Monday 19 March 2018

Shine misses out as Evans sticks with youth policy

Donie Shine, along with Donal Ward, will not be included in the Roscommon squad facing Sligo tomorrow evening
Donie Shine, along with Donal Ward, will not be included in the Roscommon squad facing Sligo tomorrow evening

Declan Rooney

Donie Shine and Donal Ward have been dropped from the Roscommon team to face Sligo in the Connacht football semi-final tomorrow evening (7.0).

Shine was the hero with a ten-point haul when the sides last met in the 2010 Connacht final, which helped his side to their last provincial title, while Ward misses out after a shoulder injury sustained in his employment as a prison guard hampered his preparation.

Niall Daly is one of nine players aged 24 or under in John Evans' side, and he has sympathy for the tough task the manager had in picking a team after the good form they displayed en route to promotion to Division 1 earlier this year.

"We've had a few A versus B games in the last few weeks and there has been no holding back. I suppose John Evans is only loving that," said Daly, who will play at centre-back tomorrow.

"He has a few selection headaches. It's serious competition and a lot of underage lads coming through too to show their wares. I'm sure it wasn't easy for John to pick a team.


"There is a young element to the team now. We have a good mix between young and old which is important too. I have played with a lot of the young lads up along and that's good for getting to know each other along the way.

"You learn each other's different strengths. You have your eye in, you might see a run a player is going to make before he makes it."

Most recent in the Sligo memory bank is their 11-point mauling of Armagh in Markievicz Park on the final day of their Division 3 campaign.

And while Roscommon have had their league final defeat to Down and a Connacht Championship win in London since then, Daly is wary of this attacking Sligo outfit.

"We have been looking at them in the last few weeks and they finished the league campaign very strongly. They beat Louth, Wexford and beat Armagh very convincingly," said Daly.

"They have serious momentum coming into the championship. I know they've had 10 or 12 weeks off at this stage, but they'll be confident. They've had a few good challenge results so they'll be ready for us. It's up to us to meet their levels.

"We've looked and analysed our performance against London. After the game we had to give London great credit for their performance.

"In the second half, there was times we were in big trouble. They kicked 16 wides so we were lucky to get out of Ruislip with the result."

Sligo - A Devaney; R Donovan, K McDonnell, D Maye; K Cawley, B Egan, E Flanagan; C Breheny, N Murphy; C Davey, M Breheny, N Ewing; D Kelly, P Hughes, A Marren.

Roscommon - D O'Malley; S McDermott, N Carty, N Collins; R Stack, N Daly, C Cafferkey; I Kilbride, C Shine; C Daly, C Cregg, E Smith; D Murtagh, S Kilbride, C Murtagh.

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