With the group stages behind them, teams who qualified for the Quarter Finals will hope they know a little bit more about themselves and the opposition they face. All supporters attending the matches will be hoping for entertaining games but the teams will only want to be in the last four even if it means without playing champagne football. Below we preview the Connacht Gold Senior Championship and GWP Intermediate Championship Quarter Finals to take place this weekend.
CONNACHT GOLD SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Glencar/Manorhamilton v Carrigallen
A repeat of last years outstanding county final. Both teams have good league form going into the game and indifferent form in the group stages. Glencar/Manor were impressive accounting for both Allen Gaels and St. Marys. On the other hand Carrigallen were less than impressive in defeating Cloone and loosing to Kiltubrid. The big questions for Manor are can they cope with the favouritism tag and the hype surrounding a possible three in a row. The question for Carrigallen is can they push on from their impressive display in last years senior championship and county final where they were there or there abouts. Although it wont be easy to derail the champions – it can be done and Carrigallen, like Glencar/Manorhamilton have strong players throughout the field. While its hard to predict an eventual winner, one thing is for certain and absorbing contest is on the cards in Pairc Sean.
Mohill Vs Bornacoola
A local derby and two teams who have produced epic encounters in championship matches down through the years, so Saturday should be no different. Mohill go into the game having topped their group but they were less than impressive in their matches. Bornacoola were unlucky to loose narrowly to Annaduff and bounced back to beat Drumreilly. The Bors are serious championship competitors and in 08 they contested the Senior County Final and last year they only exited at the semi final stages after a replay. Mohill last won the title in 2006 and will be hoping to make a serious run for the title this year. They have the potential to be a Scóring machine if they start well but Bornacoola will know this only too well and are capable of curbing fluency in the Mohill play. This game will be close – to close to call.
Annaduff V Ballinamore Sean OHeslins
An intriguing contest between two teams who will want to make their mark in the championship this year. Annaduff topped their group while Ballinamore finished second in their group. Annaduff start as favourites but only based on their form in the group stages and Ballinamore will be happy to be outsiders as they have often produced the goods when written off. Annaduff have quietly gone about their business and many observers are tipping the 2004 champions to do extremely well. Ballinamore were very impressive in the championship last year and were most unlucky to exit at the quarter final stages. It will be interesting to see if Ballinamore can produce their 09 form at this vital stage in the competition or can Annaduff continue their impressive form. This game will be won by the team who wants it most.
Kiltubrid V St Marys
Another local derby match that has the potential of being a classic. Kiltubrid have really shown that league form goes out the window when championship comes around. They have rejuvenated themselves after poor league performances and topped their championship group. St Marys on the other hand have performed well in the league but will have to bounce back from a defeat in the last group game. Both teams are missing influential players due to suspensions and how the respective management teams fill the voids left by these players could prove to be the difference between winning and loosing on Saturday evening. Both teams will have to put in a higher level of performance if they are to progress to the last 4 and it could even come down to the team who displays the greater hunger and ability to ground out a result.
GWP INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Aughnasheelin V Glencar Manorhamilton
Aughnasheelin have to be considered favourites to defeat a second string Glencar Manorhamilton. Glencar Manor easily accounted for Aughavas and were very unlucky not to cause an upset against Dromahair. Aughnasheelin were very impressive in their games to date and the only concern for them could be complacency. Manor will not fear them but it is sure to be a difficult assignment to cause an upset.
St Patricks Dromahair V Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher
This is definately the game of the weekend with two of the most impressive teams of the year coming head to head. Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher will play Division 1 football next year while Dromahair have performed exceptionally well in their first year in Division 1. Both teams have talented young players mixed with experience throughout their ranks. History would show that matches between these two sides are always keenly contested and Saturday should be no different. If you are a neutral this is the game to be at.
Aughawillan V Gortletteragh
Both teams have to be considered serious contenders for the title. Aughawillan have produced patches of brilliance in their games so far. Gortletteragh on the other hand have mixed the good with the bad. You really dont know what to expect from these two. Aughawillan have demonstated some real championship form in their two games but Gortletteragh feel that they left the corresponding semi final fixture behind them last year and will use that as motivation. With so much at stake for both teams – a real battle is on the cards.
Ballinaglera V Drumkeerin
Another local derby that always produces thrills and spills. Ballinaglera have rejuvenated themselves after a poor league and won both their group games. Drumkeerin will consider they could have done better against Aughawillan and perhaps more self belief might have made the difference. Neither team will be lacking in self belief and certainly wont fear each other. This could prove to be a very openÓgame of football if they both go for it.
RELEGATION SEMI FINALS
Connacht Gold Senior (Allen Gaels v Cloone: Melvin Gaels v Drumreilly)
No team will want to be in the final and this should be motivation in itself. The teams with the greater determination and hunger will prevail.
GWP Intermediate (Annaduff v St Marys: Fenagh St Caillins v Aughavas)
Two local derbys with the two second string teams and the two first string teams facing each other. With local bragging rights also added into the mix these matches will be of huge importance to the competing clubs. May the best teams win!
18-Aug-10 by Colette Fox – PRO