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Terry's high hopes

 

 

 

 

Terry Hyland is a Cavan man through and through. Having spent four very successful years managing the Breffni U-21 footballers, he graduated to the senior team where he spent five years at the helm, presiding over promotion to Division One in the league and a number of very impressive performances in the ultra-competitive Ulster SFC.

  His appointment as the Leitrim manager last autumn was greeted warmly in the county and he set about his goal of making Leitrim competitive after a number of very poor seasons in both league and championship. Promotion from Division Four was his number one priority and he achieved that in style, his side only losing to eventual divisional champions Derry in the final group game and again to the same opposition in the Division Four final in Croke Park.

  Now Hyland and his charges face an even more daunting challenge, that of travelling to Dr. Hyde Park and beating old rivals Roscommon who have proven the nemesis of Leitrim so many times in recent years. But make no mistake, Hyland is fully convinced that his side are capable of defeating Roscommon this coming Sunday.

  “I don’t wish to sound cocky or anything like that but any game that you go into, you want to win it and this game is no different. You have to believe that you can win. Do I believe that we can beat Roscommon? Yes I do. Do I think it will be tough? Yes I do. It would be a big turn up for the books but I really believe that we can beat them,” he said.

  “We are very happy with the way we have been performing and this is a huge game for Leitrim and the players all know that they will need to perform to win it.

  “We need to play with confidence and back it up with ability and I think we have both those qualities in abundance. The league performances have given us confidence and we can kick on from there against Roscommon.

  “The buzz in our camp is good, and the buzz in the county is good too. We have concentrated on the mental attitude of the players as much as anything else. We haven’t performed any miracle or anything like that, it’s just giving players’ belief. In any dressing room you see the players from the various clubs sitting together and that’s natural, but we changed that and ensured that they mixed better and made sure the lads on the panel got to know each other.

  “This is a huge local derby and even living in Cavan I never realised it was so big. We used to play Monaghan and Fermanagh and those were big games and this is just as big for the people involved. Look, I am due to get one over on Roscommon at this stage so why not in this game?” (Laughs).

 

 

Cunningham expects a tough test

 

 

Roscommon manager Anthony Cunningham is expecting a very tough game when his team meet neighbours Leitrim on Sunday.

  Speaking to People Sport, he said: “Our primary goal this year is to improve our performances from the league. It’s good to have lads like Brian Stack, Fintan Cregg, Diarmuid Murtagh and John McManus back on the panel. They are all experienced players and a big help to us.

  “Competition for places on the team is very keen at the moment and that’s how we like to have it. No-one wants to be left out of the first fifteen”.

  Cunningham has observed Leitrim’s progress with keen interest.

  “Terry Hyland has come into Leitrim and has done a fine job and there is a huge wave of enthusiasm in the county as a result. They have to be admired for the way they have gone about their business. They will be a very tough proposition for us in Dr. Hyde Park. Our sole focus is on that Leitrim game. I am really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get going.

  “If you looked at the Division Four final there wasn’t much between the teams, and Leitrim played some great stuff so we know for certain that this is going to be a very hard game”.

Seamus Duke on sport - May 10th

 

 

 

 

Rossies back in action this weekend

Is it me, or does the championship seem to come around faster every year? We are back in the thick of it on Sunday in Dr. Hyde Park and the game against Leitrim is previewed in detail elsewhere in the paper this week. I am expecting a spirited challenge from Leitrim but I am expecting a comfortable win for Roscommon.

  The Roscommon hurlers are playing this weekend too and they face a huge task against Kildare who hammered them last year in Newbridge. I was there that day and it was one of the heaviest defeats that I have seen in the many years that I have been covering Roscommon hurlers. But as the song says: ‘The only way is up!’ and I have been impressed with how Ciaran Comerford has gone about his business this year, quietly and under the radar. I know that the players have worked hard and a good league campaign will give them confidence. It’s probably too much to expect them to win against Kildare but watch out for a big improvement.

  It’s a pity that the game is not being played in Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday. Athleague may be the home of Roscommon hurling but fixing the game there with a throw-in time of 12.45 pm will ensure a very small attendance. Good luck to all concerned.

