SFC round four
Termon v St Naul’s
(Sunday, Termon, 3pm)
Termon’s race appears to be run so St Naul’s will be hoping to take advantage to sneak into the top eight. Barry Doherty’s side had started the tournament well but they were brought down to earth with a bang by Gaoth Dobhair last weekend. Seventeen points separated the sides at the death with Stephen Griffin (0-4) and John Rise (0-1) the only St Naul’s scorers on the day.
Verdict: St Naul’s
Ardara v Bundoran
(Sunday, Ardara, 3pm)
Bundoran have won two of their three games but defeat here could see them miss out on a quarter-final spot. A strong finish allowed them to record 2-18 against Milford last week with Timmy Govorov really catching the eye. Ardara have lost all three games to date so the knockout stages are beyond them. They were much improved in their two-point loss to St Michael’s last weekend, and they’ll hope for another solid display.
Milford v Four Masters
(Sunday, Moyle Park, 3pm)
Four Masters need a win here and then hope that other results go their way if they are to remain in this year’s championship race. They got their first win last weekend as they hit 4-10 against Dungloe with Patrick Reid (2), Jamie Crawford and Leo McHugh hitting the net. Milford lost Cathal McGettigan to injury against Bundoran last weekend and he is unlikely to feature. It’s been a tough few weeks for them but they can maybe snag a point here. There remains a doubt over this fixture as Four Masters investigate a possible Covid-19 issue.
Gaoth Dobhair v Sean MacCumhaill’s
(Sunday, Gaoth Dobhair, 3pm)
Gaoth Dobhair have been in good form and a home quarter-final should be secured with a 100 percent winning record. The results have been going their way but they have started most games in first gear before moving up the levels. MacCumhaill’s haven’t lost yet and, as a result, they are guaranteed a quarter-final spot.
Verdict: Gaoth Dobhair
Glenfin v Kilcar
(Sunday, Glenfin, 3pm)
These two sides are amongst the group of four currently sitting on five points so a home quarter-final almost certainly awaits the winner here. Kilcar hit a stunning 4-24 against Glenswilly last weekend and they had nine different scorers on the day. Glenfin earned a draw with MacCumhaill’s and it was the in-form Gerard Ward who kicked their late leveler.
Glenswilly v Naomh Conaill
(Sunday, Glenswilly, 3pm)
Glenswilly are a side in transition and that was rammed home by Kilcar last weekend as they lost by 23 points. The draw hasn’t been kind to them either as pace-setters Naomh Conaill prepare to visit. It’s hard to see anything other than an away win here, meaning that the 2011, ’13 and ’16 champions will be absent from the latter stages.
Verdict: Naomh Conaill
St Eunan’s v St Michael’s
(Sunday, St Eunan’s, 3pm)
Both sides are guaranteed a spot in the last eight so all that really needs sorting here is who will be at home in that next fixture. St Michael’s were poor against Ardara last weekend but the veteran Colm McFadden saw them home. St Eunan’s had no such problems against Killybegs as Richie Thornton’s men posted 3-13. Conor Morrison did suffer a serious injury though and his season appears over.
Verdict: St Eunan’s
Dungloe v Killybegs
(Sunday, Dungloe, 3pm)
It’s been a miserable campaign for both these sides and Killybegs’ defeat to St Eunan’s and Dungloe’s loss away to Four Masters means that they both sit on zero points. Dungloe actually posted a decent 1-14 in their game with Daniel Ward producing a superb attacking display, and if he can fire again then they can round off the league stage with a win.
IFC round four
Naomh Colmcille v Buncrana
(Saturday, Naomh Colmcille, 6.30pm)
Buncrana continued their winning run with a 2-12 to 1-5 win over Naomh Ultan last week and they should make it four wins from four against Naomh Colmcille.
Malin v Naomh Muire
(Saturday, Connolly Park, 6.30pm)
Malin are still able to sneak into the knockout stages and they will be hoping that Naomh Muire will be a few percent below their best given that they are already through.
