Five teams still have dreams of glory in the Fox Monumentals Intermediate Championship and we will take a quick look back at some of the talking points from the weekend’s action in the Quarter-Finals.
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 Quarter-Finals.
REPLAY IS ANYONE’S GUESS
Fenagh St. Caillin’s were the hot favourites before last Sunday’s clash with Leitrim Gaels but it is the outsiders who probably feel they left a great chance behind them. They got right in Fenagh’s face, put them on the back foot and asked questions of their character and probably should have been much further ahead only for poor shooting.
St. Caillin’s were tested and tested mentally as well as physically and they answered a lot of questions about their character, maybe dispelling the barbs that their neighbours throw at them about not making it past the Quarter-Finals. They have huge room for improvement but they learned a lot about themselves.
As for the replay, anybody’s guess - Leitrim Gaels had enough chances to kill off the game but didn’t, Fenagh were awful in the first half. Attitude is going to be the key factor here.
SCARE MAY HELP AUGHNASHEELIN
We ranked Aughnasheelin top of the contenders last week but they got an almighty scare off the team we ranked last and Aughnasheelin players and fans breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle eventually sounded.
Maybe complacency set in after defeating Fenagh the week before and establishing a seven point lead at halftime but the way Mohill ran at them, upset them and forced them into mistakes could be the best possible preparations for the semi-final against Carrigallen and a potential Final.
Aughnasheelin are safely in the final and are grounded following the Mohill game but any team with the talent of Conor Cullen, Philip Dolan, the McWeeney brothers and Fintan Fitzpatrick won’t be too far away.
DRUMKEERIN SLIDING IN UNDER THE RADAR
Finalists last year and one of the favourites before the Championship started, Drumkeerin slid down the rankings with three losses in the group stages. But the manner of their win over Cloone last Saturday suggests you cannot take the Men in Maroon & White for granted.
Cloone looked in a commanding position at halftime, leading by four points, but injuries cost the south Leitrim side and Drumkeerin, slowly but surely, inched their way back into the contest before taking the lead for the first time with the last point of the game.
Drumkeerin have big match experience and a lot of players who have performed at a high level for years. No more than Aughnasheelin, you cannot take Drumkeerin for granted.
WARD TAKES CARRIGALLEN TO NEW LEVEL
One man teams seem incongruous in a GAA setting but anyone who has seen Eslin over the years know what effect Conor Beirne can have on a game. And it seems that Carrigallen are fast becoming that way too with the returned Eoin Ward.
No more than Eslin and Conor Beirne, describing Carrigallen as a one-man team is well wide of the mark with players like Darren Reilly, Ciaran Flynn, Ciaran Kenny, Enda Lyons, Barry Nash and Daniel Lyons but Ward seems to make them tick.
A personal haul of 3-5 in a quarter-final is impressive but it is the leadership and sense of certainty Ward brings to his team-mates that is the biggest addition and this from a team that seemed to be heading in a downward spiral a few years ago.
AUGHAVAS & KILTUBRID CAN RELAX AS ESLIN AND GLENFARNE/KILTY BATTLE DROP
There were a couple of matches with even more at stake than a place in the semi-finals last weekend and Aughavas and Kiltubrid were the big winners. In their own way, both teams were among the unluckiest in this year’s Intermediate grade, Aughavas desperately unlucky to lose two games by a single point while Kiltubrid suffered terribly when going on the head to head.
Aughavas overwhelmed Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher while Eslin made Kiltubrid work a lot harder than the 3-13 to 2-9 scoreline suggests but they came through to at least achieve something from a frustrating campaign.
Eslin and Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher meet in the relegation final and if Eslin have Conor Beirne functioning anywhere near top capacity, they should be strong enough to retain their Intermediate status for another year.
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