Racing returns to Lenebane

Roscommon Races are back on Monday for another season and this year they will unveil their magnificent new facilities, which include new changing rooms and a sauna, new press facilities, first aid room and a new secretary’s office. There is hardly a year that goes by that Roscommon have not upgraded their facilities and Michael Finneran has done a marvellous job there as manager. He deserves huge praise for his hard work at the track over the years and hopefully it will be another very successful year at Lenebane.

Connacht championship up and running

The matches for Mayo and Galway last weekend  in the Connacht championship were all about winning and both did so, and will now move on.

  Galway were poor against London but Kevin Walsh will be happy with the win and with another fairly easy match coming up against Sligo, the Tribesmen can prepare for a Connacht final.

  Mayo were never out of second gear as they hammered New York and they are spending a week out in the Catskill Mountains on a training camp ahead of tougher tests down the road.

  One can only marvel at the level of support that Mayo footballers have. Everyone saw the video clips of thousands of Mayo supporters singing and dancing in Times Square last Saturday and if Roscommon are able to beat Leitrim on Sunday there will be at least 25,000 people at the Mayo v Rossies clash on May 25th and 20,000 of them will be supporting Mayo. It seems that their support base is growing all the time which is phenomenal.

Title race goes right to the wire!

The Premier League title race is going right down to the wire and after weeks of predicting that there would be a twist in the tail of the season, it’s looking very much like Manchester City will nick it at the death. When Divock Origi scored that late goal for Liverpool on Saturday night against Newcastle I thought that Liverpool’s name was on the trophy. But just as Manchester City looked like they were going to slip up against Leicester City up comes Vincent Kompany with a contender for goal of the season on Monday night.

  On Sunday next Liverpool should beat Wolves at Anfield but City should be far too good for Brighton. It’s unlikely we will see any shock result. If that happens Liverpool will have gathered an amazing 97 points and not won the title. Liverpool and City have been miles ahead of the rest this season and they will be even stronger next season.

  As for Manchester United, they are going from one crisis to another. It could be many years before they are contenders again. I am happy with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager. At least he has respect for the club and the people who follow them. Mourinho had respect for no one except himself.

Irish women to the fore

The annual Byron Nelson Championship this weekend on the PGA Tour will see a lot of the big guns in action as it is only one week ahead of the second major of the year, the PGA Championship, which this year will be held at Bethpage in New York.

  Tiger Woods is not playing this weekend and he will go straight to the PGA and play on a course that he has won the US Open on in the past. 

  In women’s golf Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire have both qualified to play in the forthcoming US Open which is huge for them. Maguire is steadily making her way to the top of the sport and it is only a matter of time before the County Cavan woman is competing for the top prizes in the professional game.

Note: An article about the late Eugene McGee can be seen in the Straight Talking Column this week.

Championship Watch

Leinster SFC Round One

Wicklow v Kildare in Aughrim on Saturday at 7 pm

Wicklow have had a poor league campaign and can have no lofty ambitions about this game never mind the Leinster Championship. Kildare are a notch or two below a top eight side but they will be far too strong for John Evans’ men. Prediction: Kildare

Wexford v Louth at Wexford Park on Sunday at 3 pm

Not a tie to set the pulses racing. Louth had a reasonable league campaign and only narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Three. Wexford have slipped down the rankings. Louth might just have enough.

Prediction: Louth

Meath v Offaly on Sunday in Navan at 3 pm

Meath are on a high after promotion to Division One and are definitely improving. John Maughan will be hoping that his side can keep the margin to a respectable level. I just hope that it’s not too one-sided.

Prediction: Meath

Munster SFC Quarter-Finals

Tipperary v Limerick in Thurles on Saturday at 7 pm

Tipperary have not been as impressive this year as they have been for the past four or five. Nevertheless, Liam Kerins’ charges should be too good for Limerick. Prediction: Tipperary

Clare v Waterford in Ennis on Saturday at 7 pm

No record breaking crowd expected in Ennis for this one. Clare are a very solid outfit under Colm Collins and it would be more than a surprise if they don’t prevail here.

Prediction: Clare

Ulster SFC Preliminary Round

Tyrone v Derry in Omagh on Sunday at 4 pm

Only a few short years ago this would have been the game of the day in the football championship. But with Tyrone looking a very good side and genuine All-Ireland contenders, it will be easy for them at home.

