Looking ahead to the Rossies

Photo: Irish Mirror (Inpho/Evan Logan)

Right, it’s Monday and our Connacht Championship semi-final clash with Roscommon takes place this Saturday at MacHale Park so it’s time to start thinking about it. The match throws in that evening at 7pm and Meath’s David Gough is the ref for it.

The curtain-raiser at MacHale Park on Saturday, by the way, will be the Connacht JFC semi-final meeting between ourselves and Leitrim, which throws in at 4.30pm. Sky Sports are broadcasting the main event live from 6.30pm.

Ourselves and the Rossies already have one gallop each under our belts in this year’s Championship. Neither of us were troubled in our opening outings, as we thumped New York by 21 points just over a fortnight ago while, seven days later, Roscommon had 14 points spare over Leitrim.

Let’s wind the clock back a bit, though, in examining what the neighbours have been up to and how they’ve been faring out as they prepare to head to Castlebar on Saturday.

Last summer had to count as a reasonably satisfactory one for them. True, they didn’t manage to hold onto their Connacht title, losing the final by 0-16 to 2-6 to Galway, and they ended up as whipping boys to Tyrone, Donegal and Dublin in the Super 8s, but at least – unlike us – they made it as far as the All-Ireland Series and got to play ball into August.

With Kevin McStay departing after their Championship exit last year and Anthony Cunningham taking over from him, Roscommon, back in Division One again this spring, battled hard to hold onto their top tier status. It was a fight they narrowly lost.

We met them in Round 1 on a night in which you wouldn’t have put the proverbial dog outside the door. I’ve never seen a game of football played in worse weather and, with the bitter cold, gale-force wind and beating rain, it wasn’t a night for any kind of masterful tactics. We did, though, get to see the first signs both of Roscommon’s more defensive style under their new manager and the increased physicality they’ve brought to their play this year.

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

It was a match we eventually won by just a single point, on a scoreline of 1-8 to 1-7. In truth, however, that scoreline flattered the Rossies a little, as their goal was a scrambled effort that came with virtually the last kick of the game.

They recovered well in Round 2 the following weekend, beating Monaghan – who’d scalped Dublin in the opening round – by 1-12 to 0-13 at Hyde Park. The following weekend, also on home turf, they drew 1-10 apiece with Tyrone but this was a match they could and should have won.

Indeed, they would have, had Ultan Harney not engaged in some brainless he-man nonsense deep in stoppage time, which resulted in a decision to award them a 21-yard free directly in front of the posts reversed. As events transpired, that was an incident that, in effect, ultimately cost Roscommon their Division One status because, had they won that game, they’d have ended up on four points and would have stayed up ahead of Monaghan by virtue of the head-to-head rule.

Still, with three points on the board after three rounds they were going okay. But then Cavan – a team they’ve always seemed to have the upper hand on – inflicted a 3-13 to 0-13 defeat on them in Round 4 at Breffni Park. The following weekend they let an uncharacteristically uncertain Dublin off the hook at Hyde Park, losing that one by 2-14 to 1-12.

That meant that they now needed some return off their final two matches to have a chance of staying up. But these were both tough ones and losses to Galway in Round 6, by 1-16 to 1-10 in Pearse Stadium, and Kerry in Round 7, by 2-17 to 0-13 at Hyde Park, consigned them to the drop.

So they now move on from that ultimately unhappy League campaign to face ourselves, who ended up as NFL title winners. If we think that should make us feel better about ourselves than they should then we may need to think again.

This is because of what I’m terming Seán Rice’s warning from history. The legendary Mayo News columnist was fast out of the traps after our League final win to point out that both of the previous times we’d won the League – in 2001 and in 1970 – Roscommon dumped us out of the Championship soon after.

Looking back over the results archive, I can see that we also failed to get out of Connacht after we’d won the League in 1954. We did, however, manage to get the better of Roscommon in the Championship after that League success but then lost the Connacht final to Galway. You have to go back to 1949 – a full seventy years ago – for the last time we followed up a League title win with a Connacht Championship success.

