Defender Aisling MacAuliffe has revealed that Roscommon must rediscover the form that saw them crowned league champions earlier this season to have a chance of claiming provincial silverware on Sunday week.
Ollie Lennon’s side will take on Leitrim in the Connacht LGFA intermediate football final at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, in the knowledge that Leitrim have won the last two meetings between the sides, including last year’s provincial final in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Roscommon’s results have been up and down during this particular Connacht championship campaign, including losses against Sunday week’s opponents and Clare, but there was always the understanding that the competition would be used to ascertain the strength-in-depth of the panel.
“All the girls training deserve game time. The lads keep saying that it’s such a hard task to pick the team, and I can understand why that is. The standard at training is really high. You’re dealing with players that want your jersey, and that pushes everyone on,” she noted.
Even though Leitrim failed to get out of Division Four, they followed up last season’s success in Carrick-on-Shannon by repeating the trick in the group stages on Good Friday at Enfield a few weeks ago. While Roscommon won’t be short on motivation, MacAuliffe feels that they must return to the consistency that, for the most part, was an integral part of their league title charge.
“We didn’t perform the last day and Leitrim deserved to win. This time, I think it will be a really good game. We’re not afraid of them but you’d have to respect the fact that they’ve beaten us twice the last two times we played them.
“If I was in their position, I would have been thinking ‘let’s take these league champions down a peg or two’, ahead of the game a few weeks ago.
“So it’s in our minds that we don’t want to be beaten a third time. But the only way we can prevent that is by going out and performing on the day. I’d say that Leitrim would love nothing better than to get the better of us again,” she said.
*Read Aisling MacAuliffe’s full interview with Ian Cooney only in next Tuesday’s Roscommon Herald