Prediction: Tyrone

Leinster SHC Round One

Kilkenny v Dublin in Nowlan Park on Saturday at 7 pm

Now this should be interesting. Kilkenny are short a few vital players through injury. Mattie Kenny seems to be getting a nice tune out of this Dublin team. This could be a cracking game settled by home advantage. Kilkenny by two or three points.

Prediction: Kilkenny

Galway v Carlow in Pearse Stadium on Sunday at 3 pm

Prediction: Galway

Munster SHC Round One

Waterford v Clare in Waterford on Sunday at 2 pm

If the Munster championship is half as good last last year’s then we are all in for a treat. Fasten your seatbelts folks the roller coaster-ride begins here. I have a suspicion that Clare will be a dark horse this summer. Prediction: Clare

Cork v Tipperary in Pairc Ui Caoimh on Sunday at 4 pm

Assuming that they have looked after the pitch, this promises to be another thriller. Tipp are under pressure to perform under Liam Sheedy. Cork were probably the unlucky team in last year’s championship. They can start with a win on home soil.

Prediction: Cork

Connacht SFC Quarter-Final

Roscommon v Leitrim in Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday at 3.30 pm

Comprehensive preview elsewhere in our sports section.

Prediction: Roscommon

 

Dooner's weekend predictions - May 10th

 

 

 

Ballymoe FC upset the odds last weekend with a very impressive 3-2 win in the semi-finals of the Premier Division Cup to wreck any hopes St. Peter’s FC had of claiming back-to-back trebles. Ballymoe will now face Ballinasloe Town in the final of that competition.

  Elsewhere, Dunmore Town maintained their Division One status with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Ahascragh United after extra-time. Ahascragh will now face Roscommon United next weekend with the winners playing in Division One next season.

  Finally, St. John’s Athletic will play CP Ajax this weekend for a place in the Division One Cup Final following their 2-0 win away to Ballinasloe Town B last weekend.

 

Friday, May 10th

Topline Ward’s Division Two Cup Semi-Final

Glen Celtic v Cloonfad United B. 8 pm           

Celtic to progress.

Prediction: Glen Celtic

Norio’s Takeaway Division One/Killeen Sportsgrounds Division Two Promotion/Relegation Play-off

At Lecarrow: Ahascragh United v Roscommon United. 8 pm

Momentum is vital…as we saw on Tuesday night at Anfield.

Prediction: Roscommon United           

 

Saturday, May 11th

Joe’s Bar RDFL Challenge Cup Semi-Final

At Lecarrow: Boyle Celtic v Moore United. 7.30 pm

Boyle will be favourites to progress to the final but Moore are certainly no pushovers.

Prediction: Boyle Celtic

 

Sunday, May 12th

Hanly Quarries Premier Division Cup Final

At Lecarrow: Ballymoe FC v Ballinasloe Town. 12 pm

A very difficult one to call. Ballymoe will be full of confidence and it will take a very good Ballinasloe performance to beat them.

Prediction: Ballinasloe Town

 

Norio’s Takeaway Division One Cup Semi-Finals (11 am)

Ballaghaderreen FC v Moylough ’79

Moylough to go through.

Prediction: Moylough ‘79

St. John’s Athletic v CP Ajax           

This is one that could go either way. St. John’s to edge it based on recent form.

Prediction: St. John’s Athletic

 

2019 Connacht Championship Countdown!

 

 

 

 

Mayo and Galway on foreign soil this weekend

 

The 2019 Connacht Senior Football Championship will begin this weekend when Mayo visit New York and Galway travel to London.

 

  The ‘big two’, Galway and Mayo, are the strong favourites to win this year’s championship but the start of a new one always brings fresh hope.

  This week Seamus Duke looks ahead to what promises to be another enthralling Connacht campaign…

 

Galway

Number of titles: 47

Last won: 2018

Manager: Kevin Walsh (5th year)

Key players: Shane Walsh, Ian Burke, Damien Comer (currently injured)

First game: v London in Ruislip this Sunday

Title odds: 4/5

What they’re saying: “You always want to win Connacht. It is a shorter route to the Super 8s and it makes things much easier. It’s been a long time since Galway put two Connacht titles back to back and our aim is to win Connacht if we can”. (Manager Kevin Walsh)

Chances: Deserved favourites who were just a kick of a ball away from playing Kerry in this year’s Division One final. The return of the Corofin players and a fully fit Damien Comer will be vital for them. Very strong and improving.

