Dunloy v Gort na Mona IFC quarter-final Tonight 7-30 (Ahoghill)
At the second time of asking the fourth of the Antrim Intermediate Football championship quarter-finals is down for decision tonight in Ahgoghill. The game, set originally two weeks ago was postponed because of bereavement and will go ahead under the Clooney lights tonight.
This is the Cuchullain’s first outing in this year’s championship against a Gort na Mona team who have an impressive preliminary round win behind them after defeating St. James Aldergrove at the Bear Pit a couple of weeks ago.
The Aldergrove side went into that game as slight favourites but were blown away by a Gort na Mona team who turned in an impressive second half performance to run out convincing winners. The sides were sitting joint second in division 2 of the league going into that game, both having won their home game by a single point but Gort na Mona looked the much hungrier in their championship clash, running out winners by ten points.
Darren Boyd led the way for the Gorts in a man of the match performance scoring 0-8 (0-5 frees) but the men from the Mona bye-pass looked strong all over the field. There was only a point between the sides at the half way stage but Gort na Mona upped their game considerably after the break to outscore the Crumlin side by 2-8 to 0-3.
Tomas McGoran, Patrick McCaffrey, Dermot McVeigh, Dessie McClean and Aidan McDonagh were all in sparkling form for a Gort na Mona side who will probably start Saturday’s encounter as favourites following this performance.
Dunloy have had a mixed season in division 2 winning seven of their 14 starts but they made the top half of the division before the cut-off and will have no inferiority complex going into Saturday’s game. Indeed the Cuchullain’s are renowned championship specialists and reached last year’s final before going down to a very good St. Brigid’s side.
As a duel club Dunloy resources are often stretched during the league but come the championship they always seem to get all hands on board and at full strength they are a formidable opponent. Conor McGilligan, Conor Kinsella, Jamie McFerran, Kevin McQuillan, Karl Fitzpatrick, Nigel Elliott, Kevin McAllister, Conor McKinley, Keelan Molloy and Conal Cunning are the men who will put it up to Gort na Mona if they are all available.
Dunloy’s hand may well be strengthened by the fact that their Senior hurlers were beaten by Loughgiel in the semi-final of the SHC on Sunday past and this may open the door for a number of their duel players to throw their weight behind th4e club’s Intermediate football campaign
Verdict: The form book says Gort na Mona but this one could go either way.