/ GAA

McStay: Mayo will have too much for Roscommon in Connacht football semi-final

Updated: Friday, 06 Jun 2014 21:27 | Comments

Mayo are unbeaten in eight matches  in the Connacht championship
Mayo are unbeaten in eight matches in the Connacht championship

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Sligo were the last team to beat Mayo in the Connacht Championship. The year was 2010. John O’Mahony was at the helm and a nadir of sorts was reached when the Green and Red fell to Longford in their subsequent qualifier clash.

O’Mahony, not surprisingly, called time on his second spell as boss.

Enter James Horan. A county title with Balintubber was enough to persuade the power brokers in Mayo GAA that he was the man to take on the challenge.

So far, he’s ticked most of the boxes, except the one that says ‘Mayo – All-Ireland winners.’ This summer Horan bids to lead his troops towards a fourth Connacht title on the trot. Roscommon stand in their way at the semi-final stage on Sunday.

Mayo were far superior in dispatching the Rossies at the same stage this year. Many expect the margin to be a lot tighter when their rivalry resumes at the Hyde – though Kevin McStay feels that the reigning champions are still well ahead of their rivals.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: “It is impossible to see beyond Mayo – probably a season or two too soon for Roscommon.

“Andy Moran is dropped, so that’s a real sign of intent from Mayo"

“Mayo are going for a four-in-a-row. They haven’t conceded a goal in Connacht since 2011 – so that’s the sort of consistency they have.

“Mayo were hammered by Roscommon in the U-21 championship, yet they give two U-21s a debut. Roscommon, for their part, got to an All-Ireland final in the grade, but didn’t pick anybody from that side for Sunday.

“Andy Moran is dropped, so that’s a real sign of intent from Mayo and I imagine the performance on Sunday will also be a sign of intent." 

It’s a busy weekend of football action and McStay also gave his thoughts on the other games.

Longford v Wexford

“I’m going to go with Longford. They’ve had a good outing already in their win over Offaly. They’re at home and that always helps.

"Two teams with plenty of room for improvement – that’s the way I summarise it. Wexford aren’t going great. They just about held on to their league (Division 3 status). Longford have the better forwards in the likes of Michael Quinn and Paul Barden and that will prove crucial."

Clare v Waterford

“With Kerry awaiting in the semi-final, it’s a bit of a booby prize for the winners. I saw Clare in the Division 4 final where they played very decently against Tipperary. They got promoted, whereas Waterford never really stirred in Division 4.

"Clare are at home and that's an advantage. With Gary Brennan in the side that should drive them on."

Armagh v Cavan

“I looked at the Cavan selection and I saw no debutants. They have a strong looking midfield in Givney (David) and McKiernan (Gearoid) and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform.

"They are favourites to win but this is a game where there could be a mild surprise. Armagh are not going well, but you’d have to feel there is something in them.

"Looking at their team, they have a lot of good players. Jamie Clarke is captaining them this year and I just feel that Armagh can cause the first surprise in Ulster."

"Armagh are not going well, but you’d have to feel there is something in them" 

Louth v Kildare

"Louth were out already against Westmeath and they were very decent. Kildare have gone into a category where you couldn’t take them to beat anybody out of the higher divisions in a canter.

"They are just not that at that level anymore. It’s a great chance for Louth. Everybody expects Kildare to win it but I give Louth a mighty chance. This one will be tight."

Dublin v Laois

“The All-Ireland champions are out and nobody sees beyond them in terms of the big prizes. It’s unfair on Dublin I suppose, but that’s the backdrop to every match they’ll play.

"When you look at Laois’ selection, they have a strong and physical side and are not short of some very good footballers. Colm Begley is back and they have the likes of Kevin Meaney and John O’Loughlin.

"I think they’ll put it up to Dublin and I can see Laois really sticking into it for maybe an hour or just short of it. However, on all known form the Dubs just have too much ammunition for these sort of teams." 

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