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Previews (June 10-12)

June 9th, 2011

It’s a busy weekend ahead, with eight games to be played in the Intermediate and Junior Football Championships, as well as a full round in the Drumlin Group of Credit Unions Senior Football League.

McGuigan Builders Intermediate Football Championship Preliminary Round

Donaghmoyne v Tyholland, Friday, 7.30, Cremartin


Last year’s runners-up Tyholland start their IFC campaign against Donaghmoyne in the preliminary round on Friday evening.

Tyholland defeated Donaghmoyne last year on their way to the final, where they lost to Doohamlet, while Donaghmoyne’s campaign ended with a disappointing defeat against Aughnamullen. The sides are separated by just a point in the league table, with Tyholland on six points and Donaghmoyne on five, but Tyholland also have a game in hand.

Tyholland will be looking for big performances from Ronan McNally, Raymond and Gregory Ronaghan, Peadar Farrelly and Karl O’Connell, while Gary McQuaid is out with a long-term injury. Donaghmoyne have lost a number of players, including Rory Woods and the Markeys, leaving them very dependent on the likes of Pauric Donaghy, Mattie O’Reilly and Christopher Deery.

Universal Graphics Junior Football Championship First Round

Blackhill v Emyvale, Friday, 7.30, Monaghan


Emyvale will be hoping to get off to a good start in the JFC when they take on Blackhill at Gavan Duffy Park on Friday.

Emyvale won the Monaghan and Ulster junior titles in 2008 and would have expected to at least consolidate their intermediate status last year, but they were relegated and they lost to Tyholland and Rockcorry in the IFC. Blackhill made an early exit from the JFC after losing to Cremartin and Killeevan. Both teams have played just four games in the league, with Emyvale picking up five points, while Blackhill’s only points came from an opening-round win over Killeevan.

Brendan McKenna, Daniel McMahon, Seán McMeel, Martin McAree and Robbie McHugh are big players for Emyvale, while Blackhill will need Ryan Courtney, Colin Woods and Stephen Duffy on top form if they are to have any chance of causing an upset.


Universal Graphics Junior Football Championship First Round

Killanny v Toome, Saturday, 6.15, Inniskeen

McGuigan Builders Intermediate Football Championship First Round

Aughnamullen v Drumhowan, Saturday, 7.45, Inniskeen


Inniskeen hosts a championship double-header on Saturday evening, with the first game seeing Killanny and Toome go head-to-head in the JFC.

All evidence points towards a closely-contested encounter, as the clubs are separated by just a point in the JFL table, although Toome have two games in hand, while last year saw both teams win one game and lose two in the championship. Killanny are seeking to build on the great underage success they have enjoyed in recent years, while Toome will attempt to recapture the form which saw them go close to upsetting Emyvale in the JFC Final of 2009.

Peter Dooley, Cian Wakely, Daryl Traynor and Eddie Markey should be to the fore for Killanny, while Gavin Flanagan, Stephen and Alan Lambe and Gary Wilson will be crucial to Toome’s chances.

The second game will be a much-anticipated local derby between Aughnamullen and Drumhowan.

Both teams have amassed seven points in the IFL – Drumhowan from six games and Aughnamullen from seven – and when they met in the league last month it finished in a draw, so another tight game is on the cards. Drumhowan were relegated from the senior ranks last year and they were knocked out of the SFC in the first round, while Aughnamullen had a couple of good results in the IFC against Donaghmoyne and Currin before Doohamlet ended their hopes at the semi-final stage. These neighbours clashed in the championship two years ago, when Drumhowan pulled away in the closing stages.

Drumhowan have been hit by a lengthy injury list in recent games, including James McElroy, Colm Lambe and Darren Duffy, and they will need some of those players back, along with the likes of David Millar, Kieran and Kevin Mooney and Dermot McDermott. Aughnamullen have been hit by the absence of Pete Dooney, who is in America, so they will be very much reliant on Sam Dooney, Chris Keenan, Seán Sheridan, Lee Conlan and Mark Meegan.