But – I hear you retort – their Championship record against us is only woeful. That is true. In fact, the most recent time they’ve ever beaten us in the Championship was that godawful smash-and-grab Connacht final win over us in 2001, following which we’ve beaten them eight times and drawn once.

It’s been a while, though, since we locked horns against them in Connacht. In fact, our last provincial Championship meeting with them was as far back as 2014, when James Horan was managing us first time around. We were very gratified to leave Hyde Park that day with a less than convincing one-point win under our belts.

They also came close to toppling us when we met in a novel All-Ireland quarter-final showdown at Croke Park two years ago. Roscommon, then the newly-crowned Connacht champions, did plenty right in that drawn encounter and we’d have had few complaints had they shaded the result that day. A week later, though, we absolutely eviscerated them in the replay.

So, that’s the background. There’s little news to report so far this week on player availability and all that, though James Horan did tell the Mayo News last week (here) that captain Diarmuid O’Connor will be available for selection, having missed the New York game with an eye socket injury.

According to James, though, neither Cillian O’Connor nor Seamus O’Shea will be considered for a place in the starting fifteen on Saturday, while both Fionn McDonagh and Donal Vaughan are “touch and go” for it. I guess we’ll name our team on Thursday or Friday evening.

Warnings from history notwithstanding, the bookies have installed us as strong favourites for Saturday evening – Paddy Power price us 2/9 to win. As ever, though, let’s leave the final say on this kind of soothsaying with your good selves and finish up with a poll on Saturday’s showdown.

Will we beat the Rossies?

  • Yes (87%, 598 Votes)
  • No (13%, 89 Votes)

Total Voters: 687

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71 thoughts on “Looking ahead to the Rossies

  1. Would have made more sense to play that U20 game as part of double header with the minors on Friday in Ballina but the Connacht GAA don’t do sense.

  2. Forecast not great for Saturday evening unfortunately. Ross will be defensive and we have had desperate trouble unlocking defensive systems. Look at our efforts v Galway Huff and puff go around in circles, dispossessed and concede on the counter. Its even harder to beat that system in the rain.Anyway we have been waiting all year for the game and now it’s almost upon us Up Mayo

  3. Mayomagic,
    Have you considered that maybe some U20’s do a bit of work now and again? How would you fit that in with an afternoon [ok, maybe 6 pm ] game. Even with 6 pm allowance has to be made for travelling.

  4. We’re poised for a big upset on Saturday evening unless our lads are fully tuned in and at the pitch of the game from the throw in. Be under no illusion, Roscommon will have been focusing in on little else but this game since early January. Championship warfare coming to MacHale park this weekend so hopefully the national league title hangovers are well and truly behind us.

  5. I’d be very surprised if our lads aren’t equally if not more ‘up’ for this one. It’s a long time since we won a connacht title and we need to beat roscommon sat eve in order to have a shot at Galway.

    If we play with clever aggression and put pressure on ros, we will win. There is absolutely no excuse for any complacency in Mayo. League counts for nothing and surely we will have enough experience in our ranks to be assured of a focused performance.

    It’s about time too we supporters put in a bit of a performance in the stands and terraces of our HOME GROUND. Just cos you’re there doesn’t mean you’re supporting. Get vocal.

  6. Let’s be frank about it and notwithstanding Ros are arguably a Division One team and a decent outfit, but if we aren’t able to beat them with at least a 4+points to spare, then you can forget about winning anything. I’d be expecting Mayo to put down a bit of a marker in this one.

  7. AndyD, I have considered it and my point remains the same, by the way Mayo’s 1st round Connacht U20 championship game will be played on a Wednesday evening at 7pm.

  8. Mayonaze, Only beat the rossies by 1 point in the last championship meeting in Connacht which didn’t stop Horan and co from winning the final v Galway. 2011 Connacht final was by the skin of Mayo’s teeth also.

