John Evans must plan without key Roscommon duo

The first round of games in the Roscommon Senior Football Championship at the weekend dealt two heavy blows to county manager John Evans, as both Kevin Higgins and Ciarán Murtagh sustained injuries playing for Western Gaels and St Faithleachs respectively.

Midfielder Higgins missed the bulk of Roscommon’s Allianz League campaign due to a knee injury however his 2014 championship partnership with Cathal Shine was restored for the Division Two final at Croke Park to great effect.

Higgins and Shine were in opposition on Saturday evening as Shine’s Clann na nGael held on to record a 0-16 to 2-7 win in the first round of this year’s SFC, with Higgins lasting just 15 minutes before he was helped off the field with a suspected collarbone/shoulder injury.

Results of his scan are expected today, however an initial assessment suggested that he would miss between six and eight weeks, which would rule him out of Sunday week’s Connacht quarter-final against London and a subsequent semi-final clash with Sligo, should the Rossies prevail in Ruislip.

Ciarán Murtagh was also a casualty while in action for St Faithleachs, though his participation on Sunday week has not been completely ruled out. Murtagh, who started all eight Allianz League games this spring and scored 1-20 during the campaign, limped out of his side’s 2-13 to 0-8 defeat to Roscommon Gaels with an ankle injury and the Roscommon medical team are waiting for the initial swelling to subside before making a final diagnosis.

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