Sunday, 29 March 2015

Connacht Final for Dr Hyde Park?

Speculation is rife in GAA circles in the county as to where the Connacht SFC final might be played next month with Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon a possible venue.

  This Sunday Leitrim face Mayo in the Connacht semi-final at McHale Park in Castlebar.

  Mayo are the hot favourites to win and should they qualify to meet Sligo, the Connacht Council will have to rule on a neutral venue because of the involvement of the Yeats County. Those venues would be either Dr Hyde Park or Pearse Stadium in Galway.

  However the capacity of Dr Hyde Park was reduced to 18,500 after a report on facilities countrywide was carried out last year by the GAA.

  Remedial works have been carried out at the Roscommon venue in the meantime, and meetings between the Roscommon county board and the Connacht Council have been held on the matter in recent weeks. The capacity of Pearse Stadium is 30,000.

  No decision on the venue for the Connacht final will be held until after Sunday’s game at McHale Park and there is a scheduled meeting of the Connacht Council on Thursday the 28th June at which a decision is expected to be made. If Leitrim win, it is also unclear as to what venue might be chosen. However, when Sligo or Leitrim get to a Connacht decider the venue is always neutral.

  On the field of play, Roscommon have been drawn to play Armagh in the first round of the football qualifiers and the game has been fixed for Dr Hyde Park on Sunday 1st July at 2.30pm. The sides have met many times over the years in the national league and in challenge games but this will be the first championship clash between the sides since the All-Ireland SFC semi final in 1980 when Roscommon won by six points after an epic encounter.

  Roscommon continue their preparations for the game with two challenge games this weekend. They play Laois on Thursday night (tonight) in Kiltoom and they play Waterford on Sunday.

  Armagh will be the hot favourites to win the game but home advantage will give Roscommon players, management and supporters hope that they can cause an upset and earn redemption after the poor display against Galway.

  This Saturday the Roscommon minor football team start their championship campaign when they face Leitrim in Carrick on Shannon.

  Gareth Carroll’s men will be favourites to win the game after a solid preparation that included a win in the Connacht minor league and good performances in recent challenge games.

  The game throws in at 5pm and the winners will face Galway in the Connacht semi-final on Saturday week.

  The Kepak Roscommon senior hurling championship gets underway this weekend with three games down for decision on Sunday. Four Roads will be hoping to continue their history-making run as they attempt to win their fifth title in a row.

  They open the defence of their title with a tough game against Padraig Pearses. Athleague play Roscommon Gaels and St Dominic’s play Oran, and Tremane are idle this week. There is also action in the Ladies Football club championships and the Connacht Junior camogie final is on this Saturday evening. 

  There are also loads of activities throughout the county for Bike Week, which runs up to Sunday, and there are plenty of other activities in Golf, handball and masters soccer too.

  All the details in the Roscommon People Sport this week.

Issue dated: 22 June 2012
© Roscommon People