Knockout places up for grabs in Championships

It’s a big weekend of club football!

Hodson Bay Hotel SFC (Round 3)

Group A

All games in the Senior Football Championship take place on Saturday, and in Group A almost every issue is settled. Oran are through as group winners and are the ‘seeded’ team after two wins, and they face Elphin at Dr. Hyde Park at 4 pm. Elphin know that they will be in the relegation battle after two losses so this is a ‘dead rubber’.

In the other game, the only issue between Michael Glavey’s and Roscommon Gaels is who will finish second and third. The winners of this clash will avoid having to play-off for a quarter-final place. Roscommon Gaels have players returning from injury and from abroad too so they get the vote to come through.


Group B

This group has the ‘Game of the Weekend’ in the SFC this weekend between St. Faithleach’s and Western Gaels at Strokestown at 6 pm. This is a real ‘do or die’ clash as the winners will go through to the play-offs while the losers will enter the relegation dog-fight. Faithleach’s will go into the match in the knowledge that they were very unlucky not to have got at least a draw against Boyle in the last round. They were also unlucky against Clann in round one when two defensive lapses cost them dearly. They will be hoping for better luck this time around.

Western Gaels were involved in last years’s relegation final against St. Croan’s and they won’t want a repeat of that situation. This should be a close battle but Faithleach’s are fancied to win narrowly.

In the other match, Clann na nGael and Boyle have a ‘free hit’ as both have won two games and the only issue is who will end up as the top dogs in the group. Boyle are probably a better bet at this stage of the championship.


Group C

County champions Pádraig Pearses are not 100 per cent certain to qualify for the knock-out stages, although it would take a very unlikely set of results to knock them out after their big win against Tulsk in round one. However, they will be determined to get back on the winning trail after their capitulation against St. Brigid’s in round two. After playing well against St. Brigid’s in the opening round, Strokestown had to battle all the way against Tulsk in the last round to get a draw. There won’t be much in this one which is in Strokestown at 4 pm. Pearses should be good enough to edge it by a few points

In the other game in Tulsk, the home side face a St. Brigid’s team who are already through after playing some great football in their opening two rounds. Despite not having anything to play for, it would be a surprise if Brigid’s don’t win this.


Callington Ltd IFC (Round 3)

Group A

All the games in the IFC are on Sunday, and the clash of Fuerty and Creggs promises to be a cracking match. Both sides are through already, but there are local bragging rights up for grabs. Creggs might just edge it, but it will depend on the strength of the teams that the clubs can field on the day.

It looks like Kilmore are heading for the relegation battle, but they have one last chance against St. Croan’s, who need a win to guarantee their place in the play-offs. One thing is for certain, Kilmore will not go down without a fight, but Croan’s have to be the favourites.


Group B

St. Dominic’s are through as group winners after two wins and they also have players like Keith Doyle, Daire Keenan and Jack Lohan returning. They face St. Aidan’s in Knockcroghery (4 pm) and they should be good enough to make it three wins on the trot.

Shannon Gaels have to win to hope to stay in contention but St. Brigid’s have been playing well and they will fancy their chances of a win and a play-off place, and they should achieve that too.


Group C

‘Game of the Weekend’ in the Intermediate championship is in this group as Clann na nGael and Kilbride clash in Dr. Hyde Park at 3 pm. Both sides have lost twice and don’t want to be involved in the relegation play-offs. It is very hard to pick a winner here. Clann will be favourites to prevail but Kilbride could spring a surprise.

Castlerea and Éire Óg are both through and this match will be for pride only. Castlerea have been putting up good scores and they should continue their unbeaten run.