Every Monday, we will take a quick look back at some of the talking points from the weekend’s action as we have reached the midway point of the Connacht Gold Senior Championship.
Simply click on our photo gallery to follow our look back at round one or read below to see our views on an intriguing week two.
And look to www.leitrimobserver.ie on Tuesday evenings for our talking points from the Fox’s Monumentals Intermediate Championship.
WHEN LOSING FEELS LIKE WINNING AND WINNING FEELS LIKE LOSING!
It is hard to believe it but from talking to the county’s GAA fans over the weekend, you’d have got the distinct impression that defending champions Aughawillan had laid down a major marker in the defence of their title and Sean O’Heslin’s had somehow slipped up!
But then look at the scoreline and you see the Ballinamore men had eight points to spare over their great rivals and the defending champions launched a furious second half revival that left them cursing some missed chances by the time the final whistle sounded.
It is a strange feeling but Aughawillan will have taken a lot from their defeat last Friday in Cloone but they would be wise not to read too much into it, even with the imminent return of some of their stars.
For Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s, the talk could be the best thing that happens to them - they defeated their rivals but have everyone talking about Aughawillan, keeping their feet firmly on the ground.
MAXWELL TURNS BACK THE CLOCK AS DRUMREILLY SPRING SURPRISE
Declan Maxwell rolled back the years with a starring role for Drumreilly in their win over Annaduff on Saturday. With another of their talismen, John McKeon, off the pitch as a result of an injury picked up in the opening half Maxwell seemed to grow in stature as the game progressed as he led by example. While he was effective in the opening half it was in the second half that he really imposed himself on the game and his contribution went along way towards clinching victory for Drumreilly. A brilliant pass with six minutes to go afforded Francis Holohan the opportunity to point and with time running out he kicked his third excellent point of the half to all but ensure victory.
BORNACOOLA BRING CHAMPIONSHIP TO LIFE
The new format of the Club Championship hasn’t a lot of admirers it seems but Bornacoola’s stunning 2-11 to 0-13 victory over last year’s finalists Glencar/Manorhamilton has brought the championship to incredible life.
Judging from the reactions when this reporter told spectators in Cloone the halftime score, everyone assumed the text had been mixed up, the score the wrong way round. But a fantastic first half display with Damian Moran finally finding a spot where he could make a big impact at full-forward was the foundation for Bornacoola’s victory.
The Bors now have games against a doomed looking Dromahair and Drumreilly and they could conceivably qualify for the quarter-finals while Glencar/Manorhamilton may just need to get a result against Drumreilly and St. Mary’s.
But more significantly, the result is a welcome boost in the arm for a club campaign that seemed to be following very predictable lines.
ST. MARY’S QUIETLY AND IMPRESSIVELY GOING ABOUT BUSINESS
An admission here - at the start of the year, I had St. Mary’s tagged for a relegation dogfight and early League results seemed to suggest that a glorious era going back to 2003 was finally come to an end. How wrong I was!
The Carrick men confirmed their place in the Quarter-Finals with a massive 4-17 to 1-3 demolition of an admittedly poor Dromahair but you can’t take away from them the way St. Mary’s have gone about their business. And the fact that they done it without limited inputs from the injured Ray Mulvey and Jonathan Cassidy.
We will see just how far this St. Mary’s team can go in the coming weeks with tougher tests against Glencar/Manorhamilton and Annaduff but they have been quietly impressive in how they have gone about their business so far.
RELEGATION BATTLE BECOMING CLEARER
While the new format of two groups of six is designed to keep interests alive for teams for as long as possible it is beginning to look ominous for the three teams who have yet to register a point. In Group 1 Allen Gaels and Gortletteragh will know they cannot afford any more slip ups. The fact that those sides face each other next should make for a fascinating encounter. In Group 2 Dromahair have a lot of work to do having tasted defeat in their three games to date including a very heavy loss at the hands of St Mary's last Saturday. With games against Bornacoola and Annaduff to come they will be hoping they can find a return to form rapidly.