Football Championship Week-end (9th/11th September)
It’s back to the football championships this week end which features games in all the levels, Senior, Intermediate and Junior over the three days. After the group stages it’s down to sudden death with no second chances for this weekend’s losers.
Just one game on Friday evening with the first quarter final of the senior grade featured with further games in all of the grades scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Northern Switchgear Senior Football Championship (quarter finals)
Friday 9th September (7.30pm)
Erin’s Own Cargin v Lamh Dhearg
The opening game on the championship agenda is certain to attract a big attendance at Dunsilly as Lamh Dhearg and Cargin cross swords in what looks an intriguing confrontation.
Cargin have been favoured by some of the pundits to regain the title following their defeat at the hands of near neighbours Creggan last term but the Toome men have not been at their best recently. They did gain victory over St Enda’s in their opening game but found the going tough next time in defeat to Rossa and improvement will certainly be required.
Lamh Dhearg gained a share of the spoils at Creggan before defeating St. John’s on day two at Hannastown before finishing with another draw against St Gall’s at Milltown on day 3.
Cargin will start as favourites but this looks like a close one with the Toome side given a tentative nod.
Saturday 10th September (5.00pm)
Casement’s Portglenone v Gort na Mona
Casement’s have impressed in their march undefeated through the group stages and will start this quarter final as firm favourites as they take on Gort na Mona on Saturday evening at Dunsilly.
The Bannsider’s under former player John McKeever have not been unduly troubled to gain their berth in the last eight and they will start this latest assignment in search of a place in the last four as firm favourites.
Gort na Mona have struggled in the league and they have yet to gain a win in the championship but earn a quarter final berth with a superior score difference to Tir na nOg.
Casement’s will go into this one as the firmest of favourites and although their West Belfast based opponents will be aiming to cause an upset it is more than difficult to envisage anything other than a win for the Portglenone men.
Sunday 11th September (1.00pm)
St Mary’s Aghagallon v St Brigid’s
This looks a close one as last year’s beaten finalists St Mary’s Aghagallon look to take a step further in 2022 as they meet St Brigid’s at the elevated at Hightown.
Having endured a poor league campaign, due mainly to a long injury list and several key individuals travelling Stateside, Aghagallon have shown marked improvement of late and they will hope to continue that form in the championship.
St Brigid’s, have struggled to make the breakthrough in the senior championship despite a long list of continuing juvenile success.
They will possibly look at 2022 as a chance to make good and travel to St. Enda’s with confidence following a good win at Ahoghill in their final group game.
A close one is anticipated, which could go either way with the combatants looking well matched, but a tentative vote is awarded to the South Belfast men.
Kickham’s Creggan (holders) v O’ Donovan Rossa
This last quarter final features defending champions, Kickham’s Creggan take on an in form O’ Donovan Rossa at Hightown.
The South West based champions have not been at their best on their route to the quarter final stages and were pushed all the way at Corrigan last time to earn a draw which secured them a place in the quarter-final.
Rossa impressed in their last game in the group stages with a win over the visiting Cargin and Hugh Mc Gettigan and Paul Close seem to have the dual club really firing on all cylinders.
Creggan will start this one as firm favourites and they may well deliver, but Rossa are more than capable of causing an upset.
O B construction Intermediate Football Championship (quarter-finals)
The Intermediate championship is at the quarter final stage with the sides topping the respective groups enjoying home advantage.
Sat 10th September (3.00pm)
Patrick Sarsfield’s v St Paul’s (Bear Pit)
Following a moderate ‘middle of the road’ showing in league, Sarsfield’s have really hit the ground running in the championship with an unbeaten record in their group and they look contenders for honours.
They completed their group section with a big win over Ardoyne and will hope to carry that form into this quarter final as they welcome near neighbours St Paul’s to the Bear Pit.
St Paul’s qualified by virtue of score difference at conclusion of their group games to gain this quarter final place.
The Shaw’s road side finished on a three way tie with Aldergrove and St Teresa’s and snatched this last eight place just ahead of St Teresa’s, on an eight point score difference.
A close game between these sides which only a fence separates is envisaged with ground advantage for Sarsfields possibly tilting the balance in favour of the Paddies.
St Joseph’s Glenavy v Michael Davitt’s (Chapel Hill)
Having produced a moderate league campaign Glenavy have impressed in the championship to date and it has been a case of best foot forward from the St Joseph’s men.
They won both games in their group, impressive in victory at Ballymena and likewise in a big win over the visiting St Comgall’s.
Michael Davitt’s lost their way somewhat in the league following a positive opening but a win over Rasharkin and a final day defeat at Glenravel set up this quarter final trip to Glenavy.
Glenavy will start this one as firm favourites with home advantage and although Davitt’s are capable of producing better a win for St. Joseph’s does look the most likely scenario.
Sunday 11th September (12 noon)
St James Aldergrove v Cuchullian’s Dunloy (Crumlin)
This all South West encounter sees St James Aldergrove play hosts to Cuchullian’s Dunloy and a close one does look in prospect.
The Crumlin residents topped their group in qualification but only with a superior score difference over St. Paul’s and St Teresa’s.
Cuchullian’s qualified the last eight with wins over Ardoyne and St Patricks and the dual club will travel up to Crumlin fully focused.
Aldergrove have experience a plenty within their ranks and recorded a good win over Dunloy in the league recently but Dunloy look in a positive mode and they may well gain a narrow verdict.
Con Magees Glenravel v All Saint’s Ballymena (Mc Quillan Park)
This local derby sees bCon Magees play hosts to All Saints as former Antrim supremo ‘Baker’ Bradley takes his side to Fr. Maginn Park to play Joe Cassidy’s Glensmen.
Glenravel have had a descent league campaign and were undefeated in their championship group games with wins over Rasharklin and Davitt’s and with home advantage will fancy their chances in this one.
They had six point to spare at Rasharkin and followed up with a seven point win over Davitt’s at Sunday’s venue to see them finish top of Group 3.
All Saint’s gained their place in the quarter final following a win over St Comgall’s, which followed defeat to Glenavy at Slemish Park in their opening game.
This one could go either way but home advantage may be enough to swing it Glenravel’s way.
Sat 10th September (3.00pm)
Graham Tarmac Junior Football Championship (qtr. finals)
Patrick Pearses v St Agnes
Patrick Pearses, with a couple of wins in their group games will enter the fray as firm favourites when they entertain St Agnes.
The Aggies recorded a big win when they hosted Mc Quillan’s at Woodlands and were narrowly beaten in their other 2 group 2 games. This looks a more difficult task for Roy McLarnon’s side and Pearses are expected to gain the day and a place in the next phase of the Junior championship.
Laochra Loch Lao v Eire Og
This looks like another close one in prospect as Eire Og travel to meet Laochra Loch Lao with both enjoying a similar profile.
The home side have gained wins over Mc Quillan’s and St Agnes in the group stages and may well add another victory en route to the next round.