It’s down to serious football championship action this weekend and there are quite a number of mouth-watering clashes in all three grades. Here we take a look at the Intermediate Football Championship and try to predict the outcome of the games scheduled.
Gort na Mona v St. James Aldergrove (Saturday 2-30 Bear Pit)
This could be the Intermediate championship game of the round with both clubs already battling for a promotion place from division 2 and tied on 20 points from 14 starts, just two behind leaders St. Brigid’s.
Gort na Mona drew level with the Crumlin side by virtue of a 1-8 to 0-10 win in their last league outing at Enright Park, a reverse of the result when they met in Crumlin earlier in the season. On that occasion it was St. James who won by 1-8 to 0-10 so on that form it is hard to separate them.
Aldergrove were expected to make a quick return to division 1 following relegation from the top division on the last day of the season and that dream is very much alive while Gort na Mona have been something of a surprise packet but have been consistently strong this year.
Prediction: It might well take extra time to decide this one but I give a tentative vote to the Crumlin side.
Tir na nOg v St. Ergnat’s Moneyglass (Creggan Sunday 12-00)
Another game to whet the appetite as these two South West rivals meet. Going on league form the Whitehill side should start as favourites but I don’t expect league form to have much of a bearing on this one. Tir na nOg won both league encounters with their neighbours from Marrion Hill and are still in the promotion race with just two rounds of fixtures to play while St. Ergnat’s faded badly after a good start to the season. The Moneyglass side were hit with a long list of injuries mid-season and are just getting back to something like full strength and on their day they are a match for anyone.
They highlighted that potential when they travelled to Musgrave Park last time out and came away with an excellent draw against league leaders, St. Brigid’s and reports suggest that they are back to something like their best form.
Tir na nOg have had a tough season with quite a few of their players playing on a Tir na nOg hurling team who were in the promotion race in division 2 until quite recently. That side lost to St. Enda’s in the Intermediate hurling championship last time out and ‘Scotchy’ Hagan could have a task on his hand lifting them for Sunday’s early start.
Prediction: The form book would say Tir na nOg but Moneyglass may come into this one the fresher of the two sides and if they can produce their best form might just edge it but it should be mighty close.
St. Enda’s v St. Paul’s (Glenavy Sunday 4-00)
On paper this looks like the easiest of the three Intermediate championship games scheduled for the weekend to predict as St. Enda’s from division1 take on a St. Paul’s side w2ho have just been relegated from division 2. St. Enda’s gained promotion from division 2 last year and have consolidated their position in the top grade with still two rounds of games to play.
Many expected they would play Senior championship this year but have opted for the Intermediate grade and are installed as favourites by virtue of the fact they are in division 1. That favourites tag is not always the easiest one to carry however and St. Paul’s, with nothing to lose will give it everything in the hope of causing an upset.
Prediction: St. Enda’s are a side very much on the upward track and while they might take a time to shake off the challenge of the Shaw’s Road side I would expect them to progress with something to spare.
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