they have lost an amount of players and they have loads of injuries too. Castlerea are a talented young team only in their second year in the intermediate championship, having won the junior two years ago. Despite all their problems I expect that Boyle will come through here though. Prediction: Boyle St. Croans v Ballinameen in Ballintubber Saturday at 7 pm. Croans have had a number of chances of winning this competition over the past few years and they start another season here against Ballinameen. Led by the Toweys and James Connaughton, they will be hoping to start with a win against a Ballinameen team that has also been hit by injuries and by players moving away to work abroad. Ballinameen will give it loads but Croans will win it. Prediction: St. Croans.   Shannon Gaels v Michael Glaveys in Croghan Sunday at 2 pm This looks another tight contest. Stuart and Ian Daly will lead Glaveys’ assault on this year’s championship but they could be scuppered by Shannon Gaels who are always hard to beat at home. Glaveys are training hard and have Ger Dowd on the line to help them this year. I’m taking the easy way out here. Prediction: A draw St. Dominics v Eire Og in Knockcroghery on Sunday at 2 pm St. Dominics were unlucky to lose last year’s final and they have to be the leading fancies to go all the way this year. They have several accomplished players such as Mark Miley, Michael Finneran, Conor Fallon and Liam Murray. Eire Og will provide stiff resistence. The Nolans and Paul Freeman will have to be on top form on Sunday and while I expect that Eire Og will go close it will be a surprise if the home side do not oblige.  Prediction: St. Dominics.