Mature Glavey’s can conquer Connacht
It is not often over the years that any Roscommon team travelled to MacHale Park in Castlebar for a championship match and came back with a win so the achievement of Michael Glavey’s in winning against Bohola/Moy Davitts on Sunday last was memorable to say the least. But not alone that, they won playing some super football and it was a cracking game to be at. Both sides went at each other in a very positive way from the throw-in and the crowd were treated to a thrilling spectacle. Glavey’s were excellent all through and it is amazing what two years of experience can do for a team.
This Glavey’s team have matured and are now a fine side. They had many heroes last Sunday and most of them have county experience. Darren O’Malley, Gary Patterson and Caoileann Fitzmaurice made huge contributions as usual but Conor Hussey and Andy Glennon are playing great football at the moment. I know that Andy Glennon played in the FBD League at the start of the year but he has all the attributes one needs to play football at the top level. He is big and strong and knows where the posts are which is rare enough. Young Cathal Heneghan was also very impressive and one for the future surely.
If Glavey’s display the same intensity and will to win in the Connacht final they will have a great chance of lifting the title. To score nineteen points and win by only one point gives an indication of the quality of the game last Sunday.
Bohola/Moy Davitts made a huge contribution too and it was a heartbreaker for their best player, Brian Reape, when that last free went wide of the posts, but that’s the cruelty of sport.
Just a note of commiseration to Kilglass Gaels. It was never going to be easy facing into a Connacht championship game after losing in the county final but they will be back.
Both St. Brigid’s and Tulsk play in the new Connacht minor club finals this weekend and we wish them the very best of luck. Tulsk played three games in five days last week and are still standing which is a great testament to them. Brigid’s have a busy weekend and they can get it off to a flyer if they could win on Friday night. The idea of Connacht club championships at minor/U-17 level is a good one. Good luck to all.
Brigid’s face stern Corofin test
St. Brigid’s’ senior team are up against it again when they travel to face Corofin in the Connacht semi-final on Sunday. They will have painful memories of their last encounter last year in Carrick-on-Shannon when Corofin ran riot.
The game is previewed in more detail elsewhere in the paper this week but Brigid’s are a much better team this year than they were last year and they have a much better chance. But Corofin have their eyes on an All-Ireland title, never mind a Connacht title and they are a really strong side. Brigid’s will have to play better than they have done so far this year or indeed last year if they want to win - but it’s not an impossible task.
Tooreen show what can be done
Hats off to Tooreen, who made history by becoming the first Mayo team to win the Connacht intermediate club hurling title last Sunday. I was very impressed when I saw them play Pádraig Pearses and at the end of that match report predicted that they had every chance against Ballinderreen. They played some marvellous hurling against Pearses and they repeated that last Sunday. It shows what can be done. Roscommon clubs take note.
Huge weekend for Irish teams
It’s a massive weekend for the Irish soccer and rugby teams and Saturday will be one of those days that those of us who love sport will be in our element.
It will be very interesting to see how the rugby team do against South Africa. I am still of the view that Simon Zebo should be playing but Joe Schmidt has made his decision and there is no going back now.
It looks certain that Bundee Aki will make his debut as well. I am one of those who have no problem with that but there are those who would claim that he should not be playing for Ireland. It would be a huge boost for the rest of the season for Ireland to win this match.
The soccer team will be up against it when they travel to Copenhagen but while we don’t have great players there is a massive spirit in this Irish team under Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane. If we do not concede a goal we will be in a great position for the second leg.
Even better if we could sneak a goal away from home. The game on Saturday night may be a bit of a bore as I expect Ireland to park the bus but there will be plenty of excitement as there is so much at stake. I find it much harder to watch the Irish team play in recent years but it should be worth a look over the two games this weekend.
Cluxton deserved an All Star!
So the All Stars have come and gone and Mayo and Dublin were always going to dominate. The only surprise to me was that Stephen Cluxton was not picked in goal. Whether you like him or not, Cluxton has almost single-handedly changed the game of Gaelic football in the modern era. The kick-out is now probably the most important part of the game and he was the one who made it that way. I know that David Clarke is a magnificent goalkeeper and the best of luck to him but Cluxton deserved to be picked this year.
I was delighted that Andy Moran was named Footballer of the Year. He may not have endeared himself to Roscommon supporters at the start of the year in that FBD League game in Kiltoom but in my book he was the best player in the country this year when it came to the championship and at 34 it is some achievement. He played well in every single one of the ten championship games that Mayo were involved in.
It was also nice to see Joe Canning getting the Hurler of the Year award. He has been one of the finest that we have seen over many years and finally he delivered in 2017.
It was a nice touch to see the family of the late Tony Keady there to share in that award too. It was also good to see players from further down the hurling food chain being honoured and Padraig Kelly was a very worthy recipient. He has had another great year in hurling and in football.
O’Briens out in front in world of racing
Last week in this column we hailed the unbelievable success of Aidan O’Brien who broke the world record this year for Group 1 winners.
The success of the O’Brien family was taken to an even higher plane in the early hours of Tuesday morning when Joseph O’Brien, who is just 24 years of age, trained Rekindling to win the Melbourne Cup, which is the biggest horse race in the Southern Hemisphere.
Not alone did he win it but there was an Irish 1-2-3 as dad Aidan was second with Johannes Vermeer and Max Dynamite was third. I know that it is not the first Irish winner as Vintage Crop won it a few years ago for Dermot Weld but for the Irish to come out a first, second and third in a race of this magnitude so far away from home is some sporting achievement and up there with the best of 2017 in any sport.
Dalys and Cregg welcomed back
The news that the Daly brothers and Cathal Cregg are to rejoin the Roscommon panel in the next few weeks is very welcome. We need all the county standard players that we have and it will strengthen the panel for 2018.
Ross Timothy and Finbar Cregg also deserve to get a run as both have played great club football this summer. Conor Hussey and Andy Glennon are also playing very well for Michael Glavey’s and are sure to come to the attention of the selectors as well. It won’t be long until we are setting our sights on the 2018 season.