Friday, May 26, 2023

Diarmuid Connolly in action for the Dubs. Picture: INPHO/Billy Stickland


Former Dublin All-Star Diarmuid Connolly has warned his former Dublin team-mates not to take Roscommon for granted in Croke Park on Sunday next.

Despite the fact that Roscommon are 13-2 outsiders with the bookies to cause a shock, Connolly, speaking to BoyleSports, feels that the game will be much tighter than a lot of people think.

“Dublin certainly can’t slip up here. If they lose to Roscommon, we can all see them beating Sligo, but it’ll not be easy having to go to Nowlan Park to play a Kildare team who got change from Croke Park, with only two points between them in the Leinster semi-final.

“Not getting a win on your first day out, just like Kerry, can put you right on the back foot. So Dublin need to go out and make a big statement.

“This is the first Division One side Dublin are going to play all year and I think people are sleeping in on Roscommon. They had a great league, they beat a lot of top teams, they beat Mayo in the championship and they only lost narrowly to Galway — and we know how good Galway are going at the minute.

“Roscommon have sharp-shooters inside too — Conor Cox, the two Murtaghs and Enda Smith driving the forward.

“Croke Park will suit Dublin, but I wouldn’t be sleeping in on this Roscommon side at all. It’s a huge game for Dublin — they’ll have to start off really well and put their front foot forward and they’ll have to get their match-ups right at the back.

“We all know they will score going forward, but it’s how they solidify at the back and how they match up in midfield against Enda Smith. If you let him play football, he’ll dictate play for Roscommon. I think it’s going to be a very tight game,” he predicted.


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