Relive the 1998 roller coaster clashes between Galway and Roscommon

The Tribesmen went on to claim Sam that year

Relive the 1998 roller coaster clashes between Galway and Roscommon

Ray Silke of Galway. Image: ©INPHO/Keith Heneghan

With the final of the Connacht Championship upon us this weekend, Off the Ball decided to look back at two epic clashes from the 1990s. 

Galway were huge favourites for the 1998 provincial after dispatching reigning Connacht champions Mayo by four points in the quarter-final before making light work of Leitrim in the semi-final.

Roscommon, on the other hand, struggled past Sligo by a point after a replay.

Nigel Dineen, who played for Roscommon at the time, remembers the disappointment only too well. Asked if he still recalls the feeling at full time after the first match, when Galway scored a last minute equaliser, he said: "Absolutely...it was one of those things that happened. We got into the final by beating Sligo by a point so it was kind of a topsy-turvy Championship for us until we got to the final.

Nigel Dineen of Roscommon blocked by Gary Fahy of Galway. Image: © INPHO/Keith Heneghan

"Look, we believed that day that we could overcome Galway. Galway were going to be the hot favourites going into the game so we had nothing to lose. It was in their own backyard and we trained very hard and well for that game. It was a decision that went against us at the end of the game and the rest is history," he added. 

Galway captain Ray Silke was full of praise for their opponents. "Roscommon absolutely put it up to us," he said, adding: "Roscommon came fairly well primed. When they played us on July 19th, they had played two Championship matches in the previous three weeks as well so they were a good side. 

"Maybe we under-performed a little bit but we were very, very fortunate that day to get a draw. A lot of Roscommon have said to me since that they should have got a free in. Gary Fahey, who went on to be the captain in '01, he appeared to pick the ball off the ground and he just drove it down the field. Finnegan, who I think was one of the top corner-forwards in his day, he nailed the free.

"But even in the replay...it took a slight error from Derek Thompson for us to even win that game after extra-time. It was the goal that turned that game so there was very little between those sides 20 years ago."

The pair went on to discuss this weekend's match and the full discussion can be heard here: