Aidan O'Rourke made an unexpected u-turn on Tuesday night with regards to taking the Roscommon senior football manager's job, despite being the county board's preferred choice for the role.
The former Armagh star was due to succeed Kevin McStay. It is understood that he was interviewed by the Rossies' selection committee but, before a county delegates meeting on Monday night, which was due to take place to ratify his appointment, he asked for a 24-hour deferral.
According to a statement from Roscommon bosses, the requested delay was put down to "unexpected doubts" over Karl Lacey's availability to be O’Rourke’s head coach.
Former Irish rugby fitness coach, Mike McGurn, was also speculated to be a part of O'Rourke's proposed backroom team. The Rossies must now look elsewhere, as O'Rourke informed the county board that he was pulling out of the running.
"The committee is concerned at attempts made to influence the outcome of the process," explained the statement, adding: "These events have undermined the integrity of the process and potentially affected our ability to attract a new manager.”
It is expected that Anthony Rainbow, the only remaining option, who has declared an interest, will be offered the position shortly. Despite the grassroot GAA supporters wanting a Roscommon-man such as Mixer Ryan or Boyle’s David Casey to get the job, the county’s GAA bosses seem determined to go to greener pastures to find a replacement for McStay. However, in what seems to be a last minute turn of events, Niall Carew may be back in the mix. Having previously ruled himself out of the running, the former Sligo senior football manager is understood to have been been approached to re-enter the fold.
On Friday night last, the 21st of September, the St. Barry’s ladies lost out to a sharper and more powerful Kilmore/Elphin team in the Division 3 Championship. Little went right for Barry’s ladies, and their opposition punished them for any mistakes they made.
Early on in the game, both sides fought hard but as the first half progressed, the Kilmore/Elphin defence held St Barry's tight. Ultimately, this laid a platform for their win. St Barry's defended well and were led by Laura Beirne, Aoife McLoughlin and Rachel Frayne. However, a misplaced pass on the quarter hour set up a Kilmore/Elphin counter attack. Kilmore/Elphin landed two additional goals before half-time and St Barry’s struggled to make inroads even though they enjoyed significant possession of the ball.
St Barry’s regrouped at halftime, and created a number of good opportunities for themselves in the third quarter, but couldn’t get any break in the forward line. A hardnosed Kilmore/Elphin defence who got lucky kept St. Barry’s busy and they unable to break through. St Barry's kept attacking though. Goals from Sarah McVeigh and Shannon McGuinness had Barry’s looking like they could come back, however, Kilmore/Elphin was the better team and held on comfortably to win out with a finishing scoreline of 4-13 to 2-6.
Strokestown is in the Senior Football Championship Semi-Final for the first time in 15 years. It was 2003 when Strokestown last reached the late stages of the Championship. They now face St Bridget’s on Saturday in Hyde Park to see can they reach the final. Last Sunday Strokestown faced St Faithleachs in Kinglass in blustery but dry conditions on a perfect playing surface.
Right from the throw-in, Strokestown were attacking and Diarmuid McGann had two super points kicked over in as many minutes. Strokestown were playing against the breeze but this had little effect as they dominated in most areas of the field. The town pressed St Faithleachs defence back continuously during the first half. St Faithleachs did go one point up early on but Strokestown soon corrected and with points by Cian Corcoran and Colin Compton.Strokestown upped the ante midway into the half and David Neary was at the end of a slick passing move to blast the ball into the St Faithleachs net. Shortly after, a similar moved developed and Neary was there again to finish and bag his second goal. Strokestown continued to play with high intensity and went in at the break leading. The 2nd half was much the same as Strokestown took control early on, tackling the Faithleachs players hard every time. Ciaran Murtagh tried to get St Faithleachs going but to no avail, as Sean Mullooly was sticking tight to him. Colin Compton was playing at the top of his game and was winning everything coming in his direction. Diarmuid McGann was as good on what came his way but Colin Compton was the conductor of the orchestra ending up scoring 6 points, as well as laying off some great balls for other team mates who scored with the assist. St Faithleachs tried hard but were dispossessed time after time by a tight Strokestown defence. Strokestown responded with a counter attack and David Neary bagged his 3rd goal of the game. This was a good team performance from Strokestown they won with great comfort.
Colin Compton was excellent and scored six points. McGann was very good too and kicked three points. David Neary was super again and scored three goals from play. There was real leadership from the captain of the team. The Corcoran brothers scored three points between them, Cian kicking two and Thomas one. The final score showed Strokestown 3-12 and St Faithleachs 0-7. St Faithleachs were without Diarmuid Murtagh who couldn’t play because of an eye injury and our best wishes go to his recovery. Strokestown is now 1 match away from the final and if they bring that passion, intensity and discipline into the final, they have a real chance. St Bridget’s are worthy champions and have won seven out of the last eight county finals. It should be a cracking match and we hope the weather stays fine for the match. Roscommon Gaels face Clan na Gael in the other semi-final and it will be a tight affair.