  9. And if we need a warning about the Rossies, their yo-yo twins have just done a job against the odds on Cavan.
    Our neighbors would get great job in doing the same to us.
    Well need serious intensity and discipline on Saturday. Let’s be careful out there
    A win by a point, would do.

  10. Is it the Connacht Council or GAA that set ticket prices.Stand apparently now booked out but if you were to buy a ticket for it on Saturday it would be 35 euro and terrace is 30 euro. On the same night there is an attractive double header in Leinster featuring the dubs. Stand is booked out but you can get a terrace ticket today for 15 euro or on the day its 20 euro. Another double header on Sunday where you can buy a stand ticket at the moment for 20 euro. The Ulster game on sunday seems to be cheaper as well. Now obviously I would prefer to watch Mayo than all the others put together but is 25 or 30 euro a little on the steep side to stand or sit on wet concrete seats should the weather be nasty. Is it a case of taking advantage of our {and also Roscommons} big support. Hurling matches this weekend in better stadiums like Thurles and Limerick would set you back 20 euro for the stand if bought in advance.

  11. We had a couple of games ourselves in the league where we might not have looked like a division 1 team. The Rossies have also beaten Galway in the fairly recent past when we were unable to do it ourselves.
    It’s no harm to keep in mind that in some respects this Mayo team are a novice team with all the new additions. Alot of this team has had little or no experience at what a real championship game is like to play in and that is with no disrespect to New York.
    If we win on Saturday I think it will be hard earned.
    Until we can beat Roscommon hopefully, and then take on Galway in the Connacht final we are only guessing and hoping that this team is up to a certain standard.
    We did very well for most of the league. The real tests are about to begin and I hope all the new additions do well. We know who will put in performances, but for the new lads it’s time now to find out if the jersies fit.

  12. I’m confident we will win because we have the better players in key positions. Our physicality and James Horan’s set up should see us shade it. The Rossies will make a game if it but I cannot see their defensive system being well honed enough yet. History means nothing. This group of players have to make their own history. What happened in 1970 or 2001 has nothing to do with these lads.

  13. Looking forward to Mayo game Saturday after watching 3 very enjoyable club games the weekend. Minor div 1 semi final, junior A championship and the div 1 league game between knockmore and Castlebar.
    Sitting down to read western not bad spread on county but very disappointed no write up on Senior club game.

  14. The white heat of the championship is about to begin. It’s a long time since Newbridge.

    We are a much better team than Roscommon. From 1-15 plus subs.

    Yes they’ll be awkward and be defensive and have a blanket etc but none of that will win them the game.

    The league is a barometer of how we are going. We won it they got relegated.

    It’ll be a fiesty affair but plus 4 is where we will land.

    One step at a time however.

  15. I don’t like a few things about this one.

    1. The expected bad weather favours a defensive team like Roscommon who have now a bee in their bonnet about being as tough as Mayo or Galway. The league match was so tight and Ross have some handy goal getters who can change a game.
    2. We’ll miss Cillian and Seamie. Shamie always plays well in the engine room against Roscommon. It is tough to throw our young hopefuls into their first real championship fight on a night like that. Hopefully they measure up.

    They only way we’ll win is by being fully focused and going full tilt from the beginning. If so, we could blow them away. We’re a better team. I think Horan can have his troops ready for that. It’s his talent. You never knew what to expect with Rochford.

  16. Good points Revellino! This is a test for our novices. With the help of God (and their own good preparation), they and we pass it. I agree with others – this is one to be fully focussed for. We haven’t faced this type of Championship test in quite some time (respectfully said).

  17. @To win just once… your asking very important questions there! Unanswered as far as I am aware, why aren’t they answered? Answers on a postcard adressed to John Prunty?. Would he recognize an answer if he seen one?. But that’s another question!…

  18. To win just once… you’re so right. It looks like we’re being screwed and it feels like we’re being screwed so I guess an explanation would be nice. I’m not holding my breath but I think it’s beyond time to get answers.
    This has all the signs of a tough assignment. Mayo will need total focus to avoid an embarrassing defeat. I’m expecting a dog fight and I hope to God we win it.

