Lonesharkoy has previews the second round of the Super 8s and he predicts a high scoring game in Hyde Park and Kildare to potentially cause a surprise in Newbridge.
Roscommon vs Donegal
Of the four Super 8 games taking place this weekend, this is the least predictable, in the sense that it’s impossible to tell what mindset Roscommon will bring to their only home game of the series. While four counties lost games in this new series last weekend, Roscommon were the only county that came away with their prospects of reaching the semi-finals effectively in tatters. They now need to beat Donegal and take something from their clash with Dublin in Croke Park, and nothing that we saw from them last Saturday evening would suggest that they are capable of restricting Dublin to any sort of match-able total.
Effectively, this game is an exercise in salvaging dignity for the Rossies, as they try to prove that they’re not as bad as they looked when trying in vain to curtail wave after wave of Tyrone attack.
It’s not exactly controversial to say that defending against opposition runners is very definitely the big problem that Kevin McStay will have to deal with, but that’s not something that can be addressed in the space of a week. What they can hope for is that they go out, play to their strengths, and see where that takes them. It was enough to get them past Armagh in spectacular fashion, and while Donegal are very definitely at another level entirely, Declan Bonner’s side are still quite happy to go toe-to-toe with teams and outscore them, if that’s the type of game that develops. Consequently, they won’t be too concerned about letting Roscommon attack, since they’ll be confident of matching the total and putting a little along with it at the other end.
Paddy Power Betfair is pitching the match total here at 36.5 and while lots of shrewd gamblers prefer to play the unders, particularly on a high line like that, our gut feeling is that the Rossies will go down swinging, with Donegal prevailing by 1-19 to 2-13 or something similar, before setting up a massive game in Ballybofey on the August bank holiday weekend.
Over 36.5 points, 5/6, Paddy Power & Betfair
Kildare vs Galway
There is no getting away from the basic fact that one of these two teams is an All-Ireland contender, and the other isn’t. If Dublin are to be beaten this year, the evidence so far would suggest that Galway and Tyrone are the only teams that look ready to do so – and certainly Kildare aren’t at that level. However this is still a very tough game for Galway, and one where they’ll do well to take a win of any type. When Kildare were getting lambasted for their lack of form earlier in the year, they were losing games very narrowly, all to good opposition. A lack of confidence took hold, and they reached a real low point when they lost Carlow.
However the draw was kind – it gave them a chance to find themselves against Derry, another side that was woefully low in confidence, then an intermediate step up against Longford. The Mayo game represented a high point, and since then they’ve played like a division one team in their last two games.
Defensively, they can be weak, particularly to runners through the centre, where their lack of a strong tackle at half back and midfield can take a toll – but that’s not how this Galway team likes to attack, as they instead break through quick use of the foot pass, before ultimately looking to Damien Comer to either blast past a defender to set up a break. In terms of where they are, Tyrone and Galway aren’t far apart – but while playing Tyrone would be a terrible mismatch for this Kildare team, they are far better suited to taking on Galway.
Then we have the Newbridge factor, which was never a thing until this year, but now players and supporters alike are treating their home ground like some sort of sacred religious space, not to be violated by marauders from the west. We can say with confidence that we’ll get a highly charged, high-octane performance from Kildare in this game – and against Galway, who really had a far easier time against Kerry than anyone expected, that could bring them a long way.
Kildare (+2pts) to beat Galway, 11/8, Betway