The Hodson Bay SFC and the Mulryan Construction IFC are back this weekend and there is still much to play for in the various groups.
In the SFC, Western Gaels, Roscommon Gaels, St. Brigid’s, Clann na Gael, Strokestown and Elphin have been setting the pace but with three rounds to go there is plenty of time for the other clubs to make up ground.
In the IFC, Michael Glavey’s, Fuerty and Creggs have been leading the way but that could all change after this weekend’s games.
Remember that in both championships the top two in Group A qualify for the semi-finals while the next two will qualify for the quarter-finals. In Group B, the top two teams qualify for the quarter-finals.
Hodson Bay SFC
Western Gaels v Roscommon Gaels in Elphin on Sunday at 1 pm
Both sides have been very impressive so far in the championship. Roscommon Gaels lost narrowly to Clann na nGael in the league last weekend but were without a number of key players.
Western Gaels were impressive in a good win against Elphin and they have finished on top of the league Division One table.
There will be a lot of county (and former county) players in action here including Seanie McDermott, Cathal and Finbar Cregg, Ciaran Cafferky and Kevin Higgins for Western Gaels while Cian Connolly, John McManus, David O’Gara, James McDermott and Cathal Dineen will feature for Roscommon Gaels.
When the sides met in the championship last year, Western Gaels were the easy winners. I don’t think that there will be as much in it this time. The winners here will almost certainly guarantee a semi-final place. I’m going to sit on the fence.
Prediction: A draw
St. Brigid’s v Boyle on Saturday in Castlerea at 5.30 pm
St. Brigid’s are motoring along quietly and have been training hard in recent weeks. They are still the team to beat in this championship. With so many experienced players they cannot be written off. Boyle will hope that the Smith brothers, Seanie Purcell and Cian McKeon can do the business for them but it looks a bridge too far.
Prediction: St. Brigid’s
St. Faithleach’s v Pádraig Pearses on Sunday in Athleague at 2.45 pm
Both sides must win here or their championship aspirations could be over for another year. Faithleach’s were unlucky not to beat St. Brigid’s in the last round and with the Murtagh brothers in flying form they can cause an upset here.
Prediction: St. Faithleach’s
Castlerea St. Kevin’s v Clann na nGael on Saturday in Castlerea at 7.15 pm
Having disposed of Kilmore and St. Croan’s in the opening two rounds Clann will be expecting to beat Castlerea in this third round match. The home side will know that a defeat here will have them looking over their shoulder at the relegation places. It will be competitive but Clann should win it with a bit to spare.
Prediction: Clann na nGael
Elphin v Strokestown on Sunday in Elphin at 2.45 pm
This is the game of the weekend in this section. Both sides are unbeaten and Elphin will be hoping that Fintan and Frankie Cregg can hit the goal trail again. But Strokestown look a very accomplished side and if they play to their potential they should edge it. But it will be a cracking game and very close.
Kilmore v St. Croan’s on Sunday in Kilmore at 6 pm
On home soil Kilmore will be expecting to prevail over a Croan’s team who have not been impressive thus far. The loser here will certainly be looking over their shoulders at a relegation battle.
Mulryan Construction IFC
Fuerty v Michael Glavey’s on Saturday in Fuerty at 7.15 pm
This is the game of the weekend in the IFC between these two unbeaten teams who have been very impressive so far. Glavey’s have been determined to make their stay in the Intermediate ranks a short one while Fuerty are determined to win the IFC this year. There are plenty of good players on both sides and at home, Fuerty will be hoping to make a statement for later in the championship.
Tulsk v St. Aidan’s on Saturday in Tulsk at 7 pm
Tulsk badly need a win to get their championship back on track and even though St. Aidan’s are a much improved side, Gerry Lohan’s team should be too good and will be expecting a good win on home soil.
Oran v Éire Óg in Athleague on Sunday at 1 pm
Oran are another of the favourites for the IFC this year but they have been hit by injury and a loss of form but in Athleague they should still be able to handle Éire Óg.
St. Barry’s v Shannon Gaels on Saturday in Tarmonbarry at 7 pm
Shannon Gaels have been playing well since their elevation to the IFC and they should be able to travel to ‘Tarmon’ and win.
Prediction: Shannon Gaels
Creggs v St. Dominic’s on Sunday in Creggs at 2 pm
Creggs play their first home game in the IFC in 33 years and they welcome St. Dominic’s who need a win. I have seen Creggs twice so far this year and have been impressed.
Kilbride v St. Michael’s on Sunday in Kilbride at 2 pm
Kilbride should win this encounter at home with Conor Devaney the main man as usual.