Monaghan and Roscommon fans must cherish rare days in the sun

A small county’s team going on a run that lasts this long is something to be savoured

Roscommon fans cheer on their team during their All-Ireland SFC semi-final draw with Mayo. Photo: Inpho

Roscommon fans cheer on their team during their All-Ireland SFC semi-final draw with Mayo. Photo: Inpho

I ran into Paul Finlay in the Croke Park press box on Saturday night. In years to come, Finlay will be one of those players of whom it will be required that you start wistful sentences with, “For those of us of a certain age…” County players come and go and all but the best of them bleed into each other a little bit. But even now you know that Paul Finlay will be, when we all reach said certain age, a name to conjure with.

He was stylish in a way that footballers from small counties aren’t supposed to be, with a full-body kicking style that looked like an ampersand sorting itself out and a left foot from fiction. In an era when Monaghan teams were all about energy and graft and putting you on your ass, Finlay sometimes looked like a kid practising his cello in the corner while the rest of the class terrorised a substitute teacher.

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