herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Rossies greater firepower to see them past unknown prowess of Tribesmen

Connacht SFC final: Galway v Roscommon, tomorrow, live RTÉ 1 (2.0)

Ciaran Murtagh. Photo: Sportsfile
Ciaran Murtagh. Photo: Sportsfile

On the Monday after Galway pulled off what will surely be regarded as the shock of this Championship, a solemn Aidan O'Shea considered all that had happened 48 hours previously in Castlebar.

Asked whether Galway were even any good, or whether the result was more Mayo-dependent, O'Shea - faced with the easy task of praising the victors - declined.

Which is why it's hard to get a true valuation on Galway just now.

Fervent

Nothing they produced in the League hinted at what was to come. But then, that's not always the most reliable indication either. But bar maintaining a fervent work-rate, wolfishly seizing on every Mayo mistake - and there were many - and kicking some scores from the very top drawer (Paul Conroy and Tomás Flynn especially) it's not entirely clear what Galway had going for them.

Which isn't unlike Roscommon.

Their League form fell off the face of a cliff when the rest of Division 1 caught up with regard to fitness and they stared the very bleak prospect of defeat to New York in the face before narrowly avoiding Armageddon.

They trailed a wind-assisted Sligo by eight points in the semi-final, too, but outscored their opponents by 4-10 to 0-5 in the second half that day. And in this, Roscommon have an edge over most other teams in the country.

They possess real and varied fire-power in attack.

Ciarán Murtagh, Senan Kilbride and Donie Shine did it for them against Sligo.

But David Keenan, Cathal Cregg and Conor Devanney could be the ones to bail them out here. Similarly, it's hard to know whether Galway have managed to pull their heads out of the clouds after the Mayo win.

Reflective

Much of the local talk this week was about that victory, rather than tomorrow's Connacht final, though again, that's not necessarily reflective of what's going on in the players' minds.

And just as Roscommon have scoring power, Galway have Danny Cummins, Shane Walsh and Damien Comer and a more functional midfield.

Still, it's easier to be confident about Roscommon.

ODDS: Galway 5/6, Draw 15/2, Roscommon 6/5

VERDICT: Roscommon

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