Clare v Roscommon on 21/12/14 at 14:00.
Venue: County Grounds, Digifone Park Doora.
The destiny of Clare’s Oscar Traynor side lies entirely in their own hands as they prepare to take on the men from Roscommon in a crucial fixture in what is their last group game.
A win is enough for the Mick Shiel managed Clare side to qualify for the knockout stages, losing on Sunday could easily bring an end to their participation in the 2014/15 Oscar Traynor competition.
Similarly Roscommon need a win to stay in the competition. Even at that, the Rossies are depending on the result from the other clash in the group between Galway and Mayo, as they lie at the bottom of the table at present.
Beaten finalists in the Oscar Traynor competition last year, Clare have yet to find their feet under new manager Mick Shiel. Their opening tie ended in a draw against Galway, whilst they travelled to Mayo on November 23rd and came home with the three points in the bag, winning 3-2. The Banner men stand on top of the group with Galway leading into Sunday’s tie with both teams on four points.
Similarly Roscommon have not yet played to their best in the competition this year. They drew 1-1 with Mayo in their first fixture at the beginning of November. In their second outing versus Galway, they were reduced to ten men early on and this greatly reduced their chances. Despite equalising against the Tribesmen, the Roscommon men stumbled to a 3-1 defeat. Roscommon need Galway to be victorious in their group game and must beat Clare by two goals to nil or better to advance.
Clare’s hopes have been greatly boosted for this outing, with Newmarket Celtic duo Eoin Hayes and Stephen Kelly both returning, they missed out the last day due to injury and work commitments respectively. Tulla United’s Darragh Corry returns from suspension. Evan Talty of Burren United is a new addition to the squad, while David O’Grady has picked up a recent injury and has been ruled out, along with his Newmarket Celtic clubmate Eoin O’Brien who is only slowly returning to action after a long spell on the sidelines.
Enda Concannon is in his first season as Roscommon manager and will be hoping to cause an upset in Digifone Park, Doora on Sunday. Full-back, Garry Egan is suspended for the all-important tie. Skyvalley Rovers’ Ethan Keogh is an injury doubt, having picked up a head injury in club action last week, but he is expected to tog out. The 2012 semi-finalists will be looking to former League of Ireland player, Des Hope, central midfielders Danny Browne and Darragh Concannon and Mark Duffy up front to get them over the line.
For Clare to book their place in the knockout stages, they will need solid displays from captain, Paddy Purcell, Eoin Hayes, Stephen Kelly and David McCarthy all of Newmarket Celtic, while Garry Higgins will be hoping to replicate his performance from the last day out. Clare should get their festive celebrations off to the perfect start with a win at home and secure their place in the next round.
Clare Squad: Paddy O’Malley (Avenue United), John Mulready (Bridge United), Evan Talty (Burren United), Darryl Eade (Ennis Town), Sean O’Callaghan (Ennis Town), Ian Collins (Newmarket Celtic), Darren Cullinan (Newmarket Celtic), Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic), Alan Kelly (Newmarket Celtic), Stephen Kelly (Newmarket Celtic), David McCarthy (Newmarket Celtic), Eoin O’Brien (Newmarket Celtic), David O’Grady (Newmarket Celtic), Paddy Purcell (Newmarket Celtic), Colin Smyth (Newmarket Celtic), Garry Higgins (Shannon Olympic), Brian McGorrian (Shannon Olympic), Darren Whelan (Shannon Olympic), Darragh Corry (Tulla United).
Roscommon Squad: Danny Browne (Ballaghaderreen FC), Shane Duffy (Ballaghaderreen FC), Lee Keenan (Ballaghderreen FC), Cormack Rushe (Ballaghaderreen FC), Aidan Dooney (Ballinasloe Town), Mark Duffy (Ballinaloe Town), Aidan Fallon (Ballinasloe Town), David Grehan (Ballinasloe Town), Des Hope (Ballinasloe Town), Peter Keighery (Ballinasloe Town), Mike Lynch (Ballinasloe Town), Jordan O’Leary (Ballinasloe Town), Darren O’Malley (Cloonfad United), Niall Corbett (Dysart), Alan Devine (Fohenagh FC), Niall Keighery (Fohenagh FC), Alan Duffy (Moore United), Andy Nevin (Moore United), Cormac Clogher (Skyvalley Rovers), Jason Clogher (Skyvalley Rovers), Ethan Keogh (Skyvalley Rovers), Emmett Kelly (Skyvalley Rovers), Cormac McDonnell (Skyvalley Rovers).