Tooreen favourites for Hyde Park clash

AIB Connacht Club IHC Semi-Final: Athleague v Tooreen in Dr. Hyde Park on Saturday at 1.30 pm

Athleague face a tough task on Saturday when they take on Tooreen in the Connacht intermediate semi-final. The record of Roscommon clubs against their Mayo counterparts in recent years has not been good and Athleague will be going into this game as the underdogs.

Athleague have had plenty of time to recover after beating Tremane in the Roscommon senior final and manager Padraig Mannion will be hoping for a big performance from his charges.

According to reports, there has been a big turnout at training and the Roscommon champions are quietly confident of causing an upset.

There is plenty of experience in the Athleague ranks with Niall Connolly, Pat Nolan, Dave Connell, Cathal Moore, Gary Fallon and Ronan O’Meara all playing well this year while younger players like Ben McGahon, Naoise Coyle and Eoghan Coyle will be hoping to make their mark on Saturday.

Tooreen defeated Ballyhaunis by a single point in the Mayo final two weeks ago (0-15 to 1-11) and they have several experienced and talented hurlers in their midst. Fergal Boland has played senior football and hurling for Mayo while his brother Shane, and Cathal Freeman are top-class players.

The game is in Dr. Hyde Park which means that Athleague will not be playing on their home ground and that will be a factor.

On their best form, Athleague would have a great chance but Tooreen look a good side and it would be a surprise if they do not prevail here.

Prediction: Tooreen 

Note: This is a big weekend for St. Joseph’s who represent Roscommon in the AIB Connacht Club Junior Football Championship when they face the Sligo champions St. Patrick’s at Markievicz Park on Saturday at 1.30 pm. The Sligo side defeated the Leitrim champions Glenfarne last weekend and they will start as favourites.