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Strokestown on top in feisty encounter

 

 

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC (Group B)

 

Strokestown 0-17

 

St. Faithleach’s 2-7

 

 

Strokestown were the fully deserving winners of this feisty clash of the neighbours in Strokestown last Sunday afternoon. The home side needed at least a draw to ensure they were not dragged into a relegation scrap while the visitors had to win following two losses. But the home side got their noses in front in the second quarter, and while Faithleach’s never gave up, the home side always looked in control and they had a bit to spare in the end if truth be told.

  Faithleach’s’ season is imploding after a promising league campaign. The three Murtagh brothers started but none finished the game as Brian and Diarmuid were shown red cards (two yellows each) and Ciaráin (just returned from his summer in the USA) was carried off the field with seven minutes to go with a nasty looking ankle injury.

  Strokestown, on the other hand, were well organised and well up for this match. Cathal Brogan and David Neary were outstanding in defence, Paddy Brogan brilliantly directed traffic at midfield and up front Colin Compton was outstanding.

  It was three points each after a low-key opening quarter with Colin Compton scoring three frees for the home side and Diarmuid Murtagh (free) Dave Rooney and Darragh Hussey on target for Faithleach’s.

  The key score of the opening half arrived in the 23rd minute when Brogan and Diarmuid McGann did the spadework and Tony Lavin punched to the net to give his side a four-point lead. Points from Diarmuid Murtagh (free) followed by a splendid effort from play from Ciaráin Murtagh and an equally impressive strike from Keelan Beirne meant that at half-time it was Strokestown 1-6 St. Faithleach’s 0-6.

  On a couple of occasions in the second half Faithleach’s reduced the margin to two but every time they threatened Strokestown were able to go downfield and get that vital score.

  In the 36th minute Darragh Hussey was clean through on goal but Paddy Brogan made a superb tackle to disposes the Faithleach’s man and the danger was cleared. Eight minutes later Brian Murtagh was red-carded after getting two yellow cards within a minute, but Faithleach’s battled on.

  By the 52nd minute points from Darragh Hussey, Ciaráin Murtagh and a converted free from Diarmuid saw the gap down to just one. But Ciaráin Murtagh had been carried off in the incident that led to the awarding of the free. It was a huge blow for Faithleach’s.

  But Strokestown never panicked and they swept downfield two minutes later and McGann was the creator once more with Colin Compton supplying a cool finish. It was game, set and match to Strokestown after that and indeed there was more disappointment to come for Faithleach’s as Diarmuid Murtagh was shown a second yellow by referee Gerry Carmody in injury-time.

  Strokestown march on into the quarter-finals after a poor start to the campaign, while for Faithleach’s they will have to face a relegation battle without Ciaráin Murtagh and they have really slipped back in terms of their form since reaching the O’Rourke Cup final earlier in the year.

 

Strokestown: John McHugh; Kevin Shiel, Cathal Brogan (0-1), David Neary; Dylan Owens, Keelan Beirne (0-1), Michael Fallon; Paddy Brogan, David Butler; Tony Lavin (1-1), Daniel Rogers, Cian Lavelle; Keith Murphy, Colin Compton (1-6, 5 frees), Diarmuid McGann (0-2). Subs: Ruairi Molloy (0-1) for Lavelle (54), Cian Corcoran for Butler (58), Luke Kelly for Brogan (63).

St. Faithleach’s: Mark Tarmey; Stephen Ormsby, Mikey Cox, Karl Nerney; David Harrison, Adrian Murtagh, Kevin Farrell; Brian Murtagh, Cathal Gunn; Diarmuid Murtagh (0-6, 5 frees), Ciaráin Murtagh (0-3), Dave Rooney (0-1); Aidan Dooney, Darren Carbery, Darragh Hussey (0-3). Subs: James Browne for Nerney (24), Senan O’Grady for Gunn and Connell Kennelly for Carbery (both h/t), Jonathan Hussey for Rooney and Colm Mangan for Dooney (both 45), Darren Carbery for C Murtagh (52).

Referee: Gerry Carmody

 

 

 

 

 

Brigid’s win goal-fest to reach play-off

 

 

 

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC (Group A)

 

St. Brigid’s 3-25

St. Croan’s 4-7

 

If someone had told you before the match that St. Croan’s would score 4-7 and still lose by 15 points you would be forgiven for laughing at the thought. But that’s exactly what happened in this truly bizarre match played at Dr. Hyde Park on Saturday evening.

  Brigid’s needed to win and St. Croan’s needed a draw to stay in the championship but any notion that this would be a cautious defence-driven affair was dismissed as Brigid’s in particular went for the jugular from the first whistle. The game was over as a contest by half-time when Brigid’s led by 1-16 to 0-2. Indeed were it not for the heroics of Croan’s net-minder Vinny Egan, the Kiltoom men could easily have scored at least three more goals in that opening half such was their dominance.

