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Saturday will be dry across the bulk of the country with a mix of cloud and sunny spells. After a rather cloudy start sunshine will break through in many areas during the afternoon. Highest temperatures of 17 to 23 degrees, warmest in southern counties. Sunday will be warm and dry with sunny spells. Highest temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees and mainly easterly breezes. For more go to met.ie.
The weekend’s action gets underway at Hyde Park with the same pairing that opened up the new world of the Super 8s some 52 weeks ago at Croke Park.
Tyrone ran riot on that Saturday evening, winning in the end by 18 points. Afterwards the then Roscommon manager Kevin McStay said his side couldn’t live with Tyrone’s athleticism and conditioning.
He summed it up by twlling RTÉ Sport: “You are trying to keep the margin manageable and all the runners are coming from the defence all the time and we started were getting tired and not tracking.”
Roscommon never recovered from that trimming.
McStay would in time vacate the hotseat, with some credit in the bank it must be said.
Enter Anthony Cunningham and we have a Rossies side that have a tougher edge to them and a pretty impressive forward line, no doubt strengthened by the addition of Kerry native Conor Cox.
Hubert Darcy and Cathal Compton really caught the eye when introduced in the Connacht final — a game where the Rossies upped it in the second period — nine scores from 11 shots underlined their dominance.
That said, they hit a fallow period in the run up to half and Tyrone would hurt them more than Galway if they find themselves in a similar trough at the Hyde.
Roscommon are a genuine top-eight side and have a defensive mindset that is up there with other leading lights. They have had four weeks to prepare for this game, ample preparation to ensure that there will be no similar crash-out to last year. With a game against the Dubs at Croker in a week’s time, they will be desperate to get something on the board straight away.
It will be difficult, however, against a Tyrone outfit who, not for the first time have picked up serious momentum through the backdoor. Their wins over Kildare and Cavan were really impressive.
Peter Harte will be available for selection after having one of his three blacks cards rescinded.