Naomh Ultan v Red Hugh’s
(Saturday, Naomh Ultan, 6.30pm)
Naomh Ultan’s run is over but Red Hugh’s still have something to play for and that could be the difference here.
Verdict: Red Hugh’s
Fanad Gaels v Aodh Ruadh
(Saturday, Pairc Ui Shaill, 6.30pm)
Fanad Gaels can’t make the top four but they can slip out of the top eight, so they need a result here. Sean Taylor and David Dolan are injury concerns for Aodh Ruadh.
Burt v Naomh Columba
(Saturday, Hibernian Park, 6.30pm)
These two sides have had very different campaigns with Burt aiming to avoid the wooden spoon while Naomh Columba will be trying to build momentum ahead of the latter stages.
Verdict: Naomh Columba
Cloughaneely v Naomh Brid
(Saturday, Cloughaneely, 6.30pm)
Michael Fitzgerald, Dermot McGeever and Paul Sweeney all found the net last week as Cloughaneely won a thriller against Aodh Ruadh. Naomh Brid are in need of a win, and probably a big one at that.
JFC Group A
Pettigo v Naomh Padraig
(Sunday, Pettigo, 3pm)
Both these sides suffered heavy losses last week, but the visitors can respond here.
Verdict: Naomh Padraig
Urris v Carndonagh
(Sunday, Crampsey Park, 3pm)
Both sides have won one and lost one. Home advantage may be decisive.
SFC winners’ group
Rostrevor v Bredagh
(Friday, Páirc Esler, 7.30pm)
Gairaid Clarke was only recently parachuted into goals for Rostrevor and his two brilliant saves proved crucial in their thrilling win over RGU Downpatrick. Pete McGrath’s men hit 3-11 with Conor Doyle, Ardghal McMahon and Shaun Parr (penalty) grabbing their majors in the first half. Bredagh issued another reminder of their progress as they eased past Castlewellan. Conor Hannigan and Cormac O’Rawe, who was everywhere, were excellent defensively while Sean Blaney scored their goal. A sloppy finish gives the Cherryvale men something to focus on ahead of this game.
Longstone v Ballyholland
(Saturday, Burren, 3.30pm)
Benny Coulter’s reign with Longstone has already gotten off to a good start after their four-point win over Loughinisland. The Blues have held the upper hand in recent meetings but goals from Michael Ireland and Michael Hughes sealed a win for the ‘Stone. Ambrose Rogers rolled back the years with a fantastic performance in a deep-lying midfield role while Conor Poland, Mark Poland and Gareth McDowell also impressed. Last week Gaelic Life said that Ballyholland always seem to save their best for the championship and their 1-17 to 1-7 win over Darragh Cross was a reminder of that. Joe Murphy got the goal while Tony Havern made his return from a cruciate injury.
Clonduff v Bryansford
(Sunday, Páirc Esler, 3pm)
Clonduff were preparing for a real battle with Carryduff on Monday night but instead they waltzed home after hitting the net four times –Paudie Clancy (2), Barry O’Hagan and Stephen McConville with their goals. McConville’s older brother Arthur, the chief goalscorer for the Yellas, was missing so it was an impressive return. Bryansford had it much tougher on Sunday against a determined Glenn side. Much of their play broke down once it got past the ‘45’ but Ryan O’Higgins grabbed a late goal to clinch it. Manager Stevie Poacher would have been happy with the work-rate and defensive side of things, but the inside forward line looked a bit vacant, and that will need worked on here.
Cumann Pheadair Naofa v Kilcoo
(Sunday, Páirc Esler, 7.30pm)
The championship draw has thrown up a thriller as Cumann Pheadair Naofa and Kilcoo meet in a repeat of last year’s final. The Warrenpoint men could have won that match and judging by their performance against Burren last weekend, they should give the Magpies their fill of it. Their handling, movement and pace were superb with Paddy Murdock, Ryan Boyle and Ross McGarry all looking very sharp. Kilcoo did what they always seem to do; they held Mayobridge at arm’s length with Jerome Johnston delivering the coup de grâce with a super goal in the final moments.