  Down 18 points starting the second half, Croan’s threw caution to the wind, scored four goals, hit the frame of the goal twice and missed at least another three excellent goal chances such was the crazy nature of the contest. But Brigid’s could always keep their opponents at arm’s length and they won pulling up.

  It was one-way traffic in the opening half. With Brian Stack, Ciaran Sugrue, Padraig Kelly, Ronan Stack and company in total control the scores piled up and the only goal of the half arrived in the 19th minute, a splendid team effort finished by Paul McGrath.

  Croan’s’ first goal arrived in the 34th minute when Damien Goggins converted a penalty after Dan Malone was fouled. But Brigid’s put the foot on the accelerator after that and by the 48th minute they led by 2-21 to 1-4, their second goal coming from the boot of Ian Kilbride.

  Croan’s persisted, however, and Cathal Connelly grabbed a second goal in the 49th minute and with nine minutes to go Keith Muldoon fisted a third for the Ballintubber men and the same player was on hand to convert again in the 53rd minute. Brigid’s were never under any threat, but the fact they conceded four goals will not have pleased their management. Brian Stack completed the goal-fest in the 60th minute with a converted a Brigid’s penalty.

  After two poor performances, Brigid’s have found their shooting boots, and while they are certainly a team in transition, they will be dangerous opponents in the play-off stages. For Croan’s, who were only eliminated from the championship by Elphin’s late equaliser against Fuerty, it’s a relegation battle.

 

St. Brigid’s: James Martin; Pearse Frost, Niall McInerney, Alan Daly (0-1); Ronan Stack (0-2), Peter Domican, Eoin Sheehy (0-2); Ian Kilbride (1-2), Eddie Nolan (0-3, ’45); Padraig Kelly (0-4), Paul McGrath (1-0), Gearoid Cunniffe (0-2); Brian Derwin (0-2), Brian Stack (1-1, 1 pen), Ciaran Sugrue (0-5).

Subs: David Cunniffe for Sheehy (48), Gavin Byrne for McGrath (50), Conor Gleeson (0-1) for Derwin (53), Eamonn Cunnane for Nolan (56).

St. Croan’s: Vinnie Egan; Derek Conway, Greg Grogan, Philip Leech; Mark Kilcommins, Maurice Connaughton, Ger Connaughton; Richard Thompson (0-2, 2 frees), Dean Muldoon; Cathal Connelly (1-1), Aidan Brogan (0-1), Adrian Collins; Keith Muldoon (2-3, 1 free), Dan Malone, Damien Giggins (1-0, 1 pen).

Subs: Michael Holland for Collins (26), Brendan Pacey for Conway (h/t), Jason Egan for Brogan (55), Adrian Collins for Goggins (59).

Referee: Kevin Naughton

 

Man of the Match: Ciaran Sugrue (St. Brigid’s)

Resisting the ‘gracious loser handshake’

 

 

 

Despite the many highlights post-2012, there have been moments during this dominant Dublin era when supporters of the Boys in Blue have been mentally preparing to offer their congratulations to opposition supporters.

  Last week, one dedicated Dubs supporter admitted that his group feared the worst on Hill 16 on September 1st as Kerry threatened to tear up the five-in-a-row script. He had that quiet moment of reflection where he readied himself to accept a gut-wrenching defeat graciously.

  I vaguely remember watching (enduring) the 2017 All-Ireland Final in Lanzarote, surrounded by Mayo supporters who seemed to grow in confidence as the match went on. Lee Keegan had raised a green flag early in the second half as Mayo regained their half-time lead before both teams had players sent off (John Small and Donie Vaughan).

  The moment I braced myself ahead of my anticipated ‘post-match gracious loser handshake’ arrived in second-half stoppage time as Cillian O’Connor prepared to strike a free at the Hill 16 end. Fortunately, from a Dublin point of view, he struck the upright and my heart could start beating again. The rest, as they say, is history as Dean Rock struck the winning point via GPS around four minutes later.

  Looking ahead to Saturday’s replay and it was clear to all watching that The Kingdom had Dublin’s number the first day. While Jonny Cooper’s dismissal certainly didn’t help, Dublin were once again below-par for the main event. Whether that will be chalked down as an off day for the Dubs or as a result of irresistible Kerry pressure will be decided this Saturday.

  One thing’s for sure, Jim Gavin’s post-match interview that day hinted that he was preparing to offer his own gracious loser’s handshake to Kerry manager Peter Keane. That’s not a position Gavin is too familiar with and it’s one that he’ll have done everything in his power to dodge once more come 7.30 pm this Saturday.

Seamus Duke on sport - September 13th

 

 

 

 

Topsy-turvy county championships!

 

 

What a topsy-turvy weekend it has been in the football championships in the county. Hats off first of all to Fuerty who are not only playing in their first ever campaign but they topped their group as well and are seeded. Their game against Elphin at the weekend was a cracker and a draw was predicted here as well! Elphin survived by the skin of their teeth as their late equaliser meant that they advanced and St. Croan’s were sent into the relegation play-offs.

