Connacht Gold Senior Championship
Annaduff V St Mary’€’s
This derby game is generating a great deal of debate throughout the County and is sure to be a fascinating encounter!
In the championship to-date Annaduff won their two group matches by a single point and they were convincing winners in the quarter finals, pushing the challenge of Ballinamore SOH to one side. It is expected that their semi-final will be a much tighter affair but the fact that they have shown an ability to carve out results in the group stages should stand to them. This Annaduff team will not be found wanting in a contest of this magnitude. They have players all around the pitch who will fight for every 50/50 ball, an impressive midfield pairing and upfront the Scóring duties are more evenly distributed. There are high expectations that they could reach another county final and there is the danger however that they could take their eye off the ball.
Standing in their way is a St Mary’€’s side who come into this match very much under the radar. They were group runners up and were given a real test by Kiltubrid in the quarter finals but they recorded the win even without the services of two suspended players. They are expected to be at full strength for the semi final clash as they welcome back those players. This will be a huge boost to them and taking this into account you would have to question have we seen the real St Mary’€’s yet? They come into this game very much under-rated based on their performances so far and this will suit them. Annaduff would not want to loose sight of the fact that they have a very balanced team and exceptionally talented players capable of doing serious damage.
Annaduff last won the title back in 2004 while St Mary’€’s were winners more recently in 2007. When they met in the league, Annaduff recorded a 2-12 to 2-10 home win – but that was on the 1st of May and neither team will be focussing on that encounter. Beating your neighbours will be a motivation for both teams on Saturday evening but reaching a County Final will be the icing on the cake!
Throw in at 5pm this Saturday evening in Pairc Sean (4th September, 2010)
Glencar/Manorhamilton V Mohill
Both teams enter the semi finals unbeaten. When the two sides met earlier this season in the League game in the Bee Park, Mohill were victorious with a two point victory. The main talking point after the game was the enormous contribution both teams made to an absorbing contest full of all that’€’s good about Gaelic Football. This signals that we may be in for a cracking game on Saturday evening.
Teams within Leitrim will be all too familiar with the talent within the Mohill camp and the performance levels they are capable of producing. They were much improved and hugely impressive in their replayed quarter final match against Bornacoola and the extra game will no doubt stand to them. They have rejuvenated themselves at just the right time ‘€’ the question is can they re-produce the form they produced in the replayed match? Their defensive unit are much heralded and more than capable of upsetting a talented Glencar/Manor forward-line but lets not forget their forwards are capable of steeling the headlines too.
The champions are not short of talent either and there doesn’€’t appear to be any weakness within their ranks. They have a very strong panel and what has been most impressive about their performances to-date is their ability to stay calm under pressure and respond when teams made a challenge. They were tested by Carrigallen in the quarter final match and this match will have brought them on further.
A serious contest in expected in the middle of the park and two mean defences will come head to head with two exceptional forward lines ‘€’ no wonder no one is hedging their bets! This game will go down to the wire.
Throw in at 6.30pm this Saturday evening in Pairc Sean (4th September, 2010)
GWP Intermediate Championship
Dromahair V Drumkeerin
Derby matches don’€’t come much bigger than this and there will be a mass exodus from the North of the County on Saturday evening as supporters and neutrals are expected to turn up in large numbers to the Drumshanbo venue.
Dromahair play their league football this year in Division One and have settled in well at the higher level while Drumkeerin are competing in Division 2 and have had better years. In the Championship to-date both teams have mixed impressive performances alongside hard fought wins and this game should be another tight affair.
Drumkeerin have been the surprise package of this year’€’s championship. They were group runners up and accounted for neighbours Ballinaglera in the Quarter Finals. They are more than aware that they almost went out in the quarter finals and another performance like that won’€’t be good enough. On the other hand, you have to admire their ‘€’never say die attitude’€’ as most teams would have folded when trailing by 9 points. That win will have done wonders for their confidence and if this strong and mobile team show the same levels of battling qualities on Saturday evening, Dromahair will know they are in a contest.
Dromahair topped their group and were very impressive in their victory over Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher in the quarter finals. However, most people will say Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher didn’€’t play to their full potential in the quarter finals and therefore we shouldn’€’t read much into that victory. They have a tendency to drift in and out of games and they will want to address this but when they are in full-flight they are a very entertaining side to watch with some very talented players. They won’€’t be bothered if they entertain on Saturday evening as long as they win.
Neither team will under-estimate their neighbours. They are both well served in defence, midfield is no different and in attack they have many threatening players. The players on both teams will know each other inside/out and if they go hell for leather, this match has the potential to be very open and exiting!
Throw in at 5pm this Saturday evening in Drumshanbo (4th September, 2010)
Aughawillan V Aughnasheelin
Another local derby match that is as finely balanced as you can get and they come head to head at the midway point in Ballinamore on Sunday evening!
Aughawillan have the advantage of playing their league football in Division 1 while Aughnasheelin are in Division 2. They both topped their groups in the championship and amazingly both have the same Scóring difference accrued. Both teams are similar in approach and will know each others strengths and weaknesses inside/out.
Aughawillan have been impressive to-date in their games. Their ferocious work-rate means the opposition don’€’t get time to steady themselves and Aughnasheelin will expect this and will need to apply the same levels of intense work-rate. They are a quality side throughout and possess a mean defence and forward line capable of doing serious damage.
Some would say Aughnasheelin were lucky to advance past the quarter finals after they squandered a sizeable lead only to hold on for dear life at the end by the slenderest of margins. They have displayed a tendency to do this inÓgames and can’€’t afford to do the same on Sunday. However, they have the experience of winning the Intermediate title in 2008 and you can’€’t buy that experience. They work tremendously hard in defence and their forwards will take serious watching.
Both teams will approach the semi-finals with a great deal of confidence and as this is expected to be a titanic battle you would have to favour the team who will fight tooth and nail for the victory and both are capable of doing this! A battle between two teams with similar styles is on the cards – all roads lead to Ballinamore on Sunday evening!
Throw in at 5pm this Sunday evening in Ballinamore (5th September, 2010)
Relegation Finals at Senior and Intermediate Level
Allen Gaels will contest the Senior Relegation Final versus Melvin Gaels on Sunday at 12 noon in Pairc Sean while on the same day Annaduff will take on FenÓgh in the Intermediate Relegation Final at 6.30 pm in Ballinamore. No team will want to drop a grade and this should be motivation enough. Although they are not considered glamour ties, the four clubs will be hoping that their supporters turn up in large numbers to get behind their teams.
The group stages of the Junior B Championship continues this weekend (Round 3) and the Junior C Championship commences. We wish all teams the best of luck.
02-Sep-10 by Colette Fox – PRO