Seamus Duke’s Championship preview

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC

(Round 2)

 Group A: In what will be a very hard fought and intense tie, local bragging rights will be up for grabs once again as Clann na nGael and Pádraig Pearses do battle in Johnstown on Friday night at 8 pm. There is a doubt about Clann’s goal-scoring hero from their win against Strokestown, Ultan Harney, who is struggling with an injury. Ciaran Lennon was on fire in round one and Pearses will have to formulate a plan to deal with him. Pearses kept their heads against Western Gaels and did enough to prevail in injury-time. Maybe Pearses might have the edge.

In the other match in Group A, both Strokestown and Western Gaels will be anxious to get that vital first win on the board after both sides lost narrowly in round one. This has the makings of a very close game but with home advantage in Frenchpark at 5.30 pm on Saturday I am giving a hesitant vote to Fergal O’Donnell’s men.

 

Group B: When Elphin and Roscommon Gaels meet in Enfield on Saturday evening at 5 pm, both sides will be looking to improve in attack after losing their respective first matches. Elphin were very competitive against Michael Glavey’s for most of the way while the Gaels missed a number of chances in their loss to Boyle. The Gaels look the better bet here but it could be close.

Boyle and Michael Glavey’s travel to Dr. Hyde Park also on Saturday evening (6.30 pm) for an attractive looking clash. Glavey’s secured a good win against Elphin with Darragh Heneghan’s late goal, while Daire Cregg was very impressive for Boyle as they accounted for Roscommon Gaels. Boyle’s superior firepower looks the key to resolving this one.

 

Group C: Reeling from their first round defeat at the hands of Oran, St. Brigid’s will need to re-focus for their clash with Tulsk in Kiltoom on Saturday night (8 pm). The champions were totally off colour against Oran and will need to get their act together here. Tulsk will be lifted by a fine performance against St. Croan’s but this is a step up. Surely there cannot be another shock here? Brigid’s to win.

Oran’s surprise element is now firmly gone after their magnificent performance against St. Brigid’s and it will be interesting to see how they cope with expectation now. They entertain St. Croan’s on Sunday in Rockfield at 3 pm and anything other than a home win would constitute a shock.

 

Mulryan Construction IFC (Round 2)

Group A: ‘Game of the Weekend’ is surely the local derby between Fuerty and Creggs on Saturday in Fuerty at 6 pm. Both sides had very good wins in their opening round and will be confident of winning this. At home, Fuerty might just have enough.

Shannon Gaels are at home in Croghan on Sunday against Castlerea St. Kevin’s at 1 pm. Castlerea are improving and should prevail in this clash but it will be close.

Group B: Ballinameen and Kilbride are first into action on Friday night in Strokestown at 8 pm. Both sides lost their opening round matches and will be anxious to put a win on the board. Kilbride look to have more in attack and they should emerge.

In a local derby, Clann na nGael and St. Aidan’s met in Kiltoom on Saturday at 5 pm. There won’t be much between these two sides, both of whom are looking for their second win. Aidan’s are improving and might just have the edge.

 

Group C: St. Dominic’s were probably the most impressive team in round one and they will be expecting to account for Éire Óg when the sides meet in Knockcroghery on Saturday at 6 pm. They look a banker bet.

In Kilmore, the home side’s backs are to the wall after a bad defeat to St. Dominic’s in round one and it doesn’t get any easier when St. Faithleach’s come calling on Sunday at 1 pm. The Murtaghs should ensure that the Ballyleague men notch up another win.