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 penultimate round 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.
CHAMPIONS STARTING TO GET IN THE GROOVE
Aughawillan have battled through the group stages with an injury list and absent players that would make most teams simply want to give up. They have suffered against Mohill and neighbours Sean O’Heslin’s but significantly, they have two wins under their belt and they have given their injured troops time to return.
Nobody, absolutely nobody, will want to get the reigning champions in the Quarter-Finals such is their renowned battling spirit and the fact that they overcome an up-and-coming and hungry Melvin Gaels side says much for their mental state.
Pitches are getting heavier and matches will soon become wars of attrition and if there is a team who knows how to win battles, it is Aughawillan - watch out everyone else!
GLENCAR/MANOR PUT DRUMREILLY BACK IN RELEGATION MIX
Drumreilly had seemed one of the success story in the Championship so far and after the third round, they looked odds on to reach the Quarter-Finals. Their fate is still in their hands but the message sent out by Glencar/Manorhamilton last Saturday was an awesome one and Drumreilly may be paying the price.
The danger for Drumreilly is Bornacoola and Annaduff - an Annaduff win over Dromahair lifts them onto six points while a Bornacoola win would see them join Drumreilly on four points and the Bors would advance courtesy of the head-to-head meeting.
Glencar/Manor, on the other hand, have no such worries - they are through to the group stages and all that matters is whether they top the group or not. They will, however, want to put one over on a St. Mary’s team who have ended their seasons quite regularly in recent years.
BALLINAMORE MAY NOW BE THE TEAM TO BEAT
Mohill were probably the team that impressed most in the first three rounds but they may just have been overtaken by a hungry Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s team who have put down quite a few markers in recent weeks with wins over Aughawillan and Mohill.
Mohill were without key players in Keith Beirne, Ciaran Kennedy and Shane Quinn but crucially, they had enough chances to win this game, butchering a couple of goal chances and hitting some costly wides. But they have given Ballinamore a taste of success and opening the door to a team like Ballinamore is dangerous.
O’Heslin’s were without the immense Dean McGovern last Saturday but they barely missed a beat against Mohill, missing a few goal chances of their own. Confidence is high, players are fighting for places and they have definitely moved on a step from last year. They face a different sort of test against Melvin Gaels but at the moment, Ballinamore are the team to beat.
ALLEN GAELS LOSE FORM AT WRONG TIME
It may seem strange to say that Allen Gaels lost their form last weekend against Gortletteragh but in a relegation dogfight, losing so meekly against a team they could have consigned to the relegation semi-finals has to be a worrying sign for the Drumshanbo men.
In their games up to last weekend, Allen Gaels may have lost but they have generally been competitive and against a team that could still be in the relegation mix, the Drumshanbo men were never at the races.
It will be worrying for the Drumshanbo outfit and they will want some sort of reaction against Mohill, even if it ends up in defeat as they will want to signpost their intent and form for the relegation semi-finals.
ANNADUFF MAKE MOST OF BORNACOOLA SLIP
Saturday was a very good day for Annaduff as they got back into the battle for the quarter-finals and to make it even better, it came at the expense of two of their neighbours. Bornacoola’s defeat to Dromahair was a massive surprise and it catapulted Annaduff ahead of them and into the quarter-finals.
More importantly, Annaduff showed the sort of desire and hunger necessary for championship success as they deservedly saw off a lacklustre St. Mary’s, not through confrontation or an overly physical approach, but through sheer work-rate and desire.
St. Mary’s won’t be happy with how they performed but Annaduff were far more convincing winners than the three point scoreline and the late penalty scare suggests. The quarter-final places are now in their hands and it is hard to see them slipping up now.