The 2015 Connacht Championship: A Team by Team Guide

The 2015 Connacht Championship starts in earnest this weekend when Galway travel to Carrick to take on the mighty Leitrim. It truly will be a carnival of football until mid July when one team must emerge victorious. In this post we take a look at the contenders, and analyze their chances. Lets football!

Galway

Galway, Galway, Galway – why aren’t you better? It’s sad to think that they haven’t won a Connacht Championship since 2008, which is an incredibly long time for a county like Galway. But are there some more sinister forces at play? Almost certainly, in my opinion. Its surely not a coincidence that Galway haven’t won a Connacht Championship since Paisean Faisean was cancelled by TG4 in early 2009. Is it really beyond the realms of disbelief to speculate that there’s a curse on Galway not to win Connacht again until Paisean Faisean is recommissioned? Or could it be that speculating that there’s a curse on them is just another attempt by a broken, broken man to get his favourite show back on the air? You decide.

Key Man: Michael Donnellan – If Galway can somehow clone him 15 times, develop those baby clones into functioning men, and teach them the rules of GAA between now and Sunday, they certainly stand an outside chance of staying within a few points of Leitrim until half time.

Prediction: They’ll get a hiding in Carrick on Sunday but could go on a cheeky run through the qualifiers. Galwegians will start to get a bit optimistic, and then in the next match they’ll promptly crash out to some random team like Wicklow – That’s the Galway way.

Leitrim

Leitrim were cruelly robbed of All Ireland glory last year when the lack of Hawk Eye in Hyde Park led to them having 42 good scores incorrectly ruled out in the game against Roscommon, so they’ll be gunning for glory this year. Investment in new equipment (A Helicopter Gunship) by the county board should reap dividends this summer. There’ll be no singing of the Leitrim Lament this summer me buckos, as good a song as it is.

Key Men: The Inside Full Forward Line – Now that Ex-Argentina and Internazionale striker Julio Cruz’s papers have finally cleared, he’s been pencilled in to play corner forward on Sunday, with Packy McGarty at 14, and Ray Cox in the other corner. It’s shaping up to be the most fearsome threesome since chocolate, strawberry and the white one teamed up to form Neapolitan ice cream.

Prediction: Connacht & All Ireland Champions. Minimum. Don’t be surprised if they do the quadruple by also winning the Eurovision and Chelsea Flower Show.

Mayo

You know what they say about Mayo people: You smell the hoors before you see them. But they’re not the worst (Roscommon). You kind of feel sorry for them at this stage, never managing to win an All Ireland, but getting Louis Walsh to leave the X Factor and adding him to the management ticket looks like a shrewd move.

Key Man: Christina Gallagher – Mayo can forget about winning an All Ireland unless her nutball predictions come through, and God drowns the whole world with the exception of Achill…Even then I’d still think they’d find a way to lose to Kerry in the final.

Prediction: Mayo have a bye into the Connacht semi-final this year, so I can definitely see them reaching a provincial semi-final. They’ll be happy with that, and they better be because they won’t be going any further.

Roscommon

Growing up I always thought that Roscommon was a make believe place that adults tell children to scare them, and that no place could be as bad as what they said. So you can understand my utter dismay when I was brought to the bridge in Carrick on Shannon, and was told that everything on the other side of the river was Roscommon. The horror! The humanity! I fainted, and I don’t have a great recollection of the following few weeks, as I sunk into despair, but mother remembers vividly the first words I uttered when I came to:

“I’ve….seen things you wouldn’t believe… Zombified masses worshiping an effigy of Chris O’Dowd in Boyle as Moone Boy is inexplicably renewed for yet another season. I’ve watched the blood red eyes of beasts with two backs shine in the dark near the gates of Roscommon town. All those moments will be lost in time, like….tears in rain. Time…to die…”

But yeah, Roscommon, decent team.

Key Man: Mephistopheles – Rumours have it that this demon of Faustian folklore is lending his wicked services to Roscommon’s backroom team. I wouldn’t doubt it for a second.

Prediction: There’s a suspiciously high number of people with weird first names in the Roscommon squad – names like ‘Donie’ and ‘Cathal’. I don’t know how exactly they’re using these names to cheat, but you can take it for granted that they are. I expect it to get to the bottom of it in the next few weeks, and for Roscommon to be kicked out of the Connacht Championship.

Sligo

Sligo are the kings of what I call Walking the Talk – that is they always look extremely confident in their own abilities before the match, and you think that they’re going to be really good, but they never really are. Immensely more likeable now that Eamonn O’Hara is gone. In fairness to O’Hara he kept that Piz Buin outlet store in Tourlestrane in business for years.

Key Man: W.B. Yeats – Some man for the aul poems, hi

Prediction: Well due to Roscommon’s shenanigans mentioned above they’ll get a bye to the Connacht final, so if nothing else they’ll have a day out in beautiful Castlebar. Castlebar is a shoppers paradise – hosting all the big brands from Elverys to Stauntons Intersport.

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