Sunday Fixtures (23rd July)
The football leagues head towards an early conclusion with another full round of games scheduled in all of the divisions on Sunday.
The second round of the scheduled five in the second phase of the divisions one and two are down for decision with the A sections seeking to secure the silverware in the respective grades with those in the B section seeking to avoid the drop.
The second division has stalled a little in progress as just a couple of games took place on Wed evening the remainder fell victim to the weather.
Division One (Section A) all games at 3.00pm
Lamh Dhearg v St John’s
Following their win over the visiting St Gall’s in the opening game of the second phase on Wednesday evening the 1-06 to 0-07 victory ensures the Johnnies remain in sight of the league title. The Corrigan men are three points in arrears of the front running Cargin and will travel up to Hannahstown in need of a full return. Lamh Dhearg have lost sight of the league title this term following their defeat endured at Aghagallon last time out, but will still look for a positive return.
A close one in prospect here with the visitors just given the nod.
Aghagallon v Creggan
St Mary’s Aghagallon have fared well in their return to the top grade in 2017 and following a win gained over the visiting Hannahstown men in midweek they will seek a similar return as they play hosts to Kevin Madden’s Creggan. Creggan remain in second position in the ratings but Wednesday night’s loss at Cargin sees them lose ground on their parish rivals. The home side will be striving to retain that winning feeling on their own sward but Creggan may well prove a little too strong on this occasion with an away win predicted.
Cargin v St Gall’s
The reigning league champions, Erin’s Own Cargin remain firmly in pursuit of the retention of the Eddie Fitzsimmons Memorial Trophy this season leading the way in the ratings three points ahead of the pack. Four point winners over Creggan last time out the Cargin men will seek a similar return again in this one as St Gall’s pay a visit. The ‘Milltown Blues’ have been performing well in the league this term but a two point defeat endured at Corrigan Park on Wednesday evening means prospects of a league title this term look improbable. They will travel to Toome in the knowledge that anything other than a win will end their challenge.
This looks an attractive game which should bring a good attendance at the Shore road venue with a home win likely, and one which would take them a step close to yet another league title.
Division One B (Second phase) at 3.00pm
Ahoghill v St Paul’s
The points at stake in this one, as Ahoghill play hosts to St Paul’s, are of extreme importance as both combatants strive to retain Division 1 status. The Clooney men certainly aided their cause with a hard fought win gained over the visiting Casement’s on Wednesday evening, whilst St Paul’s lost out to St Teresa’s and another defeat would come as a bitter blow. Ahoghill are in a better place than their visitors and they may well add another couple of points here to aid their recovery and push the visitors nearer to the exit door.
St Teresa’s v Aldergrove
Although St Teresa’s have accumulated nine points thus far and such ensures second place in the ratings they do remain only a couple of points ahead of the side second from bottom and they will look to a make further addition as Aldergrove come calling. Aldergrove have gathered eight points thus far and will travel to the Glen Road in search of more in a game where defeat would see them fall into the relegation zone.
This does look a close one which could go either way with only a tentative vote awarded to the Crumlin men.
Rossa v Casement’s
Portglenone based Casement’s have disappointed of late and indeed the Bannsider’s having looked candidates for the A section a few weeks back have descended the ratings. The lost out to neighbours Ahoghill on Wednesday eveing and will take the Belfast route this time as they visit Rossa looking to end a lengthy five game barren spell. Rossa have proved quite enigmatic thus far in the league but seem in form at present and travelled to Portglenone a few weeks past to take the points in O’ Cahan Park.
Rossa will start as favourites to complete the double over the South West side.
Division Two A (second phase)
Moneyglass v Glenavy
Despite a slow start to the present season Moneyglass look real contenders for honours in the grade and having proved 2-12 to 0-09 winners at Rasharkin in round one will look to continue in positivity here as Glenavy visit on Sunday. The visitors may well be a tough nut to crack however as the Chapel Hill men arrive as leaders of the division.