  St. Brigid’s put up a huge score against St. Croan’s. The big question is whether the men from Kiltoom are back in business? We will know after next Sunday’s match against Western Gaels.

  Roscommon Gaels have looked the most consistent team so far. They have ticked all the boxes and have emerged unscathed from their group. They have played well in all three games and that is something that no other team has done so far.

  Strokestown were worthy winners against St. Faithleach’s last weekend and the Ballyleague men are in free-fall since the championship started. Michael Glavey’s are slipping back after a good start but are still standing.

  Pádraig Pearses, meanwhile, were everyone’s fancy before the start of the championship and while they still can win the Fahey Cup they have made hard work out of their two wins and suffered the shock defeat of the championship against Clann last Sunday.

  Boyle and Western Gaels could both be labelled dark horses. Their game last Sunday was the game of the championship so far and both sides have really strong forward lines.

  In the Intermediate Football Championship Castlerea and Tulsk continue to make the running and they look the two best teams in the competition. Oran have a lot of injuries but could also come back into the fray. All will be revealed in the quarter-finals.

  The jury is still out on the new format this year but there were certainly a number of very exciting games last weekend. We will leave it another while before delivering a verdict!

 

All-Ireland SFC Final replay

Kerry v Dublin on Saturday in Croke Park at 6 pm

Replays are funny. They take on a life of their own and are seldom like the drawn game. After the classic that we saw two weeks ago there are so many questions to be answered. Did Kerry leave it behind them or will they finish the job this time? Did Dublin get away with it in the drawn game and can they play much better this time around? Was the extra man a huge advantage for Kerry in the drawn game? Can this young Kerry team finish the Dubs five-in-a-row ambitions? One thing is for certain, if the game is half as good as the drawn match it will be another classic.

  I was of the opinion that the Dubs would win the drawn game with a bit to spare but was proved wrong. I definitely underestimated how good Kerry were but I certainly did not foresee how poor some of the Dubs main men would play. Brian Fenton, Con O’Callaghan, Paul Mannion and Ciaran Kilkenny were way below par and James McCarthy was roasted by Sean O’Shea.

  But this week I am of the opinion that Dublin will never play as poorly again. Jim Gavin has been a magnificent manager over the years but he will have been annoyed not only with the performance of his team in the drawn game, but his own performance too as he slipped up badly not moving Jonny Cooper off David Clifford after the yellow card. He will have a plan formulated to deny possession to Clifford, Geaney and O’Shea. His trusted lieutenants like O’Callaghan, Mannion, Kilkenny, McCarthy and Fenton will surely never play as poorly again.

  Once again, however, Stephen Cluxton will be key. He was magnificent in the drawn game. Jack McCaffrey won’t be as prominent as he was in the drawn game; it’s probably too much to expect that. But James McCarthy will step up to the plate.

  Kerry will come all guns blazing and I expect them to put up stern resistance. David Moran will be so important to them. They need another big display from him in the middle of the field. Dublin could well pick James McCarthy alongside Fenton in the middle of the field with Cian O’Sullivan coming in at centre back and Michael Darragh MacAuley dropping out. It will also be fascinating to see how Kerry use Tommy Walsh. Are they tempted to start him? All in all, it’s a fascinating prospect.

  I’m sticking with the Dubs on the basis that they played poorly in the drawn game and got away with it. In the end they will win by three or four points and write their own chapter in the history books.

Prediction: Dublin

 

All-Ireland camogie final was a thriller

 

It was great to see that last Sunday’s All-Ireland senior camogie final was such a great attacking and thrilling game. The finals in 2017 and 2018 were dour defensive and boring matches and the game badly needed a spectacle. It shows that when the game is played and refereed properly it can be as attractive as any other.

  It was also good to see that almost 25,000 people were there on the day. This Sunday it’s the turn of ladies football and I’m sure the organisers are hoping for another huge turnout.

  In the senior final Dublin are going for three-in-a-row. It could be a very big weekend for football in the capital! There will be big interest in Roscommon in the intermediate final when Meath face Tipperary. Michael Finneran’s Roscommon have lost out to Meath in the semi-final for the past two years.

Contradictory Keane is box office!

For those of you who are interested in sport and who didn’t hear it, I would strongly recommend that you listen to the Newstalk podcast from The Bord Gáis Theatre with Roy Keane and Gary Neville from last week. It was absolutely compelling stuff from start to finish.

  Neville is knowledgeable and easy to listen to, but Keane stole the show. He is the most contradictory personality I have ever come across in Irish sport. He was funny, honest, brutal, bitter, withering, laid back and intense all in one evening.

  Some of his comments about players he worked with during Martin O’Neill’s reign were brutal. But it was his comments about Alex Ferguson that were most controversial. I thought that what he said reflected a bitter and troubled man who is certainly not happy with himself. Whatever row they had, surely it’s time to let it go. Ferguson bought Keane and made him a superstar. Yes, Keane had the ability and was one of the greatest players that I have ever seen, but it is sad to see him so ill at ease with himself and everyone else around him. Having said all that, he is box office, he is sharp as a tack and compelling to listen to whether you agree with him or not.