McGuigan Builders Intermediate Football Championship Preliminary Round

Currin v Rockcorry, Sunday, 1.30, Monaghan


Currin will be looking to translate their impressive league form to the championship when they take on Rockcorry at Gavan Duffy Park.

Rock hammered Currin at the same stage exactly a year ago, but having already won away to their opponents in the IFL this year, Currin will fancy their chances of overturning that result this time. Currin are second in the league table with 11 points, three points and two places ahead of Rockcorry. Rock went on to reach the semi-finals last year, where they lost to Tyholland, while Currin’s only championship win was against Aghabog.

Dick and Ben Clerkin, Jack McCarron, Gerard and Philip O’Callaghan and Ciarán McCaffrey will be expected to play key roles for Currin, while Mark and Keith Daly, Damien Matthews and Niall McKeown are key players for Rock, who are without the injured Paul McKeown.

Universal Graphics Junior Football Championship Preliminary Round Replay

Aghabog v Oram, Sunday, 1.45, Ballybay


Aghabog and Oram return to Ballybay on Sunday for the JFC preliminary-round replay.

Oram looked to be cruising through two weeks ago when they led by nine points midway through the second half, but Aghabog hit 1-6 without reply in the final quarter to salvage a draw. Oram have shown slightly better form in the league, but there is likely to be little between the teams again on Sunday.

The drawn game became a bit of a shoot-out between free-takers Pauric Graham and Ryan McGuinness of Oram and Seán O’Brien of Aghabog. Cathal Crowe, Stephen McBride and Johnny McGuinness are also set to figure centrally for Oram, while Aghabog will be looking to Gary McBride, Francie Dolan and Shane O’Brien to lead the way.

McGuigan Builders Intermediate Football Championship First Round

Corduff v Éire Óg, Sunday, 6.30, Clontibret

Carrickmacross v Seán McDermotts, Sunday, 8.00, Clontibret


The weekend’s action finishes with a double-bill in Clontibret on Sunday evening. Corduff will be favourites for the first game, where they are up against Éire Óg.

After winning the JFC last year and going on to win Ulster (only to have the provincial title taken off them after they were found to have fielded an illegal player), Corduff have carried on their good form and they have made a positive start in the IFL. The south-Monaghan men sit third in the table with nine points, while Éire Óg are bottom, having won just one of their seven games. Corduff had a comprehensive win over Éire Óg back in March, although the Smithborough side came out on top in the last IFC meeting of these teams in 2009.

Declan Larkin and Ciarán Brennan provide a strong spine to the Corduff defence, while they also have forwards of the calibre of Raymond Byrne, Shane Malone, Martin Mills and Pádraic Keenan, despite George McKitterick’s emigration to Australia. Éire Óg will need Paddy Croarkin to hit the bulk of their scores, with Marc McBride, Darach McCluskey and Pauric McKenna also key players, particularly in the absence of Mark McCaffrey and Ronan Cassidy, who are both abroad.

Carrickmacross will be strongly fancied in their game against Seán McDermotts, which is their first championship match since they were surprisingly relegated last year. The Seáns were two divisions below their opponents last year, so will need

Carrick have been in the top flight since they won the IFC in 2006 and they will be determined to bounce straight back up. Having suffered a heavy defeat to Rockcorry in round two, Carrick have won their last five games to go top of the league and they look to be hitting form at the right time. The Seáns are second-from-bottom in the table with four points. Carrick, who won the SFL and reached the county final in 2008, beat Latton and Ballybay in the SFC last year but lost to Scotstown in the quarter-finals, while the Seáns had a disappointing JFC, which ended with defeat to Killeevan, but they came back to gain promotion via the league, where they beat Cremartin in the final.

Carrick have three county seniors in Stephen Gollogly, Mark Downey and Mark McNally, as well as other players with inter-county experience such as James Conlon and Gary McEnaney. Damien Larkin is the star man for the Seáns, who have a county man of their own in goalkeeper Mark Keogh (who sometimes features outfield for his club), as well as players like Patrick Kieran and Páraic McGuirk.



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