GALWAY bid to win the first ever U17 Connacht Minor football title this Friday (7.30pm) when they travel to Hyde Park to take on Roscommon in the provincial decider.
Having swept all before them in the round robin stages of the 2018 competition – including an annihilation of this weekend’s opponents – you’d be forgiven for thinking Galway are in pole position for a tilt at the Connacht crown. But the Rossies are no pushovers and have improved rapidly since they were beaten out the gate by Galway 10 weeks ago in Tuam.
That 4-18 to 0-8 result on the first weekend of May is the only blot on Roscommon’s copybook, and they have shown no shortage of guts and determination – and skill – to regroup and win their remaining three group games to qualify for the final. And they did so convincingly, racking up some serious scores. Roscommon hit 4-15 against Leitrim, put 5-18 past Sligo and tallied 4-12 against Mayo, who gave Galway a bit of a scare.
“They’ve got serious scoring forwards,” warned Galway manager, Dónal Ó Fátharta, who said the May game between these two sides can be discounted.
“I wouldn’t read too much into that result, to be honest. Roscommon were missing a few players that day, and we got a run on them but I think this is going to be a fifty-fifty game. They’ve got really strong forwards. From midfield up, they are very strong. All the way up through underage this Roscommon team has been strong and we know there’ll just be a kick of the ball in it. Adam McDermott scored three goals against Mayo. James Fitzpatrick is scoring one goal per game. They scored five goals against Sligo and four or five against Leitrim.
“We’ll try to keep it tight. They have four or five scoring forwards, and in fairness we have very good forwards, too, so it could turn into a bit of a shootout.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.