 

Wary of Japan ahead of RWC…

Last Saturday’s final Rugby World Cup warm-up match between Ireland and Wales was a ‘nice’ occasion and a good way to complete preparations but it was lacking intensity and a million miles away from what we will see when the championship starts in Japan at the end of next week.

  It was good to see the likes of Robbie Henshaw and Johnny Sexton back in the fold and we will need all those players when the tournament starts. The first two games against Scotland and Japan will be the big ones. Two wins will be what’s needed there and it will be a tough task. I have a feeling that Japan will be a very dangerous opponent. They are playing at home and they will want to cause a stir.

 

 

Seamus Duke's Weekend Previews: Gaels to deliver mortal blow?

 

 

 

 

 

Seamus Duke’s Weekend Previews

 

Hodson Bay Hotel Group SFC Play-Off

 

St. Brigid’s v Western Gaels on Sunday in Dr. Hyde Park at 2.30 pm

 

What a match this promises to be with so many sub-plots lurking beneath the surface, not least Frankie Dolan coaching the Gaels against the club with which he won so much over his glittering career.

  Brigid’s were very poor in their opening game against Elphin and while they improved slightly against Fuerty in round two, they were lucky to get a draw. But last Saturday evening they certainly found their shooting boots and ran riot against St. Croan’s.

  It’s a Brigid’s team in transition but they can still call on the likes of Niall McInerney, Ronan Stack, Ian Kilbride, Padraig Kelly, Gearoid Cunniffe and Brian Stack. I am also reliably informed that Senan Kilbride could make a surprise return this weekend after his recent illness. That would be very welcome and would be a massive boost for the Kiltoom club.

  Western Gaels have played well in the championship this year and were involved in the game of the championship so far against Boyle last Sunday. They have an impressive attacking unit led by Cathal Cregg, Niall Higgins and Finbar Cregg who are in great form, while further back Seanie McDermott, Ciaran Cafferky, Aidan Dowd and Kevin Higgins have been playing well.

  This could well be another very close game. On the basis that Western Gaels have played well in all their games against the likes of Pearses, Boyle and St. Faithleach’s and put up big scores too, they look to have enough to account for a Brigid’s team who are certainly in transition. It remains to be seen if that high-scoring performance last weekend from Ger Ahearne’s men can be trusted in terms of form.

Prediction: Western Gaels

Mulryan Construction Services IFC Relegation          Play-Off

St. Aidan’s v St. Barry’s on Sunday in Knockcroghery at 2 pm

 

There won’t be much between these two either. Both sides have struggled for form this year. St. Aidan’s’ draw against St. Dominic’s looks to be the best performance that we have seen from either side thus far. On that basis I am giving them a very hesitant nod to win narrowly. The losers will play Kilglass Gaels.

Prediction: St. Aidan’s

 

Mulryan Construction Services IFC Play-Off

Kilmore v Shannon Gaels on Sunday in Elphin at 2 pm

What a game this promises to be between two clubs who are not alone neighbours but who are amalgamated at under-age level also. You can make a case for both sides and Shannon Gaels are capable of putting up a big score. But Kilmore look the more consistent side. It might take extra-time to separate them though.

Prediction: Kilmore

 

Hodson Bay Hotel Group SFC Relegation Play-Off

Clann na nGael v St. Croan’s on Sunday at 4.15 pm in Dr. Hyde Park

Clann displayed plenty of spirit against Pearses last Sunday after their implosion against Boyle. If they can do that again here they should be able to account for a Croan’s side who admittedly scored 4-7 against St. Brigid’s last Saturday but who were losing 1-16 to 0-2 at half-time. It would be a major shock if Clann were to come unstuck here. St. Faithleach’s will play the losers.

Prediction: Clann na nGael

Intermediate teams set for last eight!

 

 

 

 

 

Mulryan Construction IFC Round-Up

 

Group A

 

Tulsk still unbeaten

Tulsk Lord Edwards 3-16  

Creggs 1-9

Tulsk maintained their unbeaten run with a strong second-half showing against Creggs at Dr. Hyde Park last Saturday. It was an enjoyable encounter in the opening half. Noel Gately was superb for Creggs and he scored a sensational goal just before half-time. But Tusk replied with Ryan Galvin’s goal and at the break led by three 1-9 to 1-6.

  Tulsk were the stronger team overall and second half goals from Jack Conlon and Thomas O’Rourke saw them win comfortably.

Scorers - Thomas O’Rourke (1-3), P Scott (0-6), J Conlon (1-2), R Galvin (1-1), D Carlton (0-2), G Galvin and D Connolly (0-1) each. Creggs: N Gately (1-6), R Dowd, S Dowd and E Conneran (0-1) each.

 

Walsh winner!

