The football show is on the road again this week-end as the fourth round of the leagues are down for decision. Geordie McGuckin looks ahead to the weekend action
Division One (all games at 3.00pm)
Casement’s v Kickham’s Creggan
Creggan remain unbeaten thus far in the league and they are obviously well prepared for the season ahead.
Kevin Madden’s men continued on the positive trail on Wednesday evening coming from off the pace to gain the verdict over the visiting St Enda’s and they will take the road to Portglenone looking to add more points in a game which features as part of the opening of the magnificent new grounds for the Casement’s club.
Casement’s lost out in their opening game when beaten up at Hannahstown, but Jude Donnelly’s charges have improved as the season has progressed.
They proved too good for near neighbours Ahoghill last time and will return to O’ Cahan Park in good spirits and ready for their next assignment.
A good crowd will likely be in attendance at this one and they may well be treated to a good game which could go either way, but the Bannsider’s may just gain the verdict.
St Gall’s v O’ Donovan Rossa
St Gall’s have started well in the league and Sean Kelly’s charges have proceeded without the loss of a point thus far.
The Milltown men were tested last time at the Glen road but did emerge with a win over St Teresa’s albeit by the minimum.
Rossa having opened their account with back to back wins lost out to the visiting Cargin last time and they will travel up to Milltown seeking a return to winning ways.
The Shaw’s road side do look in transition at the moment, and with a young talented squad at their disposal they will gain from the experience.
St Gall’s will be favoured to retain that unbeaten run and though they may well do just that, Rossa can cause them problems.
St Teresa’s v Lamh Dhearg
Glen road based St Teresa’s await their first win of the season following defeats to Rossa, Cargin and St Gall’s but they have certainly not been far away in any of their assignments.
Just a single score or less has meant the difference between victory and defeat in each of the above games and back on home soil they will look forward to a better return this time.
Reigning county champions Lamh Dhearg took a fall in their second game of the season when losing out to the Johnnies following an opening round victory over Casement’s.
Mairtin Lynch’s men were not at all hard pressed in last week when they accounted for Glenavy with the minimum of fuss and will travel in confidence.
Lamh Dhearg will start as firm favourites and although they may well gain the day they will have to work for the points.
St Mary’s Aghagallon v St Joseph’s Glenavy
The destination of the points at stake in this one will be most keenly sought as both Aghagallon and Glenavy await their first league rewards for the present season in this South West derby.
The home side seem slightly under par this term in comparison to their 2017 programme and they will look for better to come if they are to hint at improvement.
The St Mary’s side completed their league campaign in sixth place last term and will look for better to come if they are to continue on the upward way.
Glenavy having gained promotion at the end of the 2017 season seem to be having difficulty in adjusting to life in the top division and they await their opening points.
The Chapel Hill men have faced stern tests thus far but they do need to find improvement sooner rather than later if they are to gain the positivity required at the top table.
This is certain to be a keenly contested affair with ground advantage most likely aiding the St Mary’s side to what would be a much needed win.
St John’s v St Mary’s Ahoghill
St Mary’s Ahoghill have struggled thus far to make a mark in their assignments to date and a lengthy injury list has intervened to make life difficult for the Clooney men at present.
They are renowned for their strength of character when such is a requirement but with three defeats from three starts to date and the latest being a big loss to neighbours Casement’s in a local derby game underlines present difficulty at Ahoghill as they get set to visit Corrigan Park.
St John’s did trip up in their opening game when beaten on their own turf by St Gall’s, but improvement was forthcoming.
The Whiterock road men had a win at Hannahstown in round two and followed up with another couple of points gained over Aghagallon in their next tie and last year’s championship finalists seem on the way forwards.
Ahoghill will travel up the M2 really needing a positive return but the present climate would suggest a home win is more than likely
St Enda’s v Erin’s Own Cargin
New kids on the block St Enda’s have failed to collect in their last two games following an opening win at Ahoghill in round one but the Glengormley men under former County Manager Frank Fitzsimmons were only a point in arrears of both Rossa and Creggan in rounds two and three.
The Hightown men seem to have adapted to life in the top grade well and they may well relish another test as Cargin pay a visit to their lofty abode.
The Toome men have continued thus far in their bid to retain the league title undefeated and Damien Cassidy’s side have hinted at improvement last time in a win at Rossa.
