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It’ll be close but Galway can keep Roscommon at bay

By Peter Canavan

Published 08/07/2016

The Connacht SFC final between Roscommon and Galway on Sunday is not the pairing that many would have foreseen at the start of the summer, and as a result, predicting the outcome is none too easy.

The issue is complicated by the fact that Roscommon have been hit with a spate of injuries, probably the most serious of which is to full-back Neil Collins, who requires surgery for a bad hamstring tear.

Considering Roscommon have not shown themselves to be a reliable defensive force, the absence of someone who was a key man during a fruitful league campaign is a significant setback.

Against that, they should still retain plenty of confidence from their rock-solid Division One performances.

Galway are even more difficult to weigh up. They hardly tore up trees in Division Two — not winning a single game in March or April — and unlike their opponents, they don’t have the bank of experience which you get from playing against the top teams.

However, they do have the benefit of a confidence-boosting win over Mayo in the semi-final.

Galway are a county with a strong tradition and remind me of Down in many ways. They can come almost from nowhere and just go on a roll, like Down did when they got to the 2010 All-Ireland final. They also have a knack of producing classy forwards.

Throw in the fact they’ve home advantage in Pearse Stadium and the balance is tipped in the Tribesmen’s favour.

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