Kilbride 2-9  

Kilglass Gaels 2-8

Henry Walsh was the Kilbride hero as he scored a goal and a point late on to put Kilbride into the quarter-finals. Kilbride had a first-half goal from Dan O’Neill but Kevin Feeney converted a penalty and Kilbride led 1-5 to 1-3 at the break.

  Feeney scored another Kilglass goal mid-way through the second period, but Walsh struck late to send his side through by the minimum margin.

Scorers - Kilbride: H Walsh (1-4), D O’Neill (1-0), D Clabby (0-2), P O’Grady, T O’Grady and M Feeney (0-1) each. Kilglass: K Feeney (2-1), C McHugh (0-3), T Cox, G Tully, B Conroy and S McCormack  (0-1) each.

 

Group B

Éire Óg dominant

Éire Óg 2-17  

St. Barry’s 1-6

Éire Óg gave notice to their rivals in Loughglynn with a dominant performance against St. Barry’s. The hosts scored some excellent points in the opening half and despite conceding a penalty to Barry’s (converted by Padraig Halpin), they led by 0-9 to 1-2 to half-time.

  Jason Doory and Thomas Greene scored fine second-half goals to see Éire Óg run out impressive 14-point winners.

Scorers - Éire Óg: L Creaton (0-7), T Greene and J Doory (1-1) each, M O’Brien (0-3), C Lavin (0-2), F Nolan, E Crawley and Ciaran Lavin (0-1) each. St. Barry’s: P Halpin (1-2), C McManus (0-3), C Casserly (0-1).

 

Castlerea through!

Castlerea St. Kevin’s 0-13  

Shannon Gaels 2-4

Castlerea are safely through to the quarter-finals but they were made fight all the way by Shannon Gaels at Croghan. Shane Beirne scored a goal in the first half and it meant that the home side were a point up at the break 1-4 to 0-6.

  Matthew McDermott’s goal mid-way through the second period put the Gaels ahead again but excellent point scoring from Ronan Raftery and Darren McDermott saw Castlerea through.

Scorers - Castlerea: D McDermott (0-6), R Raftery (0-5), N Bligh and J Keane (0-1) each. Shannon Gaels: M McDermott (1-1) M Burke (0-3) S Beirne (1-0).

 

Group C

Fallon’s late leveller

Kilmore 2-13  

St. Dominic’s 2-13

St. Dominic’s came late to grab a draw after an entertaining match in Kilmore. Dominic’s scored first-half goals from Sean Kenny and Conor Fallon and the visitors led by 2-4 to 0-9 at the break. But when Kilmore scored two goals within a minute from a Derek Connellan penalty and Oisin Boland, they led by four going into the final five minutes but Conor Fallon pointed a free in injury-time to give the visitors a deserved draw.

Scorers – St. Dominic’s: C Fallon (1-7), D Keenan (0-3), S Kenny (1-0), N Carney, N Connaughton and D Donnelly (0-1) each. Kilmore: D Connellan (1-4), O Boland (1-1), J Gannon and B Connellan  (0-3) each, G Connellan and K Caslin (0-1) each.

 

Oran easy winners

Oran 1-17  

St. Aidan’s 0-5

This was a comprehensive win for impressive Oran who dominated throughout. Darragh Walsh was the goal-scorer in the second half after they had led by 0-11 to 0-2 at half-time.

Scorers - Oran: D Walsh (1-5), C Casey and C Lawless (0-3) each, T Fetherston and M Dwyer (0-2) each, J Casey, and K Whyte (0-1) each. St. Aidan’s: T Kelly (0-2), K Waldron, C Mears and P Kenny (0-1) each.

 

The Outcome

The seeded teams in the IFC are: Tulsk, Castlerea, St. Dominic’s and Creggs. The unseeded teams are: Oran, Éire Óg, Kilbride and either Kilmore or Shannon Gaels who meet on Sunday next. The quarter-final draw will take place on Sunday next. Teams that have already met cannot meet again.

  Relegation: St. Barry’s play St. Aidan’s on Sunday with the losers playing Kilglass to see who will be relegated to the junior ranks for 2020.

 

Elphin survive while McKeon stars for Boyle!

 

 

 

Hodson Bay Hotel SFC Round-Up

Group A

Honours even

Elphin 1-15  

Fuerty 1-15

A point from Frankie Cregg in the 6th minute of injury-time saved Elphin from defeat and a place in the relegation scrap at Strokestown on Saturday night. There was drama from the first whistle as Elphin led by two points at the break 0-10 to 0-8.

  Christy Leahy scored an opportunist goal for Fuerty in the 38th minute but Elphin responded almost immediately when Frankie Cregg blasted home. Aaron Brady scored four crucial placed balls for Elphin but it looked like Fuerty’s day when Ger Ennis pointed a free in injury-time. There was still time for Aaron Brady to miss a long-range free before Frankie Cregg saved Elphin’s bacon.