Cargin are residing at the top of the heap in the ratings at present and they will be taking another trip up the motorway looking to retain that winning habit.
This will possibly be a close one but although it has been a time since the Erin’s Own men strode across the Hightown sod, they will find their hosts eager to halt their progress but the greater experience of Erin’s Own may prove the key to success for the Toome men.
Division Two (all games at 3.00pm)
Tir na Nog v St Ergnat’s Moneyglass
This looks a good one with the presently in-form Tir na Nog men set to play hosts to the unbeaten Moneyglass at Whitehill .
Damien Hagan’s Whitehill Blues had their colours lowered in game one of the season when they endured defeat against Davitt’s but such was left well in arrears in their latest assignments and back to back wins gained over Dunloy and All Saint’s respectively.
Moneyglass have impressed from game one when they accounted for St Paul’s and followed on with victories gained respectively over Davitt’s and Dunloy.
Niall Jackman’s charges seem firing on al cylinders at present and they will travel up to Whitehill no doubt aiming to keep the winning habit.
A good game is in prospect and this fixture should attract a good crowd to the ‘Hill with only a tentative vote given to the visitors but this one could go either way.
O’ Donnell’s v Gort na Mona
Despite effort aplenty O’ Donnell’s, who earned promotion from basement level following a successful 2017 campaign, remain without reward of any points to date and they face another stern test as the unbeaten Gort na Mona come calling.
The Gorts have impressed this term and exploits to date would suggest they are contenders for honours if they can sustain early promise.
The home side will be striving for a positive return but Gort na Mona will arrive as firm favourites and most likely leave Mc Crory Park with the points secured.
St Mary’s Rasharkin v St Paul’s
Rasharkin opened their account with a win secured over the visiting O’ Donnell’s in round one but the Dreen residents have failed to add further points since, losing out to Aldergrove, and Gort na Mona in sequence.
St Paul’s were fancied by more than a few to make impact in this division this term but the Shaw’s road side have waited until the third round to pick up their first points, having lost to both Moneyglass and Sarsfield’s before coming home as 1-11 to 0-10 winners over St Brigid’s on Wednesday evening.
Rasharkin will return to home base in this one and familiar sod underfoot may well give them the edge and aid them to victory.
St Brigid’s v Michael Davitt’s
St Brigid’s have proved disappointing this term as after a good opener and a stylish win gained over Aldergrove the reigning Intermediate champions lost their next two league assignments losing out to Gort na Mona and St Paul’s.
Davitt’s started the season in style earning full points from two out of their opening three games, but they were put firmly in place by Moneyglass last week.
St Brigid’s are most likely capable of better than produced thus far and if they can regain form of old they may well collect the points.
St James Aldergrove v All Saint’s
Both these side have disappointed to date in the present season and no doubt both Aldergrove and All Saints who cross swords in this one are capable of better.
The Aldergrove men do have a couple of wins secured to date with the points gained over Rasharkin and O’ Donnell’s and they do reside in a better place than the Ballymena men at present.
All Saint’s have yet to gain a point with defeats incurred against Dunloy and Tir na Nog and they will travel to Crumlin hoping to get off the mark in 2018.
This could very well be a close one and indeed a draw, and a share of the points is possible.
Division Three (all games at 3.00pm)
St Patrick’s Lisburn v St Comgall’s Antrim
Antrim based St Comgall’s returned to winning ways on Wednesday evening with with an easy win over the visiting Mc Quillan’s and will travel to Lisburn in good nick.
St Patrick’s were adrift of the visiting Glenravel in the opening round but remain unbeaten since and seem in good form at present.
The home side will start as favourites but St Comgall’s are capable of causing upset.
Con Magee’s Glenravel v St Agnes
Con Magee’s are fancied by many to make a strong bid for silverware in this division and they should continue on the positive in this one as the Aggies pay a visit.
Kickham’s Ardoyne v Mc Quillan’s
North Belfast based Ardoyne Kickham’s will start this one as firm favourites and should collect a full return as the men from Ballycastle pay a visit.
St Malachy’s v Eire Og
Eire Og gained a win over the new addition to the Antrim leagues when they finished as 1-13 to 0-08 ahead of Laochra Loch Lao but this looks a sterner test as they visit Market’s based St Malachy’s with a home win favoured.