THE Fermanagh club scene heads into championship mode this weekend with the start of the group stages…
SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
BELNALECK V ERNE GAELS
Sunday, Páirc na hÉirne, 1pm
Three goals from Ultan Kelm shot last year’s intermediate champions Erne Gaels to a 5-11 to 1-11 away win when the sides met in the league, but Colm Bradley’s side won from their three games. The Gaels have since won the league, but the return of Lee and Che Cullen will give Belnaleck the tools to help a title charge.
DERRYGONNELLY V TEEMORE
Sunday, Canon Maguire Park, 6pm
The Harps welcome Teemore this weekend. The Shamrocks led the roll of honour with 21 titles, but their last was in 2005, with Derrygonnelly taking the New Ireland Cup home eight times since then. Gary McKenna is a loss, they should start with a win.
ENNISKILLEN V EDERNEY
Friday, Brewster Park, 8pm
Friday’s live streamed clash sees an Ederney side with Maxi Curran in their backroom team coming to Brewster Park. The Gaels have Simon Bradley in charge this season, stepping up to fill John Reihill’s shoes. There is plenty of football before the Gaels get the chance to go one better than last year, but should start with a win.
KINAWLEY V ROSLEA
Saturday, Patrick McManus Park, 6pm
Dominic Corrigan is back at the help of his native Kinawley and they reached the league final only to come up short against Erne Gaels. Roslea’s only win in the league was a convincing victory over St Patrick’s, Donagh, but they finished by drawing with Derrygonnelly.
INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
BELCOO V MAGUIRESBRIDGE
Sunday, MacNean Park, 3pm
A Dean McDermott goal helped Belcoo to a 1-12 to 0-9 opening day win when the sides locked horns in the league. The 2017 champions finished fourth in the table with Maguiresbridge’s win over Newtownbutler in the last game one of three victories. Belcoo to start with a win.
DEVENISH V DERRYLIN
Sunday, St Mary’s Park, 3.30pm
Devinish were relegated from Division One, on score difference, for the first time in 41 years. Jake Smith’s injury time goal was enough to see fellow strugglers Derrylin home (3-10 to 2-10) when the sides met in the league, a score that proved vital. A tough game to call.
TEMPO V IRVINESTOWN
Saturday, St Patrick’s Park, 3pm
It’s been an excellent Division Two campaign for Irvinestown who won all nine games to finish top of the pile. They needed Sean Clear’s goal to help them to 1-9 to 1-8 win over this weekend’s championship opponents Tempo in their second game. It’s hard to look past Irvinestown for a winning start,
LISNASKEA V DONAGH
Saturday, Emmet Park, 6pm
Last year’s junior champions St Patrick’s, Donagh escaped relegation from Division One on score different come into the championship searching for form. The last time ‘Skea won the title, they went all the way to land the 2010 All-Ireland. A tight game, with home advantage a factor.
JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINALS
AGHADRUMASEE V BROOKBOROUGH
Saturday, Roslea, 6pm
Brookeborough lost all their games in the league and from the moment Tommy O’Hara hit the net in a 4-9 to 0-7 defeat to Aghadrumsee, they were well beaten with Dale Crudden (2) and Aidan Durnien also finding net.
NEWTOWNBUTLER V COA
Saturday, Maguiresbridge, 6pm
It’s 25 years since Newtownbutler won the senior title, but they are battling to get out of the junior grade. They finished middle of the pack in Division Two and 1-6 to 0-7 winners early in the campaign with a sixth minute Ger O’Keefe goal the key. Aghadrumsee didn’t set the world alight in the league either, but should come through.