Scorers - Elphin: Frankie Cregg (1-5), A Brady (0-4), M McCaffrey and G Cregg (0-2) each, E Killoran and G Higgins (0-1) each. Fuerty: N Kilroy (0-7), G Ennis (0-5), C Leahy (1-1), D Heavey and B McGahon (0-1) each.

Group B

Gaels prevail!

Roscommon Gaels 2-13  

Michael Glavey’s 1-8

Roscommon Gaels maintained their unbeaten record with the minimum of fuss against a disappointing Glavey’s side at Lisnamult. The town team played with the stiff breeze at their backs in the opening half and dominated the game. They shot a total of 11 wides in the half but still led by 0-9 to 0-3 at the interval.

  Glaveys scored a point from Andy Glennon on the restart and then he was fouled by James Fetherstone and Gary Patterson converted the resultant penalty. But the Gaels responded immediately and Mark Nally set up Peter Gillooly for a well taken goal. Indeed the same player drilled home his second goal in the 47th minute and Liam McNeill’s men were home and dry.

Scorers - Roscommon Gaels: P Gillooly (2-2), R Carolan (0-4), B Kelly (0-3), D O’Gara and O Walsh (0-2) each. Michael Glavey’s: A Glennon (0-5), G Patterson (1-0), D Ruane (0-2), S Comer (0-1).

Group C

All square!

Western Gaels 3-16   

Boyle 3-16

This was the game of the senior championship so far as Boyle fought back from a seven-point deficit and only 14 men at one stage to snatch a thrilling draw last Sunday in Frenchpark.

  Enda Smith was first on the goal trail in the opening half but Niall Higgins scored a well-taken goal in reply. Cian McKeon fisted home his first goal of the game to keep Boyle ahead. But the home side struck for two goals with Niall Higgins and Cathal Cregg on target, and by half-time led by six points.

  Michael Hanmore saw red for Boyle early in the second half but when McKeon scored his second goal of the game with ten minutes left to play it was back in the melting pot. McKeon then converted a sensational long-range free in injury-time to hand his side a deserved share of the spoils.

Scorers - Boyle: C McKeon (2-7), D Smith (0-8), E Smith (1-1). Western Gaels: N Higgins (2-8), C Cregg (1-2), A Dowd (0-2), S McDermott, B Creighton, K Higgins, and F Cregg (0-1) each.

Late winner!

Clann na nGael 1-13  

Pádraig Pearses 1-12

Who would be a pundit? Clann, who had been beaten by 20 points by Boyle in the previous round, sensationally beat Pearses who were the title favourites up until recently. Clann were six points down at one stage and were down to 13 men for the final quarter, yet they dug out a win.

  Emmett Kelly scored a goal for the home side in the 27th minute and at half-time they led by 1-7 to 0-7.

  In injury-time Donie Shine was fouled and he converted the resultant penalty to give his a side a huge boost as they face into the relegation play-off match.

Scorers - Clann: D Shine (1-7), E Kenny and C Callinan (0-2) each, C McManus and C Lennon (0-1) each. Pearses: E Kelly (1-3), P Carey (0-5), H Darcy (0-2), R Daly and A Fehily (0-1) each.

The Outcome

The seeded teams are: Fuerty, Roscommon Gaels, Padraig Pearses and Boyle (who were drawn out of the hat). The unseeded teams are: Elphin, Strokestown, Michael Glavey’s and either Western Gaels and St. Brigid’s who meet on Sunday next.

  The draw for the quarter-finals will take place on Sunday next. Teams who have played each other already cannot meet again.

  Relegation: Clann na nGael play St. Croan’s next Sunday with the loser playing St. Faithleach’s to see who is relegated to the Intermediate ranks for 2020.

 

 

Dooner's weekend predictions - September 13th

 

 

Congratulations to Castlerea Celtic’s Jack Higgins and Glen Celtic’s Michael Heneghan, who have been chosen for the Republic of Ireland Regions Cup squad for the game against Northern Ireland on September 25th. Mick Corrigan of Boyle Celtic has also been called up as standby for the fixture, which will be played at RDFL grounds in Lecarrow.

  Meanwhile, champions St. Peter’s will face a difficult trip to Ballinasloe to take on The Town in the second round of the FAI Junior Cup (Date TBC). The sides meet this Sunday in what is the game of the weekend in the Premier Division.

Friday, September 13th

RDFL Premier Division (8 pm)

Castlerea Celtic v Kilkerrin United

United gave a good account of themselves against St. Peter’s but you’d still have to fancy the hosts.

Prediction: Castlerea Celtic

Boyle Celtic v Shiven Rovers

Boyle bounced back last weekend as predicted and they should have enough to get the job done this weekend.

Prediction: Boyle Celtic

RDFL Second Division (8 pm)

Ballymoe FC B v Moore United FC B

The hosts get a slight nod.

Prediction: Moore United FC B

Saturday, September 14th

RDFL Second Division (8 pm)

Glen Celtic AFC v Boyle Celtic B

Difficult to look beyond the home side.

