Tough Championship opener for minors

ESB Connacht minor football championship Roscommon v Leitrim (at  Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday evening at 7 pm) Seamus Duke  Roscommon’s first game of the Connacht minor football championship round-robin section takes place this Saturday evening and on form so far this year this looks like being a tough hurdle for Gary Wynne’s men to negotiate.   Leitrim are entering this game after a morale-boosting five-point win over a strong Mayo team in the Connacht minor league two weeks ago and that result is a warning to Roscommon that this will be a very tough game. Leitrim are always hard to beat – home or away – last year’s draw in Hyde Park between the sides is evidence of that and this Saturday’s game will be no different.   There is good news and bad news for Roscommon. On the injury-list are Michael Higgins, Michael Hanley, Neil Collins and Shane Regan (see interview with Gary Wynne) – however Colm O’Neill is back on the panel but he may not be match-fit for Saturday’s game.   Roscommon will be able to field with Eamonn Bannon, Darragh Lennon, Eugene Stritch and Neil Collins (if he is able to line out) from last year’s minor team. Brian Murtagh and Niall Kilroy will be hoping to grab the Roscommon scores after good displays in the Connacht minor league.   Leitrim have had mixed results in the Connacht minor league, as have Roscommon, however their victory over Mayo is a warning to Roscommon as they prepare for this game in Carrick-on-Shannon.   Roscommon need to start their campaign with a win. On Saturday week they will play Sligo ay Hyde Park in the second of the round-robin games. The top two teams will then go into the next round of the championship against Galway and Mayo where there is also another ‘back door’ second chance for the teams.   So on this Saturday night a win will be the top priority for Gary Wynne and his team. Roscommon won the corresponding game in the Connacht minor league and they should be able to oblige after a struggle on Saturday. Prediction: Roscommon.