The Group stages have come to an end we will take a quick look back at some of the talking points from the weekend’s action as we have reached the final round 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.
SYMPATHY FOR GLENFARNE/KILTYCLOGHER
Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher did the brave thing by fielding for their final group game last Saturday and unfortunately, it ended as expected with Carrigallen cruising to a 6-16 to 0-1 victory that did nothing for either team.
It has been incredibly tough on the north Leitrim men, taking to the field without any genuine hope of success and after the failure of St. Osnat’s Glencar to field this year in the championship, there are real fears that both clubs won’t take to the field in 2018.
It is an awful dilemma for Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher with two relegation games to come but it has also led to a wave of sympathy and understanding from Leitrim gaels, all too used to seeing our county teams struggling against the big guns.
DOES FENAGH LOSS OPEN THE DOOR?
Fenagh St. Caillin’s were seemingly becoming more and more unbackable as favourites for this year’s Intermediate title but their 3-9 to 2-9 loss to neighbours Aughnasheelin may just have reopened the door for the rest of the competition.
On the face of it, the only team in the quarter-finals you wouldn’t make a convincing case for winning this year’s competition is Mohill and that is only because they are a second string team.
Whether the result will backfire is hard to know as the loss may have knocked any complacency from the Fenagh ranks but everyone else will look at the Fenagh result and take renewed hope.
CRUEL, CRUEL HEARTBREAK FOR KILTUBRID
I don’t think I have ever seen a team win a game by seven points and look so heartbroken as Kiltubrid were last Saturday in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada. Defeating a highly rated Leitrim Gaels by seven points, all Kiltubrid needed was a Cloone win over Mohill and they would be through to the Quarter-Finals.
And it looked so good for Kiltubrid as Mohill trailed by four points at halftime. Unfortunately for Kiltubrid, Mohill showed a tremendous amount of character to battle back, take the lead and then settle for a draw against their neighbours, maintaining the integrity of the competition but breaking Kiltubrid hearts in the process.
BALLINAGLERA FINALLY GET SOME LUCK
They’ve lost two games by a point but Ballinaglera finally saw some luck shine on them in the final game of the Group stages when a long ball broke in the Drumkeerin goalmouth and Barry Maguire hammered the ball to the net!
Not only was it a victory over their neighbours but it confirmed their place in the quarter-finals and saw them leapfrog Drumkeerin in the standings to take third place showing that sometimes what goes around, comes around after their late heartbreak to Eslin.
EVENLY MATCHED QUARTER-FINALS
We’ve said it before and we say it again - the Intermediate Championship is the most competitive and best balanced competition in the county. Just look at the Quarter-Final clashes this weekend and tell me with absolute certainty who will win - Ballinaglera and Carrigallen; Cloone or Drumkeerin; Aughnasheelin and Mohill and what about Fenagh against Leitrim Gaels?
Drumkeerin were finalists last year, Leitrim Gaels took them to a replay, Ballinaglera, Cloone and Carrigallen are capable of beating anyone and Mohill’s second string cannot be underestimated - all this while Aughnasheelin and Fenagh are the favourites. Lots to look forward to over the next few weeks.