Prediction: Glen Celtic AFC

Sunday, September 15th

RDFL Premier Division

St. John’s Athletic v Ballymoe FC. 11 am

Mixed starts for both sides but the hosts are capable of getting something from Sunday’s fixture.

Prediction: Draw

St. Peter’s FC v Ballinasloe Town. 2 pm

We didn’t have to wait long for the first crunch fixture in the Premier Division. Are the champions as strong as they were? This game will provide some clarity.

Prediction: Ballinasloe Town

RDFL First Division (11 am)

Dysart FC v Rahara Rovers FC

Home win.

Prediction: Dysart FC

CP Ajax v Dunmore Town AFC

The hosts to bounce back.

Prediction: CP Ajax

Cam Celtic v Roscommon United

A strikeforce of Vando and Jamie Bracken gives United a chance against anyone in this division. Bracken hit a whopping seven while Vando scored a hattrick last weekend as they ran riot against Dunmore Town.

Prediction: Roscommon United

Ahascragh United v Ballaghaderreen FC

Away win.

Prediction: Ballaghaderreen FC

Cloonfad United v Castlerea Celtic B

With twelve goals in two games so far, Cloonfad are going to take some stopping this season.

Prediction: Cloonfad United

RDFL Second Division (2 pm)

St. Cuan’s United v Cloonfad United B

Home win.

Prediction: St. Cuan’s United

Manor United v St. John’s Athletic B

The hosts can keep pace with Glen Celtic.

Prediction: Manor United

Roscommon United B v Ballaghaderreen FC B

An encouraging debut for United last weekend but they may have to wait a little longer to get off the mark.

Prediction: Ballaghaderreen FC

Make or break weekend in senior championship!

 

 

 

This weekend sees the Roscommon Senior Football Championship group stages draw to a conclusion, and with many questions still to be answered ahead of knockout stages, Seamus Duke takes a look at the possible permutations.

 

Group A

The situation: The only thing definite in this group is that Fuerty cannot end up in a relegation play-off and St. Brigid’s cannot top the group. The top three teams in each group will remain in the championship with the bottom team playing off for relegation. Group positions will be decided on head-to-head if only two teams are involved, scoring difference will be used if there are three or more requiring separation.

 

Elphin v Fuerty on Saturday in Strokestown at 6.15 pm

The formbook was thrown out the window so many times in round two that one has to be very cautious this week with so much at stake. When I saw Elphin easily deal with the threat of St. Brigid’s on day one I presumed that they would have no difficulty with St. Croan’s, but how wrong I was!

  Fuerty have given a fantastic account of themselves in their inaugural senior campaign and were unlucky not to have taken two points against St. Brigid’s. If Fintan Cregg is back it will be a boost to Elphin. On the basis that he will be available, Peter Carney’s men can get something out of this match.

Prediction: Draw

 

St. Croan’s v St. Brigid’s on Saturday at Dr. Hyde Park at 6.15 pm

Who would have predicted that this game could decide who will play in the relegation battle? Croan’s were very poor against Fuerty on day one but were a completely different outfit against Elphin in the last round. On their best form they are well capable of troubling a Brigid’s side who are certainly in transition.

  However, with Niall McInerney, Brian Stack, Ian Kilbride, Pádraig Kelly and Ronan Stack on board I am expecting Brigid’s to edge home and avoid a relegation play-off. This is definitely our ‘Game of the Weekend’ with so much at stake.

Prediction: St. Brigid’s

 

Group B

The situation: In this group two things are certain, Roscommon Gaels have qualified for the quarter-finals and Michael Glavey’s definitely can’t end up in a relegation play-off. The match between St. Faithleach’s and Strokestown is the big one here.

 

Roscommon Gaels v Michael Glavey’s on Sunday at Lisnamult at 2 pm

Unbeaten Roscommon Gaels were impressive against St. Faithleach’s and will want to preserve their record against Glavey’s on home turf. Scott Oates and Cian Connolly won’t be available this time around but Mark Healy and Mark Nally could return for the town team.

  Glavey’s were not as impressive in round two as they had been in the opening round. However, they have plenty of good players and this could be a very entertaining game. The Gaels should have enough to edge it but it could be close.

Prediction: Roscommon Gaels

 

Strokestown v St. Faithleach’s on Sunday in Strokestown at 12 noon

Another contender for ‘Game of the Weekend’ as Faithleach’s face a ‘must win’ encounter against their neighbours who will need at least a draw to keep them away from a relegation scenario. If Ciaráin Murtagh is back for the Ballyleague side it would be a huge boost for them.

  Despite the excellent result against Michael Glavey’s in round two, Strokestown are without several prominent players for a variety of reasons which could cost them dearly. With Ciaráin Murtagh back, a hesitant vote goes to Faithleach’s.

Prediction: St. Faithleach’s

 

Group C

The situation: In this group two things are certain, Pádraig Pearses have qualified for the quarter-finals and Clann na nGael are out of the senior championship and will be involved in the relegation battle.