  19. Ah the ticket prices lads and ladies. Up their goin. And why wouldn’t they. Up up up.

    Sure what other football stadium occasionally offers surprises ? Can yea not remember all the extra work, time and money that went in, the time the people left Mchale park with a stripe of fresh paint streaked across the arse of their good trousers. Do yea not remember that.

    We have the bacon factory end in Castlebar. Is that not worth a fiver ?

    Isn’t it great to have the Dubs bamboozled. They have a Google and a twitter factory going up every second day. They cannot figure out how we could be paying twice their entrance fees. Yes us. A county that hasn’t seen 4 jobs created in the last 200 years.

    Oh we’re catching up with premiership entrance prices too, and why shouldn’t we. Some of them poor premiership players are only on 500,000 sterling a week. Sure our lads must be on the same. Isn’t that why the prices are gone up again.

    And yea give out about ticket increases. Sure don’t we only have to buy 3 new edition football jersies a year.

    Didn’t the educated man tell us last year that any increase less than a fiver would make things more difficult at the entrance gate. Isn’t it better to have things running smooth at the entrance gate. F**k the “is there enough food on the table excuse”. Entrance gates have to run smooth.

    There’s many the poor swallow that showed up from South Africa last month and the nest gone. Remember, when we have the twenties handed over at the smoothly running entrance gate, we’re in.

    It doesn’t matter if we don’t get as much as a kick in the arse for the couple of cattle at the mart. We have to get the ticket money somewhere else. Sure isn’t rural Ireland booming. All the small towns and villages with their vibrant businesses.

    The only reason ticket prices go up so much in Mayo is that the powers that be want to show us how much they love us. Sure if we got in for nothing we might take it for granted.

  20. I’m looking forward to bating the Rossies as we do every year 😉

    Seriously though, while we’re a better side overall, it’s one that we could lose if we’re not tuned in from the beginning, given the Rossies’ counter-attacking style and our traditional difficulties breaking down such systems. The tight confines of MacHale Park probably doesn’t suit our galloping style, either.

    I’d happily take a scruffy win by a couple of points to leave us as underdogs against Galway.

  21. Ross beat us in Tuam after we won the NFL in1970 & again after we won it in 2001.Beware–look how Limerick & Waterford who contested the NHL final are doing

  22. €30 or €35 into the stand for this match is a disgrace. I’m lucky enough to have a season ticket so I won’t have to pay into this one but for a Connacht semi final that price is a bit steep. I know the GAA and the Connacht Council know full well that we’d go to Australia to support this team but I think they are taking advantage at this rate it will probably be €40 into the Connacht final if we make it that far if the GAA or whoever sets the prices keep this up they’ll see attendances drop. Do they really need the money? What with Sky and RTÉ money and other sponsorship? It’s not like their paying the
    Players maybe it’s time the players starting looking for their cut and not just a few pennies in mileage

  23. @Gismo hadn’t read much from you in a while.
    I’ve been following Knockmore with interest this year at all grades. Ye really are going well.
    Ye look very strong at u18 and one would figure even stronger than last year at u21.
    Ryan Casey a new player to my mind who bubbled up. Aidan Orme to my mind is the most improved player in the club scene. Ye’re top scorer by a distance this year.
    Adam Naughton, Pearse Ruttledge, Caolan Hopkins all going well?

  24. Think the ticket prices are higher cos this is a provincial semi.
    Hard to judge this one really. Both teams coming in after facile first round wins. Rossies went out to lay down a marker against us in the league and eventhough I agree with WJ the scoreline flattered them, they will believe that they laid down a marker that day. That will make them dangerous, early on at least.
    However surely this mayo team who have beaten kerry twice this year and claimed the league title are in a much better place. The only variables for me are focus and concentration.