This looks like a real cracker and a good crowd should assemble at Marian Hill to to see if the home side can sneak the verdict.
Rasharkin v St Brigid’s
Although Rasharkin lost their opening game in the second phase failing to the visiting Moneyglass men they have done well thus far in 2017 and will look for a return to form again here as they play hosts to St Brigid’s. St Brigid’s are contenders for honours in the division and the South Belfast side will take the country route looking for the points to ensure they remain so.
The visitors will start as favourites but they may well have to dig deep to gain the verdict at Dreen.
Tir na Nog v St Enda’s
Randalstown based Tir na Nog did well to defy a sluggish start to the present season and a lengthy injury list which hampered progress to make the top six and will look forward to this one as they welcome St Enda’s to the Whitehill. St Enda’s did record a 0-17 to1-08 verdict over Damien (Scotchy) Hagan’s men when they played hosts to the Randalstown men early season and will travel hoping to complete the double.
Another close one in prospect here with ground advantage possibly a factor in what may well be a home win.
Division Two B (second phase)
Gort na Mon v Dunloy
Dunloy started well in the present season but the Cuchullian’s failed to sustain their drive and lost out in their aim to make a top six finish. Gort na Mona in contrast made good strides in the latter part of the season. The West Belfast side recorded a win at Dunloy a few weeks back and will fancy their chances now enjoying the favours of ground advantage.
St Comgall’s v M Davitt’s
The points at stake in this one are of vital importance to both sides as Antrim based St Comgall’s play hosts to Michael Davitt’s. Both are in the relegation zone and it looks like one or the other are destined to endure the drop. The visitors having taken full points from a visit to Ardoyne last time out are now three ahead of the Antrim men, and a defeat for the St Comgall’s would possibly bring the curtain down.
Another close one which could go either way but a tentative vote goes to the home side.
All Saint’s v Ardoyne
All Saint’s have disappointed this term and the Ballymena men probably failed to show their true worth in the division until it was too late. They did finish the first phase well but such proved as too late to make the grade. Ardoyne Kickham’s having gained the upward last term following a positive march through division three to gain promotion have found the going tough in the higher grade and seem certain for a quick return downwards.
All Saint’s will start as firm favourites and a home win does seem more than likely.
Division Three at 3.00pm
Mc Quillan’s v Pearses
Ballycastle based Mc Quillan’s have struggled to get it together this term and the sea-siders linger second from bottom in the division as the end draws near. Pearses are in a snug enough mid-table slot and will travel with points on their mind. The North Antrim men will be striving for the win but they may well finish as second best.
O’ Donnell’s v St Agne’s
Cardinal O’ Donnell’s stand on the brink of promotion and the in-form residents of Mc Crory Park will anticipate the upward way if they take the points here as the Aggies visit the Whiterock Road. St Agnes have not been seen at their best this term and will look to hinder the progress of the home side, but such will most likely prove in vain. A home win for the O’ Donnell’s men in prospect, and celebration time on the Whiterock road at the long whistle seems probable.
Sarsfield’s v St Malachy’s
The Paddies are on the way back to the second grade and they will take the upward as division champions if they take a full return of the points here as the Mal’s pay a visit. The Home side will possibly be tested by their visitors but the Stewartstown Road side should gain the day to seal promotion.
Eire Og v Glenravel
Con Magees Glenravel did look fully focused on promotion for much of the season but the South West side faltered badly in the closing stages and may well be forced to look on as O’ Donnell’s move on in their stead. A defeat endured at Mc Crory Park, with O’ Donnell’s gaining a 4-10 to 2-09 verdict proved costly. The Glensmen are strong at this level and the reigning Junior champions will most likely take another brace of points as consolation as they travel to Eire Og.
St Patrick’s v Mitchell’s
Lisburn based St Patrick’s will secure another couple of point here as Mitchell’s visit, barring a major upset.