 

Pádraig Pearses v Clann na nGael on Sunday at Woodmount at 4.30 pm

No one could have predicted that this match would fall into the category of ‘dead rubber’ when the fixtures were announced! The shocking capitulation of Clann against Boyle has seen them ruled out of contention and Pearses will be hoping to preserve their unbeaten run to top the group. Pat Flanagan’s men have been winning but have not been hugely impressive so far. They should continue winning here though.

Prediction: Pádraig Pearses

 

Western Gaels v Boyle on Sunday in Frenchpark at 3 pm

Both sides are through and come into this match hoping for a morale-boosting win ahead of bigger games to come. Boyle were superb as they dismantled Clann in the last round and Evan McGrath, Tadgh McKenna, Cillian Cox, Seanie Purcell, Enda and Donie Smith and Cian McKeon were all very prominent.

  Western Gaels have been playing well and will test Boyle on Sunday with the Cregg brothers, Seanie McDermott, Kevin Higgins and the returning Ciaran Cafferky all playing well. There won’t be much in it. If Boyle can put two good displays back-to-back, they can win narrowly.

Prediction: Boyle

 

 

Four Roads on a mission

 

 

 

Kepak SHC Semi-Final

Four Roads 2-18

Pádraig Pearses 0-10

 

Four Roads are determined to get their hands back on the Mickey Cunniffe Cup and they continued their good form against a disappointing Pearses side in the second semi-final. The ‘Black and Amber’ led by 1-8 to 0-1 after 25 minutes and Pearses had no answer to the power play of the likes of Shane Curley, Micheal Kelly, Noel Fallon and Cathal Dolan in particular.

  With Dolan unerring from frees and play, Four Roads quickly ran up an impressive scoring tally and when James Cunniffe pulled first-time to the net in the 25th minute after Conor Mulry’s shot was blocked, there were ten points between the teams. Pearses never managed a point from play in the opening half and had to rely on Cathal Kelly’s frees for scores. At half-time Four Roads led by 1-9 to 0-4.

  Pearses enjoyed their best spell in the third quarter when they hit four points without reply to reduce the margin to six by the 45th minute. But Four Roads flexed their muscles once again and sped off into the distance in the final quarter.

  Cathal Dolan scored their second goal in the 58th minute and they were also on target with some very well taken points as they swept aside the challenge of their near neighbours. Make no mistake, Four Roads are on a mission this year and Athleague will have to play very well to deny them a return to the summit of Roscommon hurling.

  Jamie Lawlor, Michael Kelly, Cormac Coyle Shane Curley, Noel Fallon, Conor Mulry and the outstanding Cathal Dolan were the stars for Four Roads on the day while for a very disappointing Pearses outfit, Aaron Fehily, Cathal Kelly and Shane Naughton had their moments.

Four Roads: David Dowd; Oisin Campbell, Jamie Lawlor, Martin McLoughlin; Cormac Coyle, Micheal Kelly, Jack Donnelly (0-1); Shane Curley (0-1, s/l), Conor Coyle; Cathal Dolan (1-10, 6 frees), Noel Fallon (0-3), Padraig Kelly (0-1); James Fitzmaurice, Conor Mulry (0-1), James Cunniffe (1-0). Subs: Niall Hynes for Fitzmaurice (38), Donal Kelly for Donnelly (43), Brendan Mulry (0-1) for Cunniffe (50), Niall Hynes for Fallon (56).

Pádraig Pearses: Thomas Sweeney; Matthew Comerford, Eoghan Cogavan, Luke Corbett; Evan Kelly, Aaron Fehily, Paul Dolan; Mike Donoghue, Cathal Kelly (0-8, 6 frees, s/l); Shane Naughton (0-1), Eoghan Costello, Leon Fehily; Oisin Kelly (0-1), David Loughnane, Keelan Daly. Subs: Karl Fehily for Kelly and Jamie Donoghue for Daly (h/t), Mikey Kelly for L Fehily and Jamie Curley for Costello (63).

Referee: Vincent Burke

 

Stat Attack

Wides: Four Roads 11 (5 first half) Pearses 9 (4 first half)

Red cards: None

Yellow cards: Four Roads 1 (Noel Fallon) Pearses 3 (Eoghan Costello, Keelan Daly, Karl Fehily)

Man of the Match: Cathal Dolan (Four Roads)

 

Post-match reaction…

Four Roads talisman Micheal Kelly said it was a case of ‘mission accomplished’ following last Saturday’s semi-final win over Pádraig Pearses.

  He said: “Our aim from the beginning of the year was to get back into the final and we are there now. We had come up short the last three years but we have put in a huge effort this year. It’s going to be a massive test against Athleague but we are looking forward to it now.

  “We played well on the day and we pulled away in the last fifteen minutes but it was a tough game. It’s never easy playing against Pádraig Pearses. We are where we want to be now and Athleague and Four Roads always bring out the best in each other so it will be a great final”.

 

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