  25. I dont get the significance of the fact that ros best us after we won the league in 1970. That’s 49 years ago. Some of the parents of the new lads on the panel were in junior infants at that time.

  26. I like your style Revelino 🙂

    Bear in mind also, your ticket might net even be scanned properly for the honor of turning up at the smooth running turn-styles. And then you will get treated like a pick pocket junkie if you dare engage with Season Tickets and ask why your ticket wasn’t scanned!

    They were well named when they were called the Grab All Association!

  27. Ah Now, the Galway semi final last Sunday was 5 euro cheaper for tickets. Prices are set by the Connacht council, they knew Saturday will bring a much bigger crowd so decided to charge us all more for tickets.

  28. We will win,and win well Ros is not at our level,we need COC back for bigger tests later on in the year,up Mayo

  29. So the GAA charged people travelling to New York €30/$30 for admission and now €30/€35 for a stand ticket in MacHale Park?

    I sometimes wonder how the GAA can justify these high prices in light of the rather poor facilities (stone terraces, poor toilet/changing facilities, most of the grounds uncovered in a rainy country like Ireland) in many GAA stadia and indeed the fact that the players aren’t paid.

    What we seemingly have are prices comparable to pro sports with facilities that come nowhere near that standard.

  30. @Revellino, you have a great imagination and a great way with the use of words or else you are on something that’s very strong.
    I will watch the game on TV, Mayo will win out in which will be a battle.
    The final will be difficult if both Mayo and Galway get there, and they both probably will.

  31. The administration of the GAA… have allot of questions to answer…. The football provincial system in Leinster and Munster looks in serious decline, but they do have the hurling Golden Goose to fall back on… In Connacht it seems that Mayo are the Golden Goose, and of course Roscommon in this instance… In Leinster, the Leinster Council, with the all to easy acceptance, of the various’ County board’s, tried to overfeed the Golden Goose, (Dublin) by holding every possible fixture in the home of the Dubs, ((Croke Park).. sometimes its also described as a neutral venue, as well …. but they eventually killed the Golden Goose , after almost a decade long of non events even the Dubs are staying away….How can the Connacht Council justify charging more for one Connacht Semifinal when compared to another??… Their are professional paid salaried positions in the Connacht administration… It would be great to hear a GAA journalists ask some of them, some hard question’s..How good of a job are they doing? .. Another thing about next Saturday I want to say is this… Some very high profile Politicians will be in Castlebar, with the count for the European Elections taking place in Castlebar, wouldn’t it be a disgrace to see a VIP section taped off for the comfort of some of those over paid, with vast over 700K in one instance, and wouldn’t say in another instance, unvoched expenses sitting in the best seats….. Politicians Do Not pay for their TICKETS, we pay for them… How insulting would it be for those supporter’s who have to pay more than Sligo or Galway fan’s for a Connacht Semifinal, to be paying for these people… In 2015, on a very wet night, V Galway, I seen decent Mayo supporter’s asked to move from their seat in the stand, to make place for a prominent TD, .In 2011 in the Connacht Final in Dr Hyde Park, I seen preferential treatment given to a bunch of Mayo County Councilor’s of both prominent Political Parties, maybe Roscommon as well, but I wouldn’t know them, and decent Mayo and Roscommon supporter’s having to watch the Match in the rain Despite having paid full price for their stand tickets…. But unfortunately it is exactly what I expect from the Connacht Council!

  32. Leantimes, if what you’re suggesting actually happened, then that is an effing disgrace and the people concerned shouldn’t have been asked to move.

    I left Ireland nearly ten years ago and it seems little much changes- it’s still very much based on who you know rather than what you know…

  33. Well said Leantimes, you can be sure the middle section will be taped off for the “VIP’s” the next day, and stewards tripping over themselves to prevent Joe soap getting near them.
    I’d nearly put a suit on, and start shaking hands with everyone to see would they let me in. Ah stop, it does vex me on end, and will we see them next February for a league game? not a notion.

