‘Must win’ games for Clann and Brigid’s



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Boyle v Clann na nGael (Group C) on Saturday in Ballyleague at 5 pm

This is ‘must win’ territory for both sides. The champions were well beaten by Western Gaels last weekend, and with Pearses to come in their final game they will want to win this one badly. Donie Shine went off injured last Saturday and Clann will be hoping he will be fit.

  Boyle were very unlucky against Pearses and if they can bring their best form to Ballyleague they can cause a shock. On their day Boyle are a match for anyone and in recent years they have beaten a number of fancied teams. A very hard game to call. Maybe Boyle to win narrowly.

Prediction: Boyle

Group A

St. Brigid’s v Fuerty on Friday in Kiltoom at 8.30 pm

Fuerty were impressive winners against St. Croan’s but this will be a much tougher test. St. Brigid’s were poor against Elphin and without Senan Kilbride they looked rudderless up front. However, Brian Stack and Niall McInerney played well and they can be the inspiration this weekend.

  Niall Kilroy is the Fuerty talisman and led the charge against St. Croan’s once again. But they are not a one-man team and the likes of Philip Neilan, Gearoid Ennis and the Bannons are excellent performers. The pressure is off Fuerty after their win at the weekend and with Brigid’s needing a win, I am giving them the nod to win narrowly.

Prediction: St. Brigid’s

St. Croan’s v Elphin on Sunday in Enfield at 4 pm

Elphin were arguably the most impressive winners last weekend and will be hoping that they can repeat the dose here. Fintan, Gerry, and Frankie Cregg along with the Killoran brothers Enda and Shane all played their part as Elphin breezed past St. Brigid’s

  St. Croan’s are struggling and without the likes of Ross Timothy they could be in relegation trouble.

Prediction: Elphin

Group B

St. Faithleach’s v Roscommon Gaels on Saturday in Ballyleague at 6.45 pm

Ciaráin Murtagh will not be back for this match and he will be a big loss for the home side. They will be hoping that Diarmuid Murtagh, Dylan Carbery and Dave Rooney can supply the scores they will need. Further back Faithleach’s will need to tighten up as they conceded three goals to Glavey’s last weekend.

  The Gaels never looked like losing to Strokestown last weekend but they didn’t put them away until injury-time. Mark Healy and Ronan Carolan could be back in action but Cian Connolly is likely to be out. The town team look a solid outfit but are too reliant in young Peter Gillooly up front. They should be good enough to win by a couple of points here.

Prediction: Roscommon Gaels

Michael Glavey’s v Strokestown on Sunday in Ballinlough at 1.30 pm

Glavey’s made a very good start to their campaign last weekend and impressed many observers with their organisation, clever use of the ball and their ability to get goals.

  Strokestown are short a number of their more prominent players and it is beginning to tell. They were very weak up front against Roscommon Gaels and will have to play much better if they are not to become involved in a relegation dog-fight. Glavey’s look the better bet at home.

Prediction: Michael Glavey’s

Group C

Pádraig Pearses v Western Gaels  in Athleague on Saturday at 6.45 pm

This would normally be the game of the weekend but the fact that both sides won last weekend eases the pressure. Pearses got out of jail against Boyle with two late goals but they remain favourites to claim their first ever title. Whether they justify that favouritism will be seen over the next six weeks or so.

  Western Gaels were excellent against Clann, and with their full team out they are a match for anyone. The Creggs, Kevin Higgins Seanie McDermott and Niall Higgins are all playing well for them and they look very well organised. It’s another very hard game to call.

Prediction: Draw