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

By Peter Canavan

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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