SFC qualifier group
Darragh Cross v Loughinisland
(Saturday, Downpatrick, 5.30pm)
Darragh Cross manager Paul Murphy told Gaelic Life that it would be a young, inexperienced side taking to the field for their clash with Ballyholland last week and that showed as the Harps defeated them comfortably. One man who has been around for a while, Marcus Miskelly, did perform well though and brought some quality to proceedings. Loughinisland were defeated by Longstone but Jody Gormley will not panic. This seems like a great opportunity to get back on track.
Castlewellan v Burren
(Sunday, Mayobridge, 5.30pm)
Both these sides received wake-up calls in the first round. Burren lost to Warrenpoint in the championship for the first time in over four decades with their opponents showing them how to move the ball quickly from attack to defence. Paddy O’Rourke’s side looked dangerous when they got the ball in quick, but too often they took a bit too much out of it further out the field. Castlewellan were totally outplayed in the second half against Bredagh and a late flurry of points couldn’t mask a poor performance. Their championship season should end here though.
RGU Downpatrick v Carryduff
(Monday, St Patrick’s Park, 7pm)
Missed penalties, poor goals and some bad shooting cost Downpatrick dearly against Rostrevor. Managers Kevin Gracey and Aidan Robinson will know that if they can just tidy those wee issues up they will be capable of winning this. Carryduff’s reaction to their heavy loss to Clonduff will be interesting. It’s been almost exclusively great times for the side in recent seasons, with many involved in their u-21 triumphs, so they have new questions to answer. In truth the 11-point losing margin was harsh. The side were competitive in most areas, particularly at midfield, but their opponents had the ability to get goals at key times.
Glenn v Mayobridge
(Monday, Páirc Esler, 7.30pm)
Glenn were so unlucky to lose to Bryansford with Tiernan O’Brien at the back and Mattie Bagnall up front excellent. Bagnall gave another reminder of why he really should be in Paddy Tally’s Down squad. Ciaran McKeever’s Mayobridge had prepared very well for their clash with Kilcoo, but despite a bright start, they were unable to claim what would have been a notable win. They have enough in them to bounce back here.
IFC winners’ group
Liatroim v Newry Shamrocks
(Friday, Tullylish, 7pm)
Liatroim hit the net four times against Saval with the McCrickards very much to the fore in their 11-point win. The Shamrocks reached the final last year and they started this campaign with a five-point win overt Atticall.
St. John’s v Saul
(Saturday, Kilcoo, 2pm)
St John’s were pushed to the pin of their collar by Dromara last weekend but a better second-half performance saw them home. Saul also were in a battle with Ballymartin but after taking the lead for the first time in the last quarter, they finished strongly.
Verdict: St John’s
An Riocht v Drumgath
(Sunday, Rostrevor, 4pm)
Declan Doyle and Conor Clarke hit the goals as An Riocht got the better of Teconnaught in round one. A strong second half saw Drumgath get by Clann na Banna on a 0-19 to 0-11 scoreline.
Verdict: An Riocht
Annaclone v Tullylish
(Monday, Liatroim, 7pm)
Both sides hit two goals in their first round match to set up this clash between two sides that know each other very well. There should be little between them and don’t rule out extra-time.
IFC qualifier group
Saval v Teconnaught
(Saturday, Clonduff, 2pm)
Pat Havern missed Saval’s loss to Liatroim and is likely to miss out again. Paddy Clarke also suffered an ankle injury. Teconnaught were well defeated by An Riocht and their campaign should end here.
Bright v Dromara
(Saturday, Ballykinlar, 3.30pm)
Dromara can take a lot of heart from their match with an experienced St John’s. Bright were outclassed by Annaclone and they could find their opponents too strong again.
