Form line to be tested this weekend

THE line of form which links Armagh, Tyrone and Roscommon will be tested this Saturday when Tyrone travel to Dr Hyde Park to face the recent conquerers of the Orchard men.

With many supporters still looking for answers surrounding Armagh’s collapse against the Rossies, it will be interesting to see how the Connacht men perform against a Tyrone team who are past masters at regrouping.

And considering that Mickey Harte’s team put Armagh to the sword in their Ulster opener and Roscommon beat Armagh, they will again be underdogs for Saturday’s clash.

The Red Hands will be keen to prolong their participation in the All-Ireland series until some of their injured players return and it would be a major shock if Roscommon gained another victory over a second Ulster side.

The odds being offered for their chances would suggest that Roscommon will struggle to raise their game to the same level that they did against Armagh.

Although Tyrone would appear to be a lesser side than they were when they captured three All-Ireland titles, they should still have enough strength, particularly up front, to move through to the next round.

Meanwhile some big names have ruled themselves out of the running for the vacant Armagh post.

Brian McAlinden, who was in charge of the side in the years prior to the 2002 All-Ireland success, has stressed that he would not be interested, as has Joe Kernan who had a spell with Galway following his departure from Armagh.

Paul Grimley, who had been assistant boss to Paddy O’Rourke, speaking in the press last week, suggested that the job should be given to a member of the 2002 side which won the All-Ireland title and, if interested, Kieran McGeeney would be the favourite amongst the fans.

But at the moment the former Armagh captain has his focus trained on Kildare who will have to navigate their way through the qualifier route having been well beaten by Meath in the Leinster semi-final.

The Royals will play Dublin in the final which has already been billed as the “game of the season”.

Ironically Meath boss Seamus McEneaney witnessed one of his greatest moments as a manager when his side beat Kildare in the semi-final despite the Monaghan native having looked odds on to be sacked when his side were relegated from division three at the end of this year’s National League campaign.

Just a few months later he stands on the verge of winning a provincial title against all the odds.