  34. All – can the debate please switch back to the football? This isn’t a depository for wailing and cribbing about ticket prices, VIP sections, politicians and shite like that.

  35. The junior would be interesting if we can have got agreement that some development panel players can feature. Junior county rules seem to be almost negotiated year to year.

  36. Roscommon may still be without Enda Smith for this match. He missed the Leitrim match with a fractured bone at the back of his hand. Chances of playing are rated no more than 50/50

  37. It seems to me that complacency is the biggest risk. We’re more than capable of beating Roscommon but not with a casual attitude. JH has never sent out a casual team and I expect our men to be wired for action…and ready to give everything to get another chance to take on the Galway boys. Onward Mayo…go deo

  38. Was trying to purchase a juvenile ticket online as the youngest lad is coming now. It is only giving me the option of postal delivery ?????

  39. @JP I’m a summer baller was avoiding the hard winter slog 😉
    Yes minors are strong outfit. Ran Castlebar close in league, only team to do so. League final between the two should be good if on before exams worth going to. Castkebar a fine team.
    Yes all them players going well as is Sean Holmes and Conall Dempsey (both minor) and they have featured for seniors also in senior league.
    Pearse is a fine prospect. Gave Brickendon tough time the weekend in junior champ v Westport. Seniors doing well. Very young team/squad at present but developing nicely. Of players featured v Castebar the weekend I think 9 were 21 or under (21 but not U21)

  40. Well said Willie Joe, I was only thinking the same yesterday as I was browsing through the comments.

    We haven’t even had 1 poster putting up his / hers starting 15 yet! Which I always find humerous.

    Focus on the football and not the administration

    Good article again WJ too.

    Roll on Saturday

  41. Every game is a potential banana skin if your head’s not in the right place or if there’s a case of over complacency ..I dont think either will apply on Saturday..These boys would jump through hoops for Horan as has been said many times..They will have a point to prove .

  42. I dont know if i am imagining this but i think MAYO supporters are not as vocal or loud in mchale park as in away venues.maybe it is to do with mchale park being such a big stadium with a large footprint and also being all-seater compared with other venues where they are standing terrace areas?maybe behind one of the goals could be converted to a terrace area.I think a standing area would create a massive athmosphere for big championship games at mchale park.

  43. This is one dodgy game .The mayo team and supporters will have to bring their ‘A’ game on saturday .we need plenty of colour ,flags, hats and mayo jerseys and loads of noise and cheering on the team.It will be a big disappointment if we lose this one.hopefully mayo supporters will arrive early to support the junior team.it would be great to be playing galway on the double on connacht final day. VERDICT. i think mayo will win it .james horan will have the players well primed for action.mayo to win by 5 points .roll on saturday

  44. Will miss this game as family commitments mean I can’t travel home. Sickened but sometimes you can’t have it every way.

    I’m a little nervous about this one as it’s our first real competitive outing in the championship. I’m also not sure Castlebar is any advantage to us at all. Having said this, I know we’ll be well prepared under Horan and would expect an experienced side like us to manage this kind of challenge.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the likes of James Carr and Mathew Ruane progress further. I thought Lee Keegan struggled a bit in the league but came good in the final. He remains central to our hopes of a long season.

  45. Hard to predict a starting 15 without having a proper competitive game since end of March/injuries etc. Would like to see something along the lines of this though:

    Hennelly (equally happy with Clarke)

    Barrett-Harrison-Higgins
    Durcan-Plunkett-Keegan
    Ruane-AOS
    D’Connor-McLoughlin-Boland
    Carr-Coen-~(Reape/Treacy)

    Strong bench then with Andy, Doherty, Stephen Coen, Regan, Clarke, McCormack, Vaughan, O’Donoghue, McDonagh, Diskin, Boyle.

