Derrygonnelly v Roslea

Sunday August 30,

Brewster Park, 7pm

Derrygonnelly Harps begin their bid for six in a row of senior championship titles with a meeting with Roslea Shamrocks on Sunday evening at Brewster Park.

The sides met in last year’s final, a game the Harps won 0-10 to 1-03, and Derrygonnelly defender Shane McGullion is expecting a tough test from Peter McGinnity’s charges.

“We would know each other inside out, and you know what you are going to get with Roslea.

“You have the Quigleys, James McMahon and others who are all quality players and they are capable of producing a big performance,” said McGullion, who stresses that the Harps won’t be looking any further ahead than the clash with the Shamrocks.

“Championship is about taking it one game at a time, that’s is just the way it goes. If you look too far ahead you can get caught on the hop and it’s over and out,” he added.

Derrygonnelly have shown good form in the league, winning four of their five outings, and McGullion feels that the introduction of young blood into the team has benefitted them.

“We have had a lot of young boys who have come in and did very well. It is important to have a strong squad and they are a good addition and are well capable.”

He accepts though that league form means nothing in championship.

“You can’t go by the league, it doesn’t really mean anything especially with no relegation this year and teams are focusing on the championship. No one remembers the league, it is all about championship for all the teams,” he said.

Veteran Roslea defender Niall Cassidy agrees that championship is a different ball game to league.

“The league this year has been glorified challenge matches and it has mostly been about getting minutes in the legs for boys. It is about getting ready for championship,” he said.

The 39 year old will be entering his 22nd championship campaign when the Shamrocks take to the pitch on Sunday and having missed out through injury last year, Cassidy is looking forward to it.

“I’m glad to get back on the pitch. It was really hard to watch last year when I was injured so it is nice to be back playing and looking forward to the championship,” he commented.

While Cassidy has returned to action, the defender acknowledges that they are missing a number of those who helped take the team to the final in 2019.

“If anything we have lost a number of players from last year. We have two boys in Australia and a couple of boys retired .

“Look, we know how good Derrygonnelly are and we have played them a lot in the championship over the last ten years but I suppose the first round is as good a time as any to get anybody and we’ll go out and give it our best.”