GAA Leitrim Club Championships preview

Round two promises some intriguing encounters in Leitrim Club Championships

John Connolly

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John Connolly

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sports@leitrimobserver.ie

Round two promises some intriguing encounters in Leitrim Club Championships

Action from St. Mary's victory over Melvin Gaels in the first round of the Connacht Gold Leitrim SFC. Photo by Willie Donnellan

It’s round two of the Leitrim Club Championships next weekend and there are some interesting games down for decision as clubs start to find their feet in their competitions.

Incredibly, some clubs could, more or less, book their place in the Quarter-Finals with a second win if another team suffers a second loss but there is still plenty of intrigue in the Connacht Gold Senior and Smith Monumentals Intermediate Championships.

Below we take a brief look at this weekend’s games:

CONNACHT GOLD SFC

(All Senior Championship games are on Saturday, August 4)

Aughnasheelin v Bornacoola in Cloone 5.30: Both these teams will be looking to bounce back after disappointing losses in the first round. How they overcome that is important and both will recognise that this game, in this group offers the winner a great chance to get a win. I don’t there will be much in this one, ordinarily you’d think Division 1 Aughnasheelin would be too strong for Division 2 Bornacoola but with an injury crisis, last year’s Intermediate winners are a little vulnerable. Still we give them a tentative vote to take the win here.

St. Patrick’s Dromahair v Mohill in Drumshanbo 5.30: A tough one for Dromahair to lift themselves for after the sheer disappointment of losing to Drumreilly last weekend. They would have targeted the first round game for a win but no they face a Mohill team who have made light of absentees and player losses to set out a big statement against Aughawillan. You’d have to expect Mohill to come through with something to spare.

Allen Gaels v St. Mary’s Kiltoghert in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada 5.30: This is an intriguing contest, and not just because of the historical rivalry between the two towns. The Carrick men scored an important win over Melvin Gaels and showed a good deal of mental strength to push on for the win. The Drumshanbo side impressed in the destruction of Bornacoola but some judgement has to be reserved due to the qualify of the opposition. My feeling is that the Gaels and Mary’s are both vastly improved and this could really be an arm wrestle - hard to say what way it will go but maybe St. Mary’s may just edge this one.

Aughawillan v Gortletteragh in Ballinamore 7.00: Both suffered losses last weekend but in very different ways - Aughawillan were highly competitive against Mohill while Gortletteragh were demolished by Ballinamore. Normally these two teams are fiercely competitive but without Jack Heslin and an injured Cathal McCrann, Gortletteragh are missing quite a lot of firepower so you’d have to expect Aughawillan to win here.

Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s v Drumreilly in Cloone 7.00: Drumreilly sprung the surprise of the first round as they turned around a 19 point loss to Dromahair in the League into a five point win in the championship just two weeks later. Hard to see them pulling the wool over the eyes of their neighbours Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s in this one and their awesome strength in depth should be more than enough to get them the win here.

Glencar/Manorhamilton v Melvin Gaels in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada 7.00: The tie of the round by far - a meeting of two great rivals and neighbours and one to savour and you’d hope that the neutral fans turn out in force for it. They had different fortunes in the first round, the Gaels losing to St. Mary’s while Glencar/Manor cruised, albeit with the aid of two slightly fortunate goals, to a comfortable win over Aughnasheelin. Hard to know who is carrying the better form into this encounter but you’d have to think that a Glencar/Manor team who are top of the Division 1 table will have too much scoring power for Melvin Gaels in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.

Aidan Flynn shoots for a Leitrim Gaels point against Aughavas. Photo by Willie Donnellan

SMITH MONUMENTALS IFC

Ballinaglera v Leitrim Gaels in Cloone 8.30 (Friday): These clubs have a tough and bitter rivalry but after the first weekend, you’d have to think Leitrim Gaels are on an upward trajectory compared to Ballinaglera. What happened the north Leitrim men in the first game seems almost inexplicable but maybe it was just a bad day against a Fenagh team who hit top form. Ballinaglera will need to rediscover the spirit that has served them so well over the years but you’d still expect the Gaels to come through here for the win.

Cloone v Fenagh St.Caillin’s in Ballinamore 5.30 (Saturday): Fenagh St. Caillin’s sent out a big message with their demolition of Division 1 side Ballinaglera. They come up against neighbours and Division 2 side Cloone, a Cloone team who battled hard against Drumkeerin but fell short and this could be a lot tighter than you’d expect. Fenagh St. Caillin’s were formidable last year and have only added to their ranks and they have a potent forward line and should come through here for the win.

Aughavas v Drumkeerin in Drumshanbo 7.00 (Saturday): Aughavas suffered a heavy loss against Leitrim Gaels and will find it hard to raise their game against another Division 1 side in Drumkeerin. The north Leitrim men defeated Cloone with a hard fought display in the first round and they look well equipped for the Intermediate campaign this year. Aughavas are caught between introducing some young footballers and relying on older experienced players and it may take a bit of time for them to build up competitiveness at this grade. Drumkeerin should be too strong in this one.

Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s v Kiltubrid in Cloone 12.00 (Sunday): Kiltubrid scored a hard fought win over Carrigallen, racing into a big lead before holding off a fightback from Carrigallen to seal their victory. They come up against Ballinamore’s second string who will push them hard but probably are finding their resources stretched more than they anticipated with players abroad or injured. You have to expect Kiltubrid to pick up their second win with some comfort.

Eslin v Mohill in Fenagh 12.00 (Sunday): A parish derby here but there really should only be one winner here as Eslin are in good form, scoring well and Martin McGowan’s side should have too much power here for their fellow parishioners. Mohill caused a sensation last year in reaching the Quarter-Finals but they are a bit weaker this year and Eslin should profit.

Annaduff v Carrigallen in Ballinamore 5.30 (Sunday): Annaduff are determined to go straight back up to Senior at the first attempt and certainly made a good first impression in overpowering Mohill in the first round. Carrigallen are going to be a much tougher proposition  and they have something to fight for as they need a win. However, the already promoted Annaduff look a more formidable side this year - Annaduff to score a second win here.

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