    Lots of option on the bench to vary it up if we are struggling and adapt to any rabbits out of the hat the Rossies may pull. Reape is probably the controversial call on that team but fully believe he is a pure confidence player and can may hay with a run of games. McLoughlin is a gem of player and could play anywhere on the pitch tbh. Plunkett deserves his chance, was excellent during the league. O’Donoughue doesn’t seem to be favoured by Horan but has always been solid for us whenever called upon. Would expect Keegan to take up Smith again if he starts which may require a slight change in formation. Harrison well able for Cox and similarly Barrett with Murtagh. Would be fairly confident that we will dominate midfield. I’d love to see us build up an early lead and blow them away but more likely to be a dogged enough affair

  46. For this game I personally would like to see Plunkett at no 6 especially since Donie looks like he won’t be 100% for this and I would really love if James keeps the full forward line of McLoughlin, Coen and Carr intact for this game.
    Then again with the likes of Treacy and McCormack pressing hard I probably would be happy with a number of different combinations which is brilliant and the most impressive thing of the Horan era mark two so far!!
    Outside of midfield it really is hard picking a match day 26 let alone a the first 15!!!

  47. Horan is a big fan of Doherty and in fairness doc has been decent for us. He’s tough, very good ball winner and can score.

  48. Doherty is such a dependable player for us, inside or out on the 40. His work rate is excellent, he’s a super outlet for possession and he tackles unbelievably hard for a forward. May also be handed the frees with Cillian on the bench.

    One of the first names I’d have penned down on the team sheet.

  49. 1 hennelly, 2 barrett, 3 harrison, 4 higgins, 5 durcan, 6 boyle, 7keegan, 8 aos, 9 ruane, 10 mc donagh, 11 doherty, 12 d o’connor, 13 mc’loughlin, 14 coen, 15 carr. that’s the team i would like to see start on saturday. hennelly for the long free kick’s, and think mc’donagh for his engine.

  50. I’d go with the same team that played out the league final.
    Hennelly;Barrett, Harrison, Higgins; Durcan, Keegan, Vaughan; AOS, Ruane; DOC, J Doherty, Boland; Carr, Coen, Mcloughlin:
    The two I see fighting for a start are McDonagh and Regan. Be hard for McDonagh to replace Boland who has been in great form since getting his chance and looks to have stepped up under Horan. Regan might fight out for Carr or Coen place after his good showing against NY. Would leave us with a strong bench too. Boyler and Moran to call on for experience and then the likes of Treacy, McDonagh, Diskin for pace and attack.
    Will be hoping Vaughan and Durcan put in a good showing. Think their directness and powerful runs will cause Rossies plenty of problems. Also kicking it in early as the Ros defence aren’t the tightest. Ruane and Aido should really be dominating against a makeshift midfield. Hopefully Hennelly is kicking long and we push up on the Rossies to cause them to go long.
    We should be winning this, I don’t think the Rossies have improved from two years ago. Have we? Probably not but we have improved from last year. This won’t be easy, Rossies will make it uncomfortable as possible and if we are complacent we will be hurt. Best of luck to the minors, u20s, Juniors and Seniors all in their games this weekend. Maigh Eo Abu

  51. I see the usual pessimists are out in force this week. Past performance and recent form are the main factors that decides most games in team sports. Roscommon haven’t beaten us in Castlebar for 33 years and as we only know too well we won the league a few short months ago with our opponents getting relegated. We are too strong around 5 – 12 so it’s a 4 point win for me.

  52. I corrected that, JR, in your original comment and then deleted the comment querying what you’d put in the original one so that should clear up the confusion.

  53. Would start Regan instead of Coen. If Mayo keep their discipline I would expect a 6 points win.

  54. Mayomagic2000.. Why is it, when intelligent people are cautious about a coming game, you and others label them as pessimists.. They realise that there is no certainty about who will ever win the next game.. I would say that they are realists who know what they are talking about.. History, to an intelligent person, shows the pitfalls of being overconfident. 🙂 😉

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