Prediction: Beaten finalists

Mayo

 

Number of titles: 46

Last won: 2015

Manager: James Horan (1st year of second term)

Key players: Aidan O’Shea, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan

Title odds: 5/4

First game: v New York on Sunday in New York

What they’re saying: “The fact we won the league has not put any added pressure on us at all. It was great to win a national title. It helps in terms of confidence and belief but by the time the players had togged in that day they had already moved on and it was amazing how quickly that happened”. (Manager James Horan)

Chances: They look the part under James Horan and a couple of excellent wins against Kerry in the league have brought them back into national focus again. If they win this championship it’s likely that they will have to beat Roscommon and Galway so it won’t be easy. They seem to have a renewed confidence and will have a massive following behind them.

Prediction: Winners

Roscommon

 

Number of titles: 23

Last won: 2017

Manager: Anthony Cunningham (1st year)

Key players: Enda Smith, Diarmuid Murtagh, Sean Mullooly.

Title odds: 10/1

First game: v Leitrim on Sunday, May 12th

What they’re saying: “Our biggest goal is to keep improving and improve our performances from the league. Competition for places is high at the moment and it is great to have that. Leitrim have a huge amount of confidence behind them and Terry Hyland has done a great job. We are not looking at Mayo or Galway or anyone else, our sole focus is on Leitrim on May 12th and that’s it”. (Manager Anthony Cunningham)

Chances: Roscommon always have a chance of winning the Connacht championship. However, this year they do not have an easy draw. A battle with a rejuvenated Leitrim will be tougher than usual but it is a game they should win. The clash with Mayo would be a different prospect altogether if they can overcome Leitrim.

Prediction: Beaten semi-finalists.

Leitrim

 

Number of titles: 2

Last title: 1994

Manager: Terry Hyland

Key players: Ryan O’Rourke, Michael McWeeney, Emlyn Mulligan

Title odds: 500/1

What they’re saying: “We are going into the Roscommon game to win it and that’s not being cocky or anything like that. If we didn’t think we couldn’t win we would be in the wrong job. Can we beat Roscommon? Yes we can. Will it be tough? Yes it will. It would be a turn up for the books but that’s for other people. It’s a huge game for Leitrim and we need to perform on the day, simple as that”. (Manager Terry Hyland)

Chances: It would be a very brave man (or woman) who would predict that Leitrim would win the 2019 Connacht Championship. They would have to beat Roscommon, Mayo and Galway to do so which seems very unlikely. However, their excellent league campaign will give them hope as they take the field in Dr. Hyde Park on May 12th. They will cause Roscommon problems but are unlikely to upset the odds.

Prediction: Beaten quarter-finalists

Sligo

 

Number of titles: 3

Last title: 2007

Manager: Paul Taylor (1st year)

Key players: Niall Murphy, Adrian Marren, Cian Breheny

Title odds: 100/1

What they’re saying: “It was a very difficult league campaign but the mood in the camp is good. We have taken the positives out of the league and the lads are training hard and looking forward to the championship. We have a very young panel and we are looking ahead. We are short a lot of players through injury and retirements but we are building. I presume that we will be playing Galway and if so it will be a tough game but we will be going in as underdogs so the pressure will be off”. (Manager Paul Taylor)

Chances: Sligo are usually capable of making a shape when it comes to the championship but this year it’s not looking great after a disastrous league campaign that has seen them relegated to Division Four. Assuming that Galway beat London it’s hard to see Sligo causing the Tribesmen too much trouble. They will have to hope for an easy draw in the qualifiers.

Prediction: Beaten quarter-finalists

London

 

Number of titles: None

Manager: Ciaran Deeley (2nd year)

Key players: Ryan Jones, Kiam Gavigan, Anthony McDermott

Title odds: 500/1

First game: v Galway this Sunday in Ruislip

Chances: London have had a very poor league campaign and finished bottom of Division Four. They have much the same tam as they have fielded in the past three years and although they are capable of playing some nice football, they would have very little chance of beating a powerful Galway team.

