Search Results for 'Karl Mannion'
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He may have been the elder partner to the younger inter-county man in the middle of the field on Sunday in MacHale Park but Ballintubber's Stephen Broderick put in masterful performance alongside Jason Gibbons in midfield. The Ballintubber middle-third duo were supreme throughout the game and had Karl Mannion and Padraig Kelly in their back pockets for long periods of the match.
When the big questions are asked the big players stand up and that's what happened on Sunday, when Ballintubber battled their way into their first ever Connacht senior championship final. When the Roscommon champions came knocking, Alan Dillon, Cillian O'Connor, Jason Gibbons and Stephen Broderick all stood up and had the answers for the questions put to them and their team-mates and in a few weeks time, they'll be ready to answer those same questions from Corofin in the final.
I have never hidden the fact that dubious refereeing and bad decisions by referees during games are pet hates of mine and make my blood boil. Before I attract the wrath of every ref in the county I must admit it is more so at a national level than within the county itself. There have not been many games I attended this year that I left thinking the man in the middle did a really good job.
While driving to Hyde Park in Roscommon last Sunday there were two things on my mind. The first, I was wondering what Santa Claus would bring me, the second, whether I would rather be at home watching the All Blacks against Ireland in the rugby where the All Blacks were bidding to make history by being the first team to go unbeaten in a calendar year. By all accounts the rugby was pulsating, but with GAA in the bloodstream I was definitely in the right place. The Connacht club final between reigning All- Ireland champions St Brigid’s and Mayo champions Castlebar Mitchels was one of the most intense and exciting games I was ever present at. It literally had everything. Brilliant goals, superb defending, disallowed scores, unreal goal keeping, dubious refereeing, and for the week that is in it a scene out of Monty Python when Shane Curran had to be man handled off the field, red cards, and last but by no means least, the last kick of the game levelling scores. I am sure everyone present will take a different memory home with them.
Castlebar Mitchels 3-13
I sent a brief text to Liam McHale and Kevin McStay last Sunday evening congratulating them on guiding St Brigid’s of Roscommon to a Connacht title. These two lads were brought in by the Roscommon club to launch a serious bid for All-Ireland, an honour which, understandably, placed and places them under huge pressure. Had they not managed to at least achieve a provincial title, they would have been perceived as failures. On the evidence of last Sunday, I believe they have a fantastic chance of going all the way with this team.
I have been chatting to a few of my Roscommon friends over recent days and they appear very confident about their team’s chances this Sunday. I can understand why they might feel that way. Former midfielder and current team manager Fergal O’ Donnell has his team putting in good performances these days. I have heard stories of training camps and twice daily sessions being conducted, so it would appear that no stone is being left unturned as he pushes and strives for success. They are extremely fit and well drilled and are a formidable side. In their two games played in this year’s championship they played superbly. OK, the quality of the opposition i.e. New York and Leitrim wouldn’t be ranked very highly in the current ratings of championship contenders, but other teams have struggled in New York and Leitrim have always proved to be formidable opposition in Carrick on Shannon.
Roscommon advanced to round three of the qualifiers with a victory over Wexford in Dr Hyde Park on Saturday, winning by three points in the end on a score line of 11 points to eight. Roscommon have the freetaking of Donie Shine to thank as he almost single-handedly booted them into the next round with a fabulous display of placekicking. Shine scored nine of Roscommon’s 11 points, eight of which came from placed balls. Roscommon manager Fergal O’Donnell will only know too well that if Roscommon are to progress further in this year’s championship, scoring three points from play will not be enough. Wexford had a number of chances and can blame some wayward shooting for their championship exit. They kicked 10 wides in the second half and if Meath’s forwards get the same amount of possession this weekend they will not be as wasteful.