THERE will be a weekend of action in down both in the front door and in the qualifiers as teams enter the last chance saloon.
SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND TWO
LOUGHINISLAND V WARRENPOINT
Friday, Kilcoo, 7.30pm
Warrenpoint eased past Saul in the first round, team captain Donagh McAleenan excelling, but they’ll face a much stiffer challenge here. Loughinisland should be battle hardened after their tussle with Castlewellan. The Blues weren’t at their best, but they should push the ‘Point here.
GLENN V CARRYDUFF
Saturday, Downpatrick, 2pm
With young Patrick Brooks excellent, Glenn powered past Bredagh for a notable win in round one. Likewise, Finnian Moriarty’s Carryduff put some patchy league form behind them to ease past Bryansford. This could be a great game, even if James Guinness is out for Carryduff.
BURREN V DOWNPATRICK
Sunday, Newcastle, 5pm
Burren will welcome Donal O’Hare back from suspension, and they’ll be glad of that with their attack looking a bit ponderous in the extra-time win over Mayobridge. Downpatrick always bring pace and power, but victory should be beyond them.
Kilcoo v Ballyholland
Monday, Páirc Esler, 7.30pm
Games between these two sides can be spicy enough affairs, and Ballyholland will bring some physicality. Despite their league final loss to Burren, Kilcoo showed they’re still the team to beat as they took apart Clonduff in the first round.
SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS ROUND ONE
LONGSTONE V MAYOBRIDGE
Thursday, Páirc Esler, 7.30pm
Steven Poacher’s Mayobridge should have beaten Burren in the first round, but lost after extra-time. Shane Annett should be fit for more action this time. Longstone were edged out by Ballyholland, and another narrow defeat may arrive here.
SAUL V AN RIOCHT
Thursday, Ballymartin, 7.30pm
Both sides would have been relatively pleased with the draw as it’s a game they will each fancy they can win. Both sides one a league meeting each – away fixtures, incidentally – but the Kingdom can earn a second win.
Verdict: An Riocht
BRYANSFORD V CLONDUFF
Friday, Páirc Esler, 7.30pm
Clonduff really didn’t show up against neighbours Kilcoo, managing just four points. A big reaction will be expected against a Bryansford side well beaten by Carryduff.
BREDAGH V CASTLEWELLAN
Sunday, Mayobridge, 3pm
These are busy times for Bredagh’s dual players with their hurlers earning a fantastic win over Ballygalget to reach the semi-finals. The footballers face a tough task against an inconsistent Castlewellan side that battled well against Loughinisland last time out.
INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND TWO
CLANN NA BANNA V ROSTREVOR
Thursday, Liatroim, 7.30pm
Rostrevor manager Benny Coulter was named as the new Down minor boss on Monday night, but attention quickly turned to the challenge of the Cottage Park men. Liatroim gave them a real game, and that should set them up nicely here.
Drumgath v Atticall
Saturday, Rostrevor, 2pm
Division Three champions Drumgath always seem to raise their game for the championship and they should be too strong for an Atticall side that were eight-point winners over Aughlisnafin in the first round.
TULLYLISH V SAVAL
Sunday, Glenn, 1pm
Tullylish had an eye-catching 1-10 to 0-10 win over Darragh Cross in round one, but they face a Saval side enjoying a good season. Danny Hughes’ men came close to Division Two promotion, and they can go deep in this competition.
BALLYMARTIN V ST JOHN’S
Monday, Dundrum, 7pm
St John’s went goal crazy against Newry Shamrocks, notching six in all, and their confidence will be sky-high. Ballymartin also eased past Newry opposition, as they took care of St John, Bosco. This could go all the way.
Verdict: St John’s
INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND ONE QUALIFIERS
Bright v Newry Shamrocks
Saturday, Clonduff, 2pm
Shamrocks had a horrendous start against St John’s as they let in a series of goals, and they were always chasing from there. They should get back on track against a Bright side that really gave Drumgath a good game.
Verdict: Newry Shamrocks
DARRAGH CROSS V LIATROIM
Saturday, Castlewellan, 5pm
It really has been a tough season for a Darragh Cross outfit expected to go well. Liatroim may be in the backdoor, but they were impressive against Rostrevor and they can keep their season alive here.
ST PAUL’S V AUGHLISANFIN
Sunday, Darragh Cross, 2pm
One point separated these sides when the league season drew to a close, so we can expect a tight battle. St Paul’s may be low on confidence after their mauling at the hands of Saval.
ST JOHN, BOSCO V ANNACLONE
Monday, Burren, 7pm
Annaclone should prove far too strong here for Bosco. They may have been disappointed after their loss to Clann na Banna, but they should be comfortable here to get back on track.
JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
KILCLIEF V MITCHEL’S
Friday, Dundrum, 7.15pm
Kilclief can make the most of the last-chance saloon. They may have lost heavily to Dromara but they can bounce back with a victory here.
GLASDRUMMAN V ST MICHAEL’S
Friday, Mayobridge, 7.15pm
Both sides lost heavily last week, Glasdrumman going down by 13 points to East Belfast and the Magheraline men losing to Ardglass by seven points. It should be tight, and St Michael’s can edge it.
Verdict: St Michael’s
INTERMEDIATE HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP
LIATROIM V CARRYDUFF
Saturday, Páirc Esler, 5.30pm
Both management teams will probably have to allow for football commitments to take precedence. Liatroim may have the strength in depth to win.