Every Tuesday, 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 Fox Monumentals Intermediate 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 Monday evenings for our talking points from the Connacht Gold Senior Championship.
FENAGH START TO SEPARATE FROM THE PACK
We talked in the first week about how there were so many teams who could legitimately hope for glory in this year’s Intermediate Championship. At the halfway point of the group stages, there are still a lot of teams in action but Fenagh St. Caillin’s appearing to be separating from the pack.
The impressive way in which they coped with the challenge of the Beirne brothers is another step in their impressive development and while the Eslin lads may not have been at their best, the fact that Fenagh dealt comfortably with the task speaks well for their title hopes.
So far, Fenagh have scored 2-12, 4-15 and 3-14 and when you have that sort of firepower, then you are probably going to be the favourite for the title.
MOHILL’S AWESOME STRENGTH IN DEPTH
This piece could have easily been written under the Senior round-up but Mohill’s incredible victory over Kiltubrid is a stunning sign of the club’s strength in depth. Some may argue it illustrates the relative weakness of Kiltubrid and the Intermediate grade but for me, it amply demonstrates just how hard Mohill are going to be to beat this year at Senior level.
In any other club, Evan, Ethan and Sean Harkin would be nailed on starters for their first team while David Mitchell and Ronan Gordon wouldn’t be far off either. Tadhg Mulligan, Jack McGarry and Liam Rowley are all getting championship experience as Mohill build up their strength in depth.
That’s all impressive but Mohill took to the field in the Senior game without Shane Quinn, Ciaran Kennedy and Oisin Madden. And with Padraic Davis and his selectors deep in conversation watching the Intermediate game, you know that anyone slacking off in the Senior team may be looking on from the sidelines soon enough.
ANOTHER TIGHT BATTLE FOR BALLINAGLERA
Ballinaglera are either the luckiest or unluckiest team in this year’s Intermediate championship. Their three outings to date have resulted in a one point win over Aughavas, a one point loss to Eslin and a draw with Aughnasheelin.
Nevertheless, that point against a previously undefeated Aughnasheelin may just be the point that sees them into the quarter-finals. It lifts them above Eslin who have to play Drumkeerin and Aughavas in their final two games, teams that are searching desperately for points themselves.
It is not that it is any easier for Ballinaglera as they face Drumkeerin and Fenagh St. Caillin’s but maybe, just maybe, the point against Aughnasheelin might just spark them back into life for the final two games.
CARRIGALLEN BACK IN THE HUNT
Carrigallen would have been regarded as shoe-in for the quarter-finals but a heavy loss to Cloone knocked them back on their feet and a struggle against Mohill’s second string won’t have helped their confidence either. But that gloom may just have lifted after they surprised Leitrim Gaels last Sunday.
The Gaels would have been strong favourites and led at halftime and even the concession of a penalty didn’t knock them as they regained the lead with three unanswered points. But then Carrigallen began to show their mettle with Ciaran Flynn, Eoin Ward, Darren Reilly and Gerard Percival leading the way.
They face Kiltubrid and Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher in their final two games, needing just one win to book a quarter-final place. They certainly look capable of that based on their second half display last Sunday.
RELIEF FOR DRUMKEERIN
It doesn’t get any easier in the final two games but Drumkeerin must finally think their luck has turned when they overcame an unlucky Aughavas last Sunday. Last year’s Intermediate finalists had been tipped as one of the favourites for the crown but they have struggled to regain the momentum they showed last year.
Injuries are mounting up and the form has been patchy, Drumkeerin shows spurts of what they are capable of. But the win will lift a bit of the pressure they are under and if they can register just one more win against either Eslin or Ballinaglera, it may be enough to see them into the quarter-finals.
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