Connacht Club SFC semi-final (Markievicz Park, Sunday, 2.30pm )
Reigning provincial club champions St Brigid’s must travel into the lion’s den as they continue the defence of their title against Sligo champions Tourlestrane this Sunday. Last year’s beaten all- Ireland finalists will be hoping to repeat that historic run and perhaps go a step further. To do so however there many difficult hurdles to cross and playing the Sligo representatives away is not going to be straightforward.
Despite not having fired on all cylinders for much of the county championship the Kiltoom men seem to be hitting form at the right time. Confidence will have been boosted by wins over the likes of Athy, Kilmurray/Ilbriccane, and Portlaoise in recent challenge games.
Darragh Donnelly is unlikely to feature this weekend and while Cathal McHugh and Darren Dolan have question marks hanging over them it is expected that they will be available for selection.
Tourlestrane will be without cruciate victim Eamonn O’Hara and his experience will be a huge loss. They are a physically big side and having comfortably seen off the challenge of Coolera/Strandhill in their county decider they have since disposed of Leitrim’s Glencar/Manorhamilton.
Last year Noel O’Brien’s men enjoyed a facile win over Eastern Harps but it would be dangerous to get complacent about this year’s Sligo representatives.
The experience of winning big games over the past few years is a huge plus for the men from south Roscommon. They will need to keep a close eye on Tourlestrane attackers John Quinn, John Marren, and in particular Brian Egan.
Providing they continue their good form of late, St Brigid’s should have enough in hand to progress to the provincial decider where the winners of Corofin and Ballintubber await.