Ballymartin v Atticall
(Saturday, An Riocht, 5.30pm)
Ballymartin led for the majority of their clash with Saul, while Atticall were made to pay for an awful first half against Shamrocks. They trailed by eight points at the break although they won the second period by three points.
Bosco v Clann na Banna
(Sunday, Saval, 4pm)
Clann na Banna were right in their game with Drumgath at half-time but they were unable to keep up in the second half. Bosco too had it tough against Tullylish and they only managed five points.
Verdict: Clann na Banna
JFC qualifier group
East Belfast v Kilclief
(Friday, Drumaness, 7pm)
East Belfast lost their first-ever JFC game when Dundrum beat them by 14 points. This is Kilclief’s first game and they should make a winning start.
St Michael’s v Mitchel’s
(Sunday, Drumgath, 2pm)
St Michael’s led Glasdrumman at half-time but they eventually lost by two points. Shorty Trainor’s Mitchel’s went down to St Paul’s but they should get much closer here.
Verdict: St Michael’s
Ardglass v Aghaderg
(Monday, Castlewellan, 7pm)
Ardglass found Aughlisnafin far too hot to handle while Aghaderg went down by 10 points to Drumaness.
SFC Group One
Clontibret v Inniskeen
(Sunday, Clontibret, 2pm)
There’s a real Crossmaglen feel to this game as Clontibret boss John McEntee comes up against his old mate Oisin McConville. Their friendship will be put to one side for this because there is still plenty on the line. The champions have been the draw specialists with all three of their games finishing level, so straight progression to the quarter-final is beyond them. More worryingly, defeat here and any result for Magheracloone against Donaghymoyne will see them head towards a relegation play-off. They looked set for defeat last week but a few late scores, with Conor McManus landing the last of those, saved them. Inniskeen have one win from three, but their two defeats were by one-point margins. They need a result to avoid the relegation play-offs, and they probably deserve to finish in the top three.
Magheracloone v Donaghmoyne
(Sunday, Magheracloone, 2pm)
Credit to Donaghmoyne. After taking a tanking at the hands of Ballybay they responded last week and drew with Clontibret in a game they really should have won. The late concession of a leveller could be fatal to their chances of progressing though. To get through to the quarter-finals, they need Clontibret to beat Inniskeen and they’ll need a big win here. Magheracloone are in a better position and know that a win here would guarantee their spot in the quarter-finals. James Kieran’s side had last week off so they should be fresh enough. Last year’s All-Ireland Intermediate finalists should get the job done.
SFC Group Two
Truagh Gaels v Castleblayney
(Sunday, Truagh, 2pm)
Truagh continue to make their mark in this year’s championship and they really have to be considered as a real threat at this stage. They were unfortunate to lose to Scotstown in round one but they responded by hammering Latton and eking out a narrow win over Carrick last week, James McKenna getting forward from half-back to kick the winner. It’s been a horrible championship for Castleblayney but they were better against Scotstown last week. With Latton facing Carrick in the other game, they are heading to the relegation play-offs.
Latton v Carrickmacross
(Sunday, Latton, 2pm)
A win or a draw will be enough for Carrick to reach the quarter-finals while Latton really need to win. The loser will be heading to the relegation play-offs. It’s a dramatic conclusion to a group dominated by Scotstown. Latton started with a good win in ‘Blayney while they were competitive against Scotstown. Their 4-17 to 0-6 loss to Truagh derailed their momentum though and they must get back up for this one. Mattie McGleenan’s Carrick have lost their last two games, and another defeat would be a disaster.
IFC Group One
Blackhill v Eire Og
(Saturday, Blackhill, 6pm)
These sides are locked on two points after three games so there this result will have a huge bearing on the group. Blackhill were unlucky to lose to Cremartin last week but they can make amends.
