Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC (Round One)
Boyle v Roscommon Gaels (Group B) on Friday night in Boyle at 7.30 pm
Both teams are under new management with Decie Hoare with the Gaels and Cian Smith with Boyle and both will be hoping to erase memories of disappointing campaigns in 2020. The Gaels have been training hard and have a number of new faces on board. However the loss of Cian Connolly and Scott Oates and the injury to Peter Giloolly will restrict the town side. Still, with the likes of Paul Gleeson, David O’Gara, Mark Healy and Cathal Dineen on board the Gaels will be competitive.
Boyle were well beaten by St. Brigid’s in last year’s semi-final but they retain most of their ‘big guns’ like Enda and Donie Smith, Cian McKeon, Tadgh McKenna, Seanie Purcell and Evan McGrath and the talented Daire Cregg will also be a big addition to their squad.
This promises to be a cagey affair but Boyle look to have the better attacking options.
Michael Glavey’s v Elphin (Group B) in Ballinlough on Friday at 7.30 pm
If Glavey’s are to have a say in this championship they must get their campaign off to a win here. Conor Hussey, Gary Patterson and the Heneghans will be expecting to lead the home side. Elphin have done very well to remain in the senior championship without much fuss in recent years and this is a game that they will be targeting to win. There won’t be much in this one.
Prediction: Michael Glavey’s
Padraig Pearses v Western Gaels (Group A) on Saturday in Pairc an Piarsiagh at 3 pm
On their best form, Pearses are still serious title contenders with the talent they have in their ranks including the Dalys, Davy Murray, Hubert Darcy among others. Western Gaels have plenty of good players too but they always seem to come up just short when it comes to the big games. If both sides are close to full strength this will be a cracker but Pearses look the more likely.
Prediction: Padraig Pearses
Strokestown v Clann na nGael (Group B) in Strokestown on Saturday at 5 pm
Clann have not been playing well so far this year and will want to step it up here. Donie Shine won’t be involved for the first time in over a decade. Strokestown have already beaten the Johnstown men in the league this year. There are plenty of good players on view. It’s not that a Stokestown win would constitute a shock but at home they have every chance.
Oran v St. Brigid’s (Group C) on Friday night in Oran at 7.30 pm
Some of the county’s best young footballers will be playing in Rockfield in this attractive tie. Brigid’s played some fantastic football to sweep to the title in 2020 and they have a very talented young team. Oran are a team that are on the way up but they have been operating in the Tansey Cup, which is not great preparation for the senior championship. The champions should be good enough.
Prediction: St. Brigid’s
Tulsk v St. Croan’s (Group C) on Saturday in Hyde Park at 7.30 pm
A feisty local derby in prospect here as both sides will be going for that all important first win. Croan’s have been doughty championship battlers over the past number of years but if Tulsk are close to full strength they should be good enough.