Tribesmen set for Roscommon
So now we know, Galway will be coming to Dr Hyde Park on the 17th of June for the Connacht senior final and although it is great to have a home venue, the Tribesmen look a formidable outfit after the thrashing they handed out to Sligo in the semi-final last weekend.
But there is an advantage in knowing what to expect and I am sure Kevin McStay and his ‘brains trust’ will be making plans to deal with the challenge of Galway. It will certainly not be easy and their tally of 4-24 against Sligo is a huge score against any opposition. Every championship game is different and Roscommon will go into the match as underdogs but with a good chance of retaining their title. We will go into the final in far more detail next week but it is a day that we can all look forward to.
After all the controversy last week the situation was resolved eventually that the game can now be played at Dr Hyde Park. A number of people worked very hard in the background to resolve the situation and they have to be congratulated. Let’s hope that the issue does not come up again.
Dr Hyde Park is a fine venue and very suitable for big games. There is now a top class surface there and over the years the work that is required at the venue can be carried out. I know that all this costs big money but there are other counties in far more debt than we are in Roscommon.
The conditions set down by the Connacht council in their statement (it’s detailed elsewhere in the paper) are tough, but when the work is carried out we will have a venue that will be one of the best in the country.
I am also glad the match is in Dr Hyde Park for Club Rossie and the people who are trying to raise funds to keep Roscommon GAA going. It would have been a far more difficult task if the Connacht Final was taken away from Dr Hyde Park. It’s time to move on with a new era for our county ground. There are many people, my own late father included, who was one of the people involved in buying the land for Dr Hyde Park all those years ago, keeping a watching brief from just across the wall who would be happy that the situation is resolved this week.
Great wins for hurlers and U-20s!
There were great wins for the U-20 footballers and the senior hurlers at the weekend. I was in Newbridge for the opening round of the Christy Ring Cup against Kildare four weeks previously. If you told me that evening on the way home after watching Roscommon lose by 26 points that the same team would easily beat Mayo to retain their Christy Ring Cup status I would be calling for the men in the white coats. But in fairness to all concerned they turned their season around and they were never in trouble last Saturday and they won in style. Well done to players and management.
On Saturday night the U-20 footballers could have been ten points down at half-time against Sligo but they put in an excellent second half display to win with a bit to spare. They now face Galway on Saturday next and I understand that Galway are really strong at this level so Roscommon will be up against it. But at underage level you never know what might happen.
But I have to agree with the comments about the timing and running of this competition. The U-17 and U-20 grade were brought in with a view to not having lads playing inter-county football and having to do the Leaving Cert. However, it turns out now that at least five Roscommon players are doing the Leaving and are ruled out, while the U-17 competition, which has very few if any players doing exams, is off until after the exams are over! It makes no sense at all.
It is also unfair that the U-20 competition in Connacht is not round robin like it is in other provinces. Sligo trained from the start of the year to play Roscommon last Saturday night and they are out after one game, which is very unfair. Maybe the authorities will look at it again for next year. If it is knock-out for the entire country then so be it but let every province go with the same format.
World Cup almost here…
It is hard to believe that the 2018 World Cup will start next week and there is hardly a word about it. Maybe when the matches actually start there will be more interest.
Ireland head Down Under
The Irish rugby team face Australia in the first of three tests this Saturday and this will be a huge tour for Joe Schmidt’s team as they look ahead to the World Cup next year. Ireland have brought a full strength team and it will be interesting to see if they can win all three tests.
Ireland are now the established number two team in the world and the Aussies would love to take them down a peg or two. I am really looking forward to the games. We can just hope and pray that there are no serious injuries.
Time to look at technology?
The mistake made by the umpire and referee at last Sunday’s game between Tipperary and Waterford was as bad as I have ever seen in a major game. Fair play to the Waterford players and management afterwards who were so understanding.
Even though it was an unforgiveable error I have sympathy for the umpire. I spent a few years travelling around the country with Joe Kearney doing umpire at various inter-county games some years ago and it is not as easy a job as one might think. Thankfully we had no major controversies over that time!
It is an even harder job to do a hurling umpire’s job as the ball is smaller and flies much faster. We are all human and can make mistakes but last Sunday’s error will once again bring to the fore the debate about technology and whether it might be possible to have it at all big grounds. It may not be financially viable but it should be looked into.
All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1
(All games on Saturday except for London v Louth which is on Sunday). I am predicting wins for Wexford (v Waterford), Derry (v Kildare), Tyrone (v Meath), Cavan (v Wicklow), Offaly (v Antrim), Mayo (v Limerick), Armagh (v Westmeath) and Louth (v London).
Leinster SHC Round Robin on Saturday at 7 pm
Kilkenny v Wexford
This promises to be a cracker, Kilkenny are motoring along nicely again and Wexford will have to recover from a fairly tough day against Galway last weekend. Kilkenny at home should come through but Wexford will give it everything.
Galway v Dublin
Galway look a class apart so far and at home they should easily account for a Dublin team who won their most important game against Offaly last Sunday.
Leinster SFC Semi-Finals in Croke Park on Sunday
Carlow v Laois at 2 pm
There won’t be much between these neighbours who have surprised a lot of people to get this far. They met in the League Division 4 final, which Laois won. The O’Moore County might repeat that dose here. Donie Kingston will be the key man. Prediction: Laois
Dublin v Longford at 4 pm
A great day out for Longford but no analysis needed here.
Ulster SFC Semi-Final
Donegal v Down on Sunday in Clones at 4 pm
The well-deserved win for Fermanagh against Monaghan has electrified the Ulster championship and now these two will have an even greater pep in their step. If the Donegal big guns play they have the firepower to get over the line.
Munster SHC on Sunday at 2 pm
Limerick v Waterford
Waterford have been decimated by injuries and last Sunday the officiating cost them a win against Tipp. Looks like it’s not their year. Limerick have been impressive.
Tipperary v Clare
The game of the weekend in hurling. Both teams need a win. Tipp are very inconsistent and Clare are finding their form. This will be a humdinger.