Roscommon unchanged for Connacht final

Roscommon will field an unchanged team for Sunday afternoon's Connacht SFC final against Sligo in Castlebar (throw-in 4pm).

David Casey came in as the only personnel change for Roscommon's 1-13 to 0-11 semi-final victory over Leitrim, and he has retained his place at left half-back.

David O'Gara and Kevin Higgins were introduced as second half substitutes against Leitrim but will have to be content with bench roles once again this weekend.

Roscommon, who last won the Connacht title in 2001, are seeking their 20th provincial title while Sligo, who last won in 2007, are seeking their third Connacht crown.

In a major milestone, this is the first time since 1947 that neither Galway or Mayo are contesting the Connacht final.

Donie Shine has been Roscommon's leading light so far in this year's Championship, scoring 1-16 (0-14f) in the wins over London and Leitrim.

Roscommon manager Fergal O'Donnell said: "There’s no reason why it can't be Roscommon’s day. A lot of these lads have beaten Sligo at minor and U-21 level.

"They've had a lot of disappointments at senior level but hopefully they might get a break this year.

"Our lads are going into the game in a good frame of mind. All the talk over the last couple of weeks has been about Sligo and Galway and what Sligo have done.

"In fairness, we feel that we're going to contribute to this final as well," he told the Roscommon Herald.

Sligo are odds-on favourites to lift the Nestor Cup on Sunday, and Roscommon's last Connacht final appearance in 2004 finished in a 2-13 to 0-9 defeat to Mayo.

With this being only the second ever Roscommon v Sligo match-up in a Connacht final - 1947 was the first - O'Donnell explained that his charges can put past disappointments in Castlebar to one side.

"I think it does make a difference even though Sligo are raging hot favourites," he said, when contemplating a final without either of Connacht's 'big two', Galway and Mayo.

"That psychological barrier won't be there. Sligo are a good team but there's no history there.

"If we were going to Castlebar playing Mayo, it would be in the back of players' minds, so I think it's fantastic because there will be no barriers there."

ROSCOMMON (SFC v Sligo): G Claffey; S McDermott, P Domican (capt), S Ormsby; S Purcell, C Dineen, D Casey; M Finneran, K Mannion; D Keenan, P Garvey, C Cregg; J Rogers, D Shine, G Heneghan.

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