This weekend’s hurling previews

This weekend’s games: There are three games fixed for Dr. Hyde Park on this Saturday 17th May – as follows: SHC Round 1. Roscommon Gaels v Tremane (at 4 pm) The Gaels look to have a very strong team this year but if they take Tremane for granted they will pay a very high price, as John McGrath’s team have been training away and they are determined to win at least a few games in the championship this year. The Gaels welcome back James Durkan and Liam Casey. Kenny Doolin and Eoin Browne are now regulars on the county senior panel. The Gaels have been very reliant on Gary Waldron and Henry Flanagan for their scores in the past two years. They will have to play well if they want to win this game as Tremane will be targeting this encounter as one that they can win. Prediction: A narrow win for The Gaels.  Four Roads v Athleague (at 5.30 pm)  A mouth-watering clash so early in the year. Both sides will want to put down a marker for later in the year. Athleague will be without Tommy Reddington and Gary Fallon while Michael Kelly will not be able to take his place on the Four Roads team. However Liam Gately and Ronnie Kennedy are back. This is a big year for Athleague who are hoping for three titles on the trot. Their biggest threat are Sunday’s opponents, so expect the sparks to fly here. Round one to Four Roads is my verdict. Prediction: Four Roads to win narrowly. Padraig Pearses v Oran (at 7 pm) Interesting clash here and very hard to predict. Pearses have been really consistent over the past three years and have been unlucky to have lost in the past two finals. They have plenty of talented players and especially up front, where the likes of Shane Sweeney and Dara Mulvey are consistent scorers. Oran are a good team who were unlucky to lose out on a semi-final spot last year. Gerry Fallon is their inspiration and don’t rule out an appearance from Colm Kelly at some stage of the proceedings. Pearses have a new manager  (Tom Carey) and I think that they will have just enough to win it. Prediction: Pearses, narrowly.