Currin v Cremartin
(Saturday, Scothouse, 6pm)
Currin really are feeling the loss of Jack McCarron and Cremartin should get the win that would see them advance straight to the semi-finals. They had one point to spare against Blackhill last week with Paddy McNally kicking the winner with a free late on.
IFC Group Two
Doohamlet v Emyvale
(Saturday, Doohamlet, 6pm)
A meeting of two of the heavyweights in the competition. Who knows, it may not be the last time they play this season. Both have been scoring heavily and Doohamlet will be hoping that home advantage swings it their way.
Killanny v Tyholland
(Saturday, Killanny, 6pm)
It’s all up for grabs here as the winner will progress. Both sides are very talented and will not be happy that it has come to this. Tyholland were brought down to earth by Doohamlet while Killanny have been held back by a slow start. This is a really tough group and expect a fitting finale.
JFC Group One
Aghabog v Rockcorry
(Sunday, Aghabog, 5pm)
Rockcorry should get the win here, but they will unlikely win by enough to overtake Sean McDermott’s at the top of the table.
Oram v Killeevan
(Sunday, Oram, 5pm)
These two sides are locked on two points, but Oram can move ahead with a win.
JFC Group Two
Clones v Toome
(Sunday, Clones, 5pm)
Clones were hammered by Aughnamullen last week, so expect them to respond with a win.
Drumhowan v Aughnamullen
(Sunday, Drumhowan, 5pm)
Aughnamullen are now the team to beat after their brilliant win over Clones. They should keep it going here.
Tattyreagh v Strabane
(Friday, Newtownstewart, 7.30pm)
Tattyreagh played at senior level last year but that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll get everything their own way here. Both sides have won just one of their five league games but the Tatts’ experience should see them through.
Aghaloo v Aghyaran
(Friday, Healy Park, 7.30pm)
This should be one of the ties of the round as Mickey Donnelly’s Aghaloo take on Mark Copeland’s Aghyaran. The latter suffered their first defeat of the season against Eglish last week, but in Ronan McHugh they have one of the best forwards in the competition and they should edge this.
Greencastle v Stewartstown
(Saturday, Galbally, 4.30pm)
Greencastle reached the last four in 2019 and were very unlucky to lose out to Galbally. They’ll travel to the home of the eventual champions for this clash knowing that they must improve from their league performances if they are to go on another run. Stewartstown have one great asset to their name – the ability to grab goals, and that could be the difference.
Rock v Moortown
(Saturday, Fr Peter Campbell Park, 7pm)
Rock won their third Junior title in six years in 2019, but they have never tasted Intermediate success. This is a tough start but with the likes of Liam Nugent showing really well so far this season, they can make a move. Nearly every Moortown game this season has been a close-fought encounter, and this should be no different.
Naomh Eoghan v Eglish
(Sunday, Pairc Colmcille, 2pm)
A bit of history will be made as Naomg Eoghan, an amalgamation of Newtownstewart and Dregish, get set to make their championship debut. It’s likely to be a losing start though as they come up against in-form Eglish.
Clogher v Edendork
(Sunday, Dungannon, 4.30pm)
Given the talent on their teamsheet, Edendork are naturally expected to go far in the competition. Darren McCurry will lead their charge and they should be too strong for Clogher. The Eire Og men have one win to their name this season when goals from brothers Barry and Fergal McKenna saw them claim the bragging rights against neighbours Augher.
Augher v Beragh
(Sunday, Pairc an Laocha, 4.30pm)
Something is stirring in Beragh and there is a real feeling that they could have a memorable season if they get a bit of momentum here. Augher, meanwhile, will be hoping to break free from their wretched league form that has seen them lose all five games. They have conceded 12 goals in just five games.
Owen Roes v Gortin
(Sunday, Newtownstewart, 7pm)
Owen Roes have suffered a massive setback as Cathal McShane has been ruled out with injury. That news, coupled with their bad start to the league season, should open the door for Gortin. The St Patrick’s men have been moving well and should progress.