Final SFC group games this weekend

Up in the air!

Ahead of the final round of group games in the Hodson Bay Group Senior Football Championship, Seamus Duke takes a look at the permutations for those teams with their sights on the knockout stages, and those hoping to avoid a relegation battle…

Group A

There is no ‘Game of the Weekend’ this time around in the Hodson Bay Group Roscommon Senior Football Championship because in Group A there are two huge games of equal status, as all four teams can go through or indeed crash out depending on results. Both games are on Sunday at 1 pm.

In Knockcroghery, Roscommon Gaels play St Faithleach’s. A draw will be enough for The Gaels to go through, but a defeat will see the Ballyleague men go through and there is a possibility that the town team could then be knocked out.

It would be unfair to judge either Roscommon Gaels or Western Gaels on their meeting in the last round such were the weather conditions, but Frankie Dolan’s men will have to rediscover the ruthless streak we saw against Boyle in round one if they want to advance.

Faithleach’s were unlucky against Boyle in round two and they will feel that if they can get the ball into the Murtagh brothers and Dave Rooney they can prevail here. This promises to be a hard-fought match. The Gaels should be good enough to win by a point or two.

Western Gaels will fancy their chances of sending Boyle crashing out of the championship in the other match in Croghan (also 1 pm). The draw against Roscommon Gaels has thrown them a lifeline and they have plenty of experienced players to put up a fight.

Boyle were unconvincing against St Faithleach’s in round two but they have not become a bad team overnight following their final appearance last year. Enda and Donie Smith, Cian McKeon, Darragh Cregg and Tadgh McKenna will all have to be on top form. Boyle should be good enough to maintain their interest in this year’s championship.

Group B

Both games in this group are on Sunday at 4 pm. Michael Glavey’s are struggling, and it doesn’t get any easier for them as they face championship favourites St Brigid’s in Ballinlough. The return of Andy Glennon against Pádraig Pearses was a boost to Glavey’s but anything other than a Brigid’s win would be a shock here.

Pádraig Pearses were impressive against Michael Glavey’s in round two and they look to be one of the favourites for the Fahey Cup again this year. St Dominic’s were delighted to beat Michael Glavey’s to secure their senior status in round one but Pearses should be too good in this clash.

Group C

The big game in this group is the local derby between Tulsk and Strokestown in Tarmonbarry. The losers will face a relegation battle while the winners will be safe and stay in the senior ranks for next year. Strokestown were disappointing against Oran and will have to improve. Tulsk will be confident and might just edge it.

Oran and Clann na nGael will meet in Kiltoom to see who will top the group as both sides are already through. There will be plenty of attacking talent on view here and Clann might just shade it but it should be an enjoyable match. Both these matches are on Friday night at 7.30 pm.