Mayo v Roscommon, Saturday, 7 pm, MacHale Park
Mayo and Roscommon meet in the Connacht semi-final on Saturday night at MacHale Park, Castlebar knowing that a Connacht Final with Galway next month awaits. The game throws in at 7 pm and is live on Sky Sports.
Mayo played New York in the Connacht quarter-final and easily accounted for them. The style of play really impressed me albeit against poor opposition no disrespect to New York but they were very poor. Mayo kicked 1-22 and only conceded 4 points. I was impressed with Fergal Boland who kicked 0-04 from play, Evan Regan also played well. This game though will be different and Mayo won’t be allowed time on the ball. They will need to probably kick a big score to win the game as well.
Anthony Cunningham in his first year as Roscommon boss will want to make a Connacht Final anything less will probably be seen as a failure. It will be difficult going to Castlebar, but they have the players to pull it out of the bag. Roscommon had an easy enough task of beating Leitrim in the semi-final by 3-17 to 0-12. Shane Killoran fired in two first-half goals and Conor Cox kicked 0-05 (0-02 frees). Again big games will be required from these players.
Mayo will look to players like the experienced Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan and Colm Boyle in defence. In midfield, Matthew Ruane and Breaffy’s Aidan O’Shea will be key. In attack Evan Regan, Jason Doherty and Fergal Boland will need to have big games. Roscommon will to Conor Daly, Niall Daly and Dave Murray in defence. Tadgh O’Rourke will likely partner Shane Killoran yet again. In the forwards, Conor Cox, Diarmuid Murtagh, and Niall Kilroy will be key.
Last 5 Championship Meetings
2017 Mayo 4-19 Roscommon 0-09 (All-Ireland quarter-final replay)
2017 Mayo 1-12 Roscommon 2-09 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2014 Mayo 0-13 Roscommon 1-09 (Connacht semi-final)
2013 Mayo 0-21 Roscommon 0-09 (Connacht semi-final)
2011 Mayo 0-13 Roscommon 0-11 (Connacht Final)
Mayo: Chris Barrett, Michael Plunkett and captain Diarmuid O’Connor come into the side, with Colm Boyle, James McCormack and James Carr missing out.
Mayo: Robert Hennelly, Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins, Patrick Durcan, Michael Plunkett, Lee Keegan, Matthew Ruane, Aidan O’Shea, Fergal Boland, Jason Doherty, Diarmuid O’Connor, Evan Regan, Darren Coen, Kevin McLoughlin
Roscommon – There are no changes to the side that beat Leitrim
Roscommon: Darren O’Malley, David Murray, Sean Mullooly, Conor Daly, Niall Daly, Conor Hussey, Ronan Daly, Tadgh O’Rourke, Shane Killoran, Hubert Darcy, Cathal Cregg, Niall Kilroy, Ultan Harney, Conor Cox, Diarmuid Murtagh
Mayo have been installed as 2/9 favourites, with Roscommon 9/2 and the draw at 10/1. We fancy Mayo to win but there is not much value at 2/9 so maybe backing Mayo on the handicap -5 at even money could be the bet.