Wednesday 21 February 2018

Rossies set to lose Shine for crunch derby showdown

Donie Shine
Donie Shine
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Roscommon look set to be without Donie Shine for their opening Connacht championship match against Mayo in Castlebar on Sunday.

Shine played about 25 minutes of league football in two spring games, but despite Roscommon manager John Evans' belief he "will be available for selection" by the end of the week after overcoming the injury, it is thought unlikely that he will play a part.

"By the end of the week he will be available. We will use every bit of time we can get to have him ready," said Evans.

Shine (pictured below), Roscommon's prolific free-taker, aggravated his hamstring three times in a three-month spell.

However, St Brigid's captain Darragh Donnelly and club colleague Ian Kilbride have been ruled out, while Peter Domican did not commit to the squad after the club final.

"Darragh Donnelly was Brigid's captain and he'll be a big loss. He was going very well, a lot better than expected. I think the fact that he was captain and a leader with Brigid's, he was a big help. Ian Kilbride is a real swash-buckling player, a tough man who takes no prisoners. He's a huge loss too," said Evans.

Shine's younger brother Cathal is available again, as are Donal Ward and Sean Purcell after recent injuries, but the promising Donal Keane has not fully recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained against Kildare in a recent challenge match.

Roscommon will be the last football team in action in the 2013 championship following on from Meath on Saturday and Clare and Fermanagh earlier on Sunday.

Evans feels that, as a new manager in the county of the reigning All-Ireland club champions, that is an advantage to him.

"I could be critical about it, but it has been an advantage in having a new team and having so much time with them.

"I'm trying to instill a new style and regime of football (and) it helps from that side."

Evans admits that playing Mayo in Castlebar is the "perfect storm" for his team.

"We're playing a team that beat Galway (4-16 to 0-11) four weeks ago and that same Galway team beat Roscommon 12 months earlier. It's a real test to see where we are.

"Mayo have huge experience, they are a lot stronger and faster and tougher. Make no mistake, we'll make a game of it. The perfect storm, really. It will be interesting to see how much fight is in this Roscommon team."

Irish Independent

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