GAA: Mannion Will Be Snookered If Naked Nigel Plays out of His Skin Again; ALL-IRELAND ACTION: Gaelic's Big Men Are All Set for Showdown Sunday.(Sport)
Byline: PAUL KEANE
THOMAS MANNION has seen enough of Nigel Dineen to last him a lifetime.
And that was before the whole country was ''treated'' to news of Dineen's nude snooker antics in a northern hotel.
Last week's revelation that the lightning corner-forward was one of two Roscommon players who disrobed as they trotted around the green baize was of little interest to Mannion.
Rather, the 1998 All-Star has witnessed the bare-faced cheek of Roscommon ace Dineen (left) in a different light - and wants to forget all about it.
Mannion was a corner back for Galway last year when he was skinned by Dineen in Roscommon's shock provincial win.
The old head of the Galway defence was badly caught for pace by his opponent, who was like a young Hurricane Higgins around the table in Tuam Stadium, picking up score after score.
The rest, of course, is history. They met again in the All-Ireland quarter-final where Roscommon were easily accounted for and ruthless Galway went on to win the championship.
By then Mannion had reverted to his usual centre-back slot and flourished in the late summer, before giving a magnificent performance against the lethal Trevor Giles in the All-Ireland final when Galway beat favourites Meath.
But he's never forgotten the day he was left well and truly snookered by the Tulsk man!
"The first game last year was a nightmare, the second was a bit better," said Mannion.
"We weren't up for it the first time and I had a very bad day. and much of that was down to Nigel. He was brilliant. I didn't last long on him but even before I was changed he had done the damage.
"He's very strong and a great goal-poacher. You just can't give him any room. Unfortunately, that day that's exactly what we did. Nigel is part of a very strong forward line and according to reports they've been working very well during the League campaign."
Frankie Dolan was the other Roscommon player named and shamed in the infamous Sunday paper story that pictured the pair in the Derry Hotel.
Dineen lines out at full-forward despite the controversy while Dolan misses out because of a shoulder injury.
Mannion doesn't believe Dineen will be affected by the unwanted attention and can actually see the team benefiting from the affair.
"What has happened will bring all the Roscommon lads together and make them want to show the country that nothing has changed for them," added Mannion, 35, who is likely in his last season of inter-county football. …