Prediction: First round defeat

New York

 

Number of titles: None

Manager: Justin O’Halloran

Key players: Tom Cunniffe, Vinny Cadden, David Culhane

First game: v Mayo this Sunday

Title odds: 500/1

Chances: The trip to New York is eagerly awaited by supporters of the various Connacht counties and New York have shown that if they can get their act together they can put it up to the visitors. But they will surely be up against it this Sunday. It will be a great weekend for Mayo people in The Big Apple but no luck for the New York GAA team again this year.

Prediction: First round defeat

 

 

Seamus Duke on sport - May 3rd

 

 

 

 

Showdown with Leitrim edges closer

 

The only real test of how a team is going is when they take the field for the championship but the signs for Roscommon footballers in recent weeks have been positive. A number of players have rejoined the panel and there is real competition for places in the starting fifteen. Training is going well and there is a positive mood in the group which is great.

 

  The only focus now is the match against Leitrim on Sunday week. It will be a very difficult game but I am expecting Roscommon to win it in the end. If Roscommon can prevail by five or six points it will be excellent preparation for a game against Mayo in Castlebar. That’s for another day but all Roscommon can do is prepare the best they can for the Connacht championship and one thing is for certain, on their best day Roscommon can be a match for anyone. It’s hard to believe it, but the big day against Leitrim is on Sunday week!

  The Roscommon hurlers are also in action in Dr. Hyde Park on the same bill in their opening championship match so it will be a big day out for Roscommon GAA. Plenty to look forward to next week here in People Sport!

 

Best title race we’ve ever seen!

It is the best title race we have ever seen in the English Premier League. If Manchester City do not slip up Liverpool could have 97 points and not win the title which would be quite incredible. As a Manchester United fan I can only say that both sides have been excellent this season.

  Last week I predicted that Liverpool would defeat Huddersfield by five or six goals and that’s what happened. They swatted away the very poor resistance offered by the worst team in the division to win again. I cannot see them losing their final two games.

  Can City win their two games? I think they can but there’s more chance of them slipping up. Kevin De Bruyne is a massive loss but they have coped without him thus far. There will be incredible tension over the next couple of weeks. We are running out of time for a twist in the race but there could be one or two yet.

  In the Championship, Leeds United are heading for the play-offs but what a circus we had at Elland Road last Sunday when they allowed Aston Villa to equalise uncontested after the Leeds opening goal was scored while a Villa player lay injured on the pitch. I would genuinely love to see Leeds promoted but coming through the play-offs? I wouldn’t have a shilling on them! Villa are my fancy now to join Norwich and  Sheffield United.

 

Can Minors make the breakthrough?

 

The Roscommon Minor Ladies footballers will be in action in the Connacht ‘A’ final on Monday next against Galway and as we have been reporting in recent weeks here, it is only a matter of time before Roscommon make a major breakthrough at ‘A’ level and it would be super if it happened on Monday in Enfield. To have beaten Mayo already is a great achievement. Beating Galway on Monday evening would be very sweet indeed. The best of luck to all concerned.

 

Still punching above our weight!

 

Boxing is another sport that we here in Ireland have excelled at in recent years with shed loads of medals won at European and World Championships and at the Olympic Games. Now all that talent is beginning to come through in the professional ranks.

 

  Katie Taylor is on the brink of immortality if she can unify the belts in her weight division when she fights in June in New York, although Kellie Harrington is not far behind her in the woman’s game.

  Michael Conlon is looking good too and should be a champion within a year and there are several more too.

  TJ Doheny from Portlaoise was narrowly beaten by Daniel Roman last Friday night at World Super Bantamweight level. The American TV networks are calling it the ‘fight of the year’ so far. Doheny is certain to get a valuable re-match.

  Former Western Gaels and Roscommon footballer Donal Ward was also in the news lately when he contested the ‘Golden Gloves’ final in New York and according to all reports he was very unlucky to have lost. I hope to see the video of that fight this weekend.

 

Connacht set for tough Belfast trip

 

It promises to be another big weekend of rugby with two great quarter-finals coming up in the Pro14 League.

