It was a weekend of high drama in the senior and intermediate football championships. There were thrills and spills and major shocks at almost every turn on Saturday and Sunday; not least the elimination of the senior champions Clann na nGael when they were beaten by a resurgent Boyle who put 4-13 past the Johnstown men in Ballintubber to win by five points with county senior star, Enda Smith, scoring a sensational 2-3 for Mick Jordan’s Boyle who qualify for the quarter-finals.
In another tense encounter in Kilbride, Roscommon Gaels needed to get at least a draw against top of the table Pádraig Pearses to progress to the quarter-finals. A point from substitute Aidan Duignan in the 7th minute of injury-time gave the town side a dramatic draw after Pearses sub Daniel Glynn scored a controversial goal to put Pearses ahead three minutes earlier. There were four black cards and one red shown in the final 10 minutes as tempers reached boiling point. Pearses finished top of Group A with 7 points and qualify for the semi-finals.
In the final game in Group A, St. Brigid’s gave notice to all-comers that they are determined to regain the title when they crushed Castlerea by 22 points at Strokestown. As a result of the defeat Castlerea will drop down to Group B of the SFC next year, while Brigid’s qualify for the semi-finals.
In Group B, St. Faithleach’s shocked fancied Strokestown at Kilglass and as a result of a dramatic draw between St. Croan’s and Elphin in Loughglynn, Faithleach’s stole into the quarter-finals ahead of Strokestown and Elphin. Western Gaels overcame two red cards to beat Michael Glavey’s by nine points to head the table and secure a quarter-final spot and a place in Group A next year.
The play-off situation is as follows: In the SFC quarter-finals Roscommon Gaels v Western Gaels (the winners to play Pádraig Pearses in the semi-final), Boyle to play St. Faithleach’s (the winners to play St. Brigid’s in the semi-final).
Meanwhile in the Mulryan Construction IFC Group A, Fuerty continued their impressive run with a 12-point win against St. Dominic’s and they qualify for the semi-final at the top of the table. Tulsk will also play in the semi-finals after a draw against Kilmore, who qualify for the quarter-finals. Oran will also play in the quarter-finals after a win against Kilbride.
In Group B, the game between Éire Óg and St. Barry’s was postponed while St. Aidan’s gave themselves a great chance of making the quarter-finals with a four point win against Shannon Gaels. Highest scorers of the weekend were St. Michael’s who put up 5-14 against Clann na nGael. The IFC play-off situation will be decided after the Éire Óg v St. Barry’s game is played.