One of the anomolies of an Open Draw is that it can lead to the situation like next Saturday where the only unbeaten teams left in the Senior Championship all end up meeting each other.
Champions Melvin Gaels, St. Mary’s Kiltoghert, Mohill and Glencar/Manorhamilton have been drawn to face each other with a place in the semi-finals really opening up now for two from Allen Gaels, Carrigallen, Gortletteragh and Annaduff.
Two double headers in Cloone and Drumshanbo should draw big crowds as teams enter last chance saloon and the Quarter-Final draw has opened up the chance of glory for some teams that may not have thought it was possible this year.
As much as it might seem like hedging your bets, the four games might have favourites but it wouldn’t take much for the result to go the other way. Glencar/Manor, St. Mary’s and Melvin Gaels look a little ahead of the opposition in the Group stages but it truly is a wide open competition.
Champions Melvin Gaels face a fast moving St. Mary’s in what could be the game of the round, a weakened Melvin Gaels still showing the pride and ability of champions. Their resources are stretched and St. Mary’s, who like to move the ball quickly and have a very dangerous target man in Robbie Lowe, may just have the edge here.
Mohill and Glencar/Manor is another intriguing contest - a young and improving Mohill have shown an ability to win tight games when under pressure but they come up against a Manor side boosted by their second string’s win over Ballinamore. The League champions have an edge in physical power and experience and should make it count.
Annaduff didn’t hit the highs against Bornacoola last Saturday but won with ease, something Gortletteragh will have noted and Annaduff are building up a head of steam. Gortletteragh have an edge in physical strength but haven’t hit top form yet, if they do so, they will be very hard stopped but you wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends in a draw.
Allen Gaels and Carrigallen is a draw that both teams would be delighted to get and both are very similar - young players backboned by a few experienced leaders. Neither will be pleased by their displays in the last group stage game but Carrigallen may feel slightly more upbeat, although this is a game that truly could go either way.
All you can say is that there are going to be some tight games and plenty to interest the neutral fan.