  Ulster and Connacht clash in Belfast in what promises to be a cracking match. If Ulster produce anywhere near the form we saw against Leinster in the Champions Cup at the Aviva then they will be impossible to beat at home. But Connacht have played some marvellous rugby this season and on their best day are a match for anyone. If Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion are directing traffic from half-back Connacht have a great chance of winning through to the last four.

  Munster should be too good for Benetton. The Italians have done really well to get to the quarter-finals but Johann Van Graan’s men should have the edge in big match experience.

Plenty of Punchestown action left

By the time most people read this most of the Punchestown Festival will be over although there is excellent racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (when Roscommon GAA are holding a fundraiser).

  Many of the successful Irish horses from Cheltenham will be running including City Island which was so impressive in The Cotswolds in March. It would be nice for Sean Mulryan to have a winner so close to his home in Ballymore Eustace. Punchestown is a fantastic end to the national hunt season and it seems to be getting bigger every year.

Championship Watch

 

Connacht SFC Round One

 

London v Galway on Sunday at Ruislip at 3 pm

At the launch of the Connacht SFC last week Galway manager Kevin Walsh told me that to have to travel to London was certainly not a distraction and that he was welcoming a chance to play a championship game so early in the summer. He has a lot of injury problems with six players doubtful or out including their captain Damien Comer. However he won’t be needed in this game as London have had a particularly poor year, losing all their games in Division Four of the League. It’s a chance for Galway to stretch their legs and get their championship season underway. I expect them to win this match easily.

Prediction: Galway

 

Connacht SFC Round One

New York v Mayo on Sunday in Gaelic Park at 8 pm (Irish time)

Mayo will bring a massive crowd across the Atlantic as the new NFL champions get their championship campaign underway.

  The last time James Horan was in charge there was confusion and some controversy over the arrangements for the trip to The Big Apple and whether the players should be available for social functions over the weekend or not. No such problems are anticipated this time around as they have streamlined arrangements. The Mayo squad will remain on in the New York area for a week or so after the match for a training camp. There will be great craic for the supporters this weekend and a comfortable win for the team too.

Prediction: Mayo

 

Successful Blackpool Cup for RDYSL teams

 

 

 

It’s an extremely busy period for the Roscommon & District Youth Soccer League representative teams ahead of some major national tournaments including the Kennedy Cup, which will see the county’s U-14 elite soccer players travel to Limerick in June.

  Over Easter, the U-12 and U-13 teams travelled to the Preston North End Academy for the Blackpool Cup and returned home with silverware.

  The U-13s were victorious in their trophy final after exiting the cup competition at the semi-finals stage. They comfortably overcame Dungannon United in the final 3-0.

  The U-12s meanwhile were split into two teams and played in separate groups. Both played well through the group stages following a slow start on day one. Both U-12s sides finished second in their respective groups which meant they would contest the Trophy Final with silverware guaranteed!

  So a great weekend for players, coaches and parents as the RDYSL teams took two trophies back across the Irish Sea.

  I’m reliably informed by their stats man that between them, the three teams played sixteen games, won twelve, lost four (including one against each other), scored 86 goals and conceded only 11, and drank about 350 bottles of water! 

  A great weekend was had by all and huge credit must go to the organisers, players, U-13s manager Gerry Davis and his assistants David Farrell, Robbie Kelly and Jason Tarmey, U-12s coaches Andy McKelvey, Callum McKelvey, Evan Fahy and Patrick Kelly.

  Well done also to the parents who travelled over in support of their youngsters. I’m reminded of something a former Manchester United Academy Director once said when asked in an interview who would make it at the club. He replied by telling the journalist to look around the carpark and figure out which players’ loved ones were parked there.

 

Rossies can topple reigning champions

 

 

 

Connacht LGFA Minor Football Championship ‘A’ Final

 

Roscommon v Galway on Monday, May 6th at Enfield at 6 pm

 

 

Roscommon and Galway square up at minor ‘A’ level for the second year in a row in the provincial decider when they go head to head in Ballintubber on Monday. In 2018 Galway went ahead early but Roscommon staged a late comeback which just fell short. This weekend Ollie Colgan’s team will be concentrating on getting off to a good start against what is a very strong a strong Galway side.

