A weekend to savour
Key championship encounters on the menu
AS weekend’s go this coming one is up there with the biggest of the footballing season to a number of clubs in the county as they look to secure a path to championship glory in what is a crunch phase of the Senior and Intermediate championships.
Friday night seees a pair of matches in the Darcy Sands Interemdiate football Championship with wins expected for Kilcoole over Rathnew and Carnew over Stratford-Grangecon. This would see Kilcoole and James Hickey’s Carnew Emmets keep themselves well in the hunt for the top three spots for qualification.
Things get very interesting on Saturday when Coolkenno do battle with struggling Annacurra with Stevie Cushe’s charges flying high at the summit of Group 1 and Annacurra second from bottom.
While nobody can see anything other than a Coolkenno win from that encounter in Baltinglass, it’s the results of the other two games that could have major implications for the Group 1 table going forward.
It’s expected that Ballymanus will account for Ballinacor in Dunbur Park which will move them to six points while pundits might fancy Kilmacanogue to topple Laragh. If that should come to pass, then the last game in the group between Ballymanus and Laragh would be extra spicy. Should Laragh beat Kilmac that would leave the Sugarloaf side on four points and would send them on a must-win collision course with Coolkenno in their final game.
In Group 2 on Saturday there is expected to be a very healthy crowd in Hollywood for the meeting of neighbours Dunlavin and Donard-The Glen. Dunlavin top the table but Donard-The Glen simply must win this game to move themselves up to four points and give themselves any hope of qualifying.
In the Senior it’s make or break for several teams. The action gets underway with a very interesting clash of Kiltegan and Tinahely in Aughrim at 5.30pm. Both teams require that a win for very different reasons, Kiltegan to survive and Tinahely to maintain close connections with the top two.
Neighbours Bray Emmets and Éire Óg meet in the second game in Aughrim and Bray Emmets must win to keep their hopes alive while a victory would be a massive boost for Éire Óg.
Hollywood desperately need a win against Rathnew on Sunday afternoon while AGB won’t fancy a slip up against a wounded Newtown side in the opening game of four in the county grounds with the All-Ireland hurling final filling the gap in between.
Perhaps the two biggest game of the weekend are being left until last in the county grounds.
Blessington will desire nothing other than a comprehensive victory over Avondale to maintain their superb start and Avondale will want to bounce back from the drubbing them took from Pat’s.
And then it’s the turn of the reigning champions against a stung Baltinglass who fell to Bray last time out. If ever a game promised drama and fine football, then this is it. It has the makings of some weekend.