Gerald’s look to pass semifinal exam

The defending Connacht Colleges Senior A Football Championship champions, St Gerald’s College, Castlebar, will be looking to get back into the final of the competition tomorrow when they take on Roscommon CBS in the semifinal of the premier schools football championship in the province.

The Castlebar outfit booked their place in tomorrow’s encounter with a four point win over fellow Mayo school St Muredach’s, Ballina, last Thursday in the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan, and it is to the same venue they will go tomorrow to take on the Roscommon town side at 2pm.

St Gerald’s are looking to make it three Connacht titles on the bounce under the guidance of Daniel Forde and his managment team. Six of the side that started their win over St Muredach’s last week saw action either from the start or off the bench in their nail-biting win over St Attracta’s in last year’s provincial final (Cian Mitchell, Johnny Maughan, Ryne Collins, Sean McDermott, Jarlath O’Malley, and James Byrne ), while others like Dylan Cannon and Matthew Ruane were on the bench that day.

Last week St Gerald’s were made to work hard for their win, with their north Mayo rivals putting the Castlebar school to the pin of their collar for long periods in a game that saw each side miss a penalty, and St Gerald’s reduced to 14 men when David Conlon was sent off 10 minutes from the end.

Jarlath O’Malley was the top scorer on the day when he chipped in with four points, while Stephen McDermott scored three points over the hour, with last year’s Mayo minor midfield pairing of Matthew Ruane and Gary Walsh each adding a point over the hour.

Gerald’s goalkeeper Cian Mitchell has plenty of experience in games like this from previous assaults on the provincial title with the school. He will marshal a solid defensive unit with Johnny Maughan, Dylan Cannon, and Dylan Gallagher in front of him. The Gerald’s midfield has plenty of experience at inter-county minor and club level and will be expected to put in a good shift. In attack the aforementioned O’Malley and McDermott will lead the line alongside James Byrne, Conor Carter, and Callum Kyne.

When the sides met in the Connacht League earlier this season the Roscommon side came out on top, and they ended up in the league final where they were beaten by Summerhill from Sligo in the league decider 3-12 to 0-9. Key men for the Roscommon town outfit include Roscommon u21 man Noel Gately along with Richard Hughes and Ciaran White. By virtue of reaching the league final Roscommon CBS were seeded into this weekend’s semifinal alongside Summerhill College from Sligo. The Sligo side will take on St Jarlath’s College, Tuam, on Saturday in the first of a semifinal double header in the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan. The game throws in at 2pm tomorrow in Bekan.

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