Castlerea and Elphin get tentative vote to advance to Intermediate final

Callington Ltd IFC semi-final: Castlerea St Kevin’s v Padraig Pearses on Saturday in Knockcroghery at 1.30 pm

Castlerea St. Kevin’s and Padraig Pearses already met in the championship last month, in a game won by Castlerea. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

Many GAA supporters in the county would like to see Castlerea return to the top table of club football in Roscommon, but Padraig Pearses will have something to say about that on Saturday when the sides meet for a place in the final against Elphin or Éire Óg.

Castlerea have been impressive in the campaign thus far, although they started very slowly against St Brigid’s in the semi-final. On that occasion, goals from talisman Adam McDermott and Peter Farrell ultimately saw them through by four points.

Padraig Pearses will be leaning on the many talented young players they have in the club, but there is plenty of experience there too with the likes of Mark Richardson, Shane Mulvey, Aaron Fehily and Emmet Kelly in their ranks.

This will be a closely fought encounter. Castlerea should be good enough to emerge as winners by a couple of points.

Prediction: Castlerea St Kevin’s.

Callington Ltd IFC semi-final: Elphin v Éire Óg on Saturday in Strokestown at 4.30 pm

This second fixture in Strokestown is a contender for ‘Game of the Weekend’ with both clubs determined to reach the final and indeed to ultimately progress to the senior ranks.

Éire Óg’s star man Conor Cox has been in fine form this season and will be a pivotal player again on Saturday. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

Éire Óg have been performing well and have several excellent players in their ranks, not least Conor Cox, who has been prolific from play and the placed ball.

Cox is high profile, but it’s far from a one-man band, as Jamesie Greene, Liam Creaton, Jason Doory and Brian Greene have all been prominent this year for Pat Doorey’s men.

Elphin started this campaign slowly with a loss to Castlerea, but have come into form at just the right time. They were excellent when brushing Fuerty aside in the recent quarter-final.

Fintan Cregg is still the heartbeat of the team, while the return of Shane Killoran has been a major factor in Elphin’s improvement. Aaron Brady, Niall Higgins and John Finnerty are also playing well for Seamus Quinn’s side.

This has the appearance of being a real 50-50 game. They might need extra-time to do it, but I am taking Elphin to just edge this one.

Prediction: Elphin.