Roscommon and Mayo are no strangers when it comes to big matches think of the 1991 Connacht final replay and the 2001 Connacht final. Both days that Roscommon fans will remember very well.
This is a regular fixture in the GAA calendar but this Sunday brings something new to this rivalry as for the first time both counties will meet in Croke Park for the All Ireland quarter final.
Former Donegal and Mayo player now well-known pundit Martin Carney spoke to John Lynch ahead of the game
“It’s a novelty draw for an All Ireland series and both teams are there on merit”
Roscommon come into the game after claiming their 23rd JJ Nestor Cup as they beat Galway at Pearse Stadium 2-15 – 0-12 in the Connacht Final. Martin was very impressed by The Rossies in that Connacht final and will hope to see many of their play from that game brought to this match
“I thought they were excellent, their football was at the highest quality and their inventiveness was note wordy plus they showed a great spirit”
Martin also believes Mayo are deserving of being at this stage of the championship after battling encounters through the qualifiers
“People have been a bit critical of Mayo this year as they didn’t take the direct route but none the less I think they have improved marginally in every game”
After seeing off Cork last weekend many people feel fatigue could be a factor that might play to the advantage of Roscommon but a more worrying thing for Stephen Rochford will be his team’s defence. Mayo conceded two very soft goals by their standards and may have seen another one or two go in
“I believe Mayo will have looked at protecting the full back line a lot better this weekend in their preparation after last weekend”
“Roscommon have great inside forwards particularly with the two Murtagh’s which if they get good quality ball sent into them they should cause havoc”
Mayo have had the better of this fixture over the last number of years but this is a Roscommon team on the up and many young players that are looking to put a stamp down on the championship that The Rossies are a team with big ambitions for the coming years ahead.
It’s a game everyone in both counties will be looking forward to and no doubt the roads to Dublin over the next few days will be busy so whoever in Roscommon is last to leave on their way to Croke Park make sure to lock up.
Throw in on Sunday is 4pm and you will hear live coverage of that game right here on Shannonside FM
To hear the full interview with Martin listen to the audio below