The Monaghan Electrical Intermediate Football League Final tops the billing on a busy Sunday which also features finals in Divisions One and Four of the Platinum Tanks Reserve Football League, while Cremartin are in action in the Ulster JFC and Donaghmoyne ladies and Clontibret camogie team also have big games. The Silver Hill Foods Minor Hurling League Final Replay is the big game on Saturday.
AIB Ulster Club Junior Football Championship First Round Replay
Cremartin v Shercock, Sunday, 2.15, Clones
A week after they played out a thrilling draw after extra-time, Cremartin and Shercock replay their Ulster Club JFC first-round game, this time in Clones. Both teams had chances to win it last Sunday, particularly Cremartin, who kicked 16 wides, but a draw was a fair result on the day.
Cremartin went unbeaten through their run to Monaghan JFC success, even though they rode their luck at times. They had a facile win over Fergal O’Hanlons in the first round and they saw off Clones to book their place in the semi-finals, where they needed a replay to battle past Aghabog. Clones were Cremartin’s opponents once again in the final and the Shamrocks came out on top by 1-6 to 0-7.
After beating Mountnugent, Shercock lost to Shannon Gaels, but they bounced back to defeat Ballyconnell, Cornafean and Arva (after a replay) to reach the final, where they had a 1-10 to 1-7 win against Munterconnacht.
Cremartin’s six championship games have seen them win four and draw two. The Shamrocks have scored 13-57 (16 points per game) while conceding just 1-43, which is less than eight points per game. Shercock have scored just under 1-11 per game (8-86 in eight games) and conceded ten points on average (5-69).
Niall Flanagan, Gary Boyd, Christopher Farrell and Barry Carragher give Cremartin strength and options around the middle of the field, while Darren Bishop is the focal point of the Shamrocks’ attack, where he will be looking for more support from the likes of Kevin Brennan. Their back-line has been in fine form this year, led by Declan Farrell, Fergal Mulligan and Paddy McGuigan, while county minor captain Johnny McGuigan is equally at home in attack or defence. John McEnroe, Killian Clarke, Brian Sankey, Paddy McPhillips and Stephen Donnery are likely to be to the fore for Monaghan-border club Shercock.
Cremartin’s ability to score goals at crucial times while keeping them out at the other end has got them this far and they showed last week that they have the ability to cut open the Shercock defence, so if they can sharpen up their finishing they certainly have the ability to get over this hurdle.
Cremartin JFC scorers 2011: Darren Bishop 3-12 (0-5f); Barry Carragher 1-11 (0-9f); Stephen Bishop 1-7; Mark Bishop 0-10 (2f); Kevin Brennan 1-4; Niall Flanagan 2-1; Ronan Burke 2-0; Conor Mulligan, Gary Boyd, Gerard Malone 1-1 each; Liam McVicar 0-3; Christopher Farrell (1f), Shane Burke 0-2 each; Declan Farrell, Kevin Atkinson 0-1 each.
Monaghan Electrical Intermediate Football League Final
Carrickmacross v Currin, Sunday, 2.00, Drumhowan
The two teams who have already been promoted from intermediate to senior football will be looking to finish the Monaghan season on a high when they contest the IFL Final on Sunday.
Carrickmacross have already won the IFC title this year and they are just 60 minutes away from potentially completing a second intermediate double in six years. Carrick are also battling for Ulster IFC success, as they started their provincial campaign by beating Tyrone side Kildress last Sunday. Currin, meanwhile, have been promoted to the senior league for the first time in their 125-year history (although they previously competed in, and indeed won, the senior championship). Despite failing to make an impact on the championship, Currin, who have come a long way since winning the JFL in 2009, had a very consistent league, where they finished second, just behind Sunday’s opponents. Both teams won their IFL semi-finals by three points, as Currin beat Corduff and Carrick saw off Rockcorry.
As Carrick won the championship and finished top of the league, Currin’s second-place finish in the IFL is enough for them to go up even if they don’t win this game, but they will be determined to mark their promotion and their big anniversary with silverware.
Carrick’s scoring power in the form of Stephen Gollogly, Andrew Callan and Seán and Mark Downey could be the difference between the teams, although Currin have sharp-shooters of their own in Jack McCarron, Stephen Smyth and Philip O’Callaghan. The battle around the midfield will involve the likes of James Conlon, Peter O’Hanlon and James McGeown on the Carrick side and Dick and Ben Clerkin and Francis O’Callaghan for Currin, which will go a long way to deciding who can supply their forwards with more ammunition. Carrick’s defence will again be marshalled by Mark McNally and Gary McEnaney, while Conor and Ciarán McCaffrey will do the same job for Currin. Carrick may have an eye on Sunday week’s Ulster semi-final against Craigbane of Derry and Currin will pounce on any slackness. The Emmets have already beaten Currin twice this year, however, and if they keep their focus they certainly have the quality to win this one.
Platinum Tanks Reserve Football League Division One Final
Scotstown v Truagh, Sunday, 2.00