All roads will lead to Lecarrow on Saturday evening when the Roscommon & District league will take on the Cavan Monaghan league in the last sixteen of the Oscar Traynor cup. This will be a match that both sides will be fairly confident of advancing from after having safely come through their respective group stages with impressive records.
The Roscommon side defeated Mayo in their opening match and followed up that success with two draws against the Galway League and the defending champions, the Clare league.
The Cavan/ Monaghan league also finished second in their group. They defeated the Donegal League and followed up that win against the Sligo/Leitrim League. With qualification already secured to the knockout stages of the competition the Cavan/Monaghan representative side suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Inishowen league in their final group match.
The Roscommon success thus far has been masterminded by Enda Concannon and he has been outlining to the Shannonside Sports department that everybody is relishing the prospect of facing the Ulster team on Saturday evening. He is also happy to have a home tie at this stage where there are no easy ties.
Roscommon like all the other teams still standing had to deal with the situation of picking up proceedings after the Christmas break. The Roscommon management team took the decision to let the players back to their clubs for the holiday period and over the past few weeks have picked up the tempo again as they now look to plot the down fall of the men from the Breffni and Farney counties.
Roscommon’s panel has changed since the group stages. Andy Nevin and Ethan Keogh have both signed for Athlone Town and will be concentrating on the league of Ireland for 2017. Concannon still feels he has the players available to him to help Roscommon to continue this run and despite some further injury worries they have made the decision not to call up any additional cover.
There is a nice blend of youth and experience in the side. Players such as Des Hope Joe Woods Ronan Curran Dominick Bligh and Greg Grogan will be a steadying influence on the side while younger player like Cormack Clogher Peter Farrell Joe Hunt and Alan Duffy will be looking forward to the big occasion.
The tie will be settled one way or another on Saturday and the experienced Roscommon manager is preparing his team for all possible outcomes which included the dreaded spot kicks.
Saturday’s game will kick off at 6.30. Sunday sport will carry all the reaction to the big match.
Take a listen to the full interview with the manager of the Roscommon side, Enda Concannon.