  Roscommon have a number of excellent performers throughout the field and the likes of Sasha Lavin, Saoirse Wynne, Megan Kelly, Kelley Colgan, Oonagh Kelly, Aimee O’Connor, Ellen Irwin and Kara Earle will be hoping to lead the team to what would be a historic win against the reigning champions.

  Roscommon have been getting closer and closer to the ‘big two’ in Connacht at the elite level in recent years. Hopes are very high that this very well coached and managed team can land a major Connacht title for Roscommon. They have the players and the determination to do so.

Prediction: Roscommon

Full round of league action this weekend

 

 

There is a full round of games this weekend in the football leagues in Divisions one, two and three. These are ‘starred’ matches when the clubs will have to play without their county players.

  In Division One all the games are on Saturday evening at 7 pm. High-flying Pádraig Pearses have Roscommon Gaels at home, while Boyle will be hoping to make home advantage count against Michael Glavey’s. Fuerty entertain another side who are going well, St. Faithleach’s, at Mulhern Park. St Croan’s need points on the board and they have a tough game against Clann na nGael at Enfield. At Kiltoom Frankie Dolan will be on the line with Western Gaels as they take on his own St. Brigid’s.

  In Division Two on Sunday the pick of the matches looks to be the meeting of Castlerea and Kilmore at O’Rourke park and Kilbride and Tulsk at Kilbride.

The Town are up for the cup!

 

 

 

A 70th minute Liam Lynch goal was enough to send Ballinasloe Town through the final of the Hanly Quarries Premier Division Cup  following a hard-fought tussle with old rivals Castlerea Celtic in Castlerea last Saturday night.

  Lynch kept his composure to steer home a Mark Duffy cross to set up a meeting with the winners of Ballymoe FC and St. Peter’s FC.

  Meanwhile, St. John’s Athletic are going up! The Lecarrow outfit sealed promotion back to the Raftery’s Oakland Hotel Premier Division following their 1-0 win over Cloonfad United in Lecarrow on Sunday, Thomas Hurley the scorer after 55 minutes.

  Roscommon United remain on course for a very successful year following their convincing 3-0 win over Skyvalley Rovers B in the Topline Ward’s Division Two Cup Semi-Final, played in the bright lights of Taughmaconnell last Friday night.

  The hosts started brightly but United took control of the tie as the game wore on and top scorer Jamie Bracken opened the scoring five minutes before half-time.

  Skyvalley went in search of an equaliser in the second half but it was the visitors who doubled their lead when Christy Leahy appeared to score direct from a corner kick. One for the dubious goals panel as Paul Allen may also have got a touch. Carl Garvin then coverted a late penalty to complete the scoring and seal United’s place in the final. There was still time for Skyvalley to miss a late opportunity for a consolation goal when Brendan Meleady’s powerful penalty was brilliantly saved by Adam Bracken.

  United march on to Friday week’s final against the winners of Glen Celtic and Cloonfad United B (this Friday) before they complete their season with a promotion/relegation play-off.

  Elsewhere, Moylough ’79, Ballaghaderreen FC and CP Ajax all booked their places in the semi-finals of the Norio’s Takeaway Division One Cup on Sunday. Moylough overcame a determined Cam Celtic side 4-2 thanks to goals from Matthew Finn, Mike Foley, Pierce Townsend and Finbarr Hughes. Cam had taken the lead by means of an own goal but Shane Dolan’s free kick in the closing stages was but a late consolation for Cam.    

Ballaghaderreen FC got the better of Dunmore Town thanks to Chris Dunne’s strike after just nine minutes.

  Rahara Rovers and CP Ajax went all the way to a penalty shootout in their quarter-final. With no goals in normal time or extra-time, successful spot-kicks from Ciaran Harkin, Ryan Larkin, Timmy Fitzmaurice and Darragh O’Rourke saw CP Ajax through 4-2 on penalties.

  In other news, the Roscommon & District Masters (over 35s) League will commence on May 11th. Applications are currently being accepted up until May 5th. For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  The Roscommon & District Football League extends its sympathies to the families and friends of the late PJ Keogh, Athlone and Sandra McCrann, Boyle. As a mark of respect both St. Peter’s FC and Boyle Celtic games were postponed last weekend. May they rest in peace.

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