Teams battling it out for league honours
PREVIEW PETER KEOGH LOOKS FORWARD TO THE WEEKEND’S GAMES
THREE INTERESTING matches to be played on what is the second last weekend of the playing year.
The two semi-finals in Division 1 of the Senior Football League and the final of Division 3 of the same league make up the programmee.
The Dan Dunne Memorial Cup, still the finest trophy in Wicklow football, will be the prize for the Senior League winners while the Johnny Fox Memorial Cup will go to the Division 3 winners.
THE FOX CUP FINAL
Baltinglass and Newcastle meet in the final of Division 3 on the fine new pitch at Blessington on Sunday. Both teams have reached this final after travelling widely differing roads.
Baltinglass had a great league campaign, going unbeaten through their eleven match programme.
Nothing strange about that for the Slaneysiders but what was, to say the least, unusual was the fact that the same team, playing against the same opposition won no match in the championship.
However, they are in the final on merit and will take beating.
Newcastle on the other hand had a good championship and went all the way to the final, only to be beaten narrowly by Kiltegan.
That county final loss almost cost them their place in the league finals as well. That match was listed in the fixtures as doubling up for league points as well, not at all unusual where there are dual clubs involved. Newcastle disputed that ruling but had to go all the way to Leinster Council before they won their case and had the match re-fixed.
It was a win over Kiltegan in the refixed match last Sunday that saw Newcastle pip Ballinacor on points and get the second qualifying place.
Now they must be slight favourites to take the cup. That warm-up match will certainly help to have them that bit sharper and if they can brush up on their shooting they can finish the year with a football cup go along side their Junior hurling championship.
The first of the Dunne Cup semi-finals sees county champions Kiltegan take on Newtown at Roundwood on Saturday night.
Kiltegan are also the holders of this cup and would love to end the year by retaining this trophy.
It may not be that simple however. They have already lost county player Derek Daly to emigration while Adrian Keogh has also left the country.
Newtown are an up and coming team and are likely to be in better shape than the celebrating champions.
They will be boosted by their recent win over Carnew but at the same time disappointed that the win did not prove enough to give them the league title.
It should be an interesting match with Kiltegan the favourites to advance to the final.
The second semi-final between Carnew and Shillelagh will be played in Tinahely on Sunday morning.
Carnew, like Kiltegan are near the end of a record breaking year. They are the Intermediate champions and now the first Intermediate team to win Division 1 of the SFL.
However this is a rare local ‘derby’ and can go either way.
Shillelagh may find it difficult to get a full strength team. However they are the goalscoring kings of Wicklow football, and goals still win matches.
Carnew may start slight favourites but don’t mortgage the house to back them.
The plans are to play the final on the following weekend.