Connacht Football Championship - County-by-County Guide Mon 11 May 2015 GALWAY Manager: Kevin Walsh (1st season). Titles: Connacht 44 (2008), All-Ireland 9 (2001). 2015 championship: Defeated New York before a 1-13 to 0-8 win over Leitrim. Semi-final 1-15 to 2-8 loss to Mayo. Before a qualifier win over Armagh and then Derry (1-11 to 0-8). Lost round 4 qualifier to Donegal 3-12 to 0-11. How it unfolded The wait for all the coming players to materialise as a force in the game has been lengthy and shows no sign of reaching a conclusion. Another mixed league ended in mid-table but a home win against either Cavan or Laois would have promoted them. There's promise in various sectors – Ó Curraoin at centrefield, Silke and Cummins in attack – but delivering collective impact has again proved elusive. Two straightforward wins, before coming up short against Mayo. They showed maturity in simply doing enough against limited Armagh and Derry sides but they were bullied against Donegal in the second half. LEITRIM Manager: Shane Ward (1st season). Titles: Connacht 2 (1994), All-Ireland 0. 2015 championship: Lost 1-13 to 0-8 against Galway in their provincial opener. Lost then to Louth 0-11 to 1-16. How it unfolded The FBD supremacy ended this year and new manager Shane Ward had to cope with the withdrawal of influential players, principally last year’s captain and top scorer Emlyn Mulligan. A creditable league campaign in the circumstances – they drew with both promoted teams, Longford and Offaly – placing them mid-table but they didn’t have the firepower to cope with Galway. A struggling Louth side, albeit in Drogheda, also proved too good. LONDON Manager: Paul Coggins (5th season). Titles: Connacht 0, All-Ireland 0. 2015 championship: Lost Connacht quarter-final to Roscommon 1-14 to 0-10. Then lost qualifier Round 1A to Cavan 0-11 to 2-22. How it unfolded The Halley’s Comet that was 2013 has left a bit of trail in that London have been more competitive in the league, albeit finishing bottom but on scoring difference. There was the usual significant churn of players but the most influential, like Lorcan Mulvey and Mark Gottsche, remained. A rising Roscommon, though, proved a tough rotation in the Connacht draw. As did Cavan in the back door. No luck of the draw for Paul Coggins in 2015. ROSCOMMON Manager: John Evans (3rd season). Titles: Connacht 21 (2010), All-Ireland 2 (1944). 2015 championship: Connacht quarter-final win over London, 1-14 to 0-10. Lost to Sligo in semi-final 1-14 to 0-13. Regrouped to beat Cavan 3-17 to 1-16 in the qualifiers, but Fermanagh ended their 2015 with a 1-14 to 0-16 win. How it unfolded Successive promotions to Division Two and One and the divisional titles created a buoyant atmosphere in Roscommon. The shock Sligo loss quickly dented the ego though, while their exit at the hands of Fermanagh was equally unexpected. The attack was the third most productive in the league, and they carried that form into the summer, but the defence was leaky to say the least. The Connacht dream is dead for another year but football in the county is in a good place. SLIGO Manager: Niall Carew (1st season). Titles: Connacht 3 (2007), All-Ireland 0. 2015 championship: Beat Roscommon in Connacht semi-final 1-14 to 0-13. Lost final to Mayo by 6-25 to 2-11. Lost qualifier Round 4B to Tyrone (0-14 to 0-21). How it unfolded After a dubious start to the league Sligo recovered and nailed survival with a big win over already promoted Armagh on the last day. Big totals – in the entire league only they and Longford broke three digits in points scored and their scoring difference was the best of any county not in the play-offs – came from an excellent full forward line. Although former All Star Charlie Harrison’s cruciate injury weakened the defence. They got their tactics right against Roscommon, they were far more aggressive, and efficient. The cat was out of the bag after that though and they were taken apart by Mayo - physically they had no answer to Aidan O'Shea and the Mayo midfielders. Less naive against Tyrone but another mismatch. Still though, plenty of positives. MAYO Manager: Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly/(1st season). Titles: Connacht 47 (holders), All-Ireland 3 (1951). 2015 championship: Straight into Connacht semi-final where they beat Galway 1-15 to 2-8, and then Sligo 6-25 to 2-11. All-Ireland quarter-final 2-13 to 0-11 win over Donegal, then a 1-15 to 2-12 draw with Dublin. Lost the replay by seven points. How it unfolded League advancement has been only a detail in Mayo’s recent strong challenges for the championship but missing out this year was still a disappointing outcome. Provincial domination continued, but their leaky defence also continued to drip. Although they did take the plunge and began to play with a sweeper from the Donegal game onwards. New management overseen oscillating performances but little in the way of new tricks other than the full-time deployment of Aidan O'Shea closer to goal. He though represented an entirely new dimension to their attack. Again they relied on pure heart, of which they have no shortage, in earning a replay against Dublin, but their year ended much the same as it had 12 months ago. So two All-Ireland final defeats, followed by two replay semi-final losses - Mayo just fall short once more. Agonisingly so.