They say that the All Ireland Senior Football Championship is really only starting now, almost as if the provincial and qualifier games were only a bit of window dressing to pass the Summer. It’s down to the really big boys now. Not too many players who have sweated blood to make the last four would be too enamoured with the thought that were just cannon fodder to keep the championship ticking over for a few months.
Likewise in Leitrim, every player feels he has played his part to date in the Connacht Gold Senior or the Glenfarne Wood Products Intermediate campaigns. The possibility of championship success has eluded some, but there is still a lot to play for! And that means that the clubs need their supporters just as much this weekend as ever – so don’t let your local heroes down, turn out and get behind your team.
Connacht Gold Senior Football Championship
A few years ago it would have been unthinkable that four teams like Kiltubrid, Carrigallen, Ballinamore and Drumreilly would be locked in a senior relegation battle, but the pendulum of power has swung and so it is. There will be little for pep talks in their dressing rooms over the weekend.
The drive for five is a mantra around Manorhamilton, but they have a resurrecting Allen Gaels to deal with on the way; Melvin Gaels are looking good, but the Borrs have their eye on the Fenagh Cup for a few years now; St. Mary’s will remember the county final of a few years ago, as will Mohill, so it will be dog eat dog there, while who would ever write off Aughawillan in any grade, though coming up against a strong Annaduff fifteen. Anyone who can make a confident call on any of those Quarter Finals should be heading for the bookies.
GWP Intermediate Football Championship
The relegation battles in Intermediate are hard to call too. Melvin Gaels and Glencar Manorhamilton are sizing each up at senior, so their lower grade sides will want to help the bragging rights, while both Aughavas and Drumkeerin will be playing their hearts out to hold on to their status and keep their club spirits high.
The Intermediate Quarter Finals must have been hand picked, because we have big guns against big guns and neighbour against neighbour.
Gortletteragh and Cloone; Glenfarne/Kilty and Ballinaglera; Fenagh and Aughnasheelin certainly tick all the boxes for local passion and then the Eslin and Dromahair clash should produce a likely eventual champion – but it would be unwise to bet on that either, everything’s in the melting pot.
Where else would you want to be this weekend than in the midst of it all – as a matter of fact neutrals are spoiled for choice – while supporters of the teams in action will be wishing they could be in a few venues at the same time, to get a peek at possible future opposition.
In any event, get yourself to a game, nothing beats being there and rest assured that every clash will be much more than just window dressing!
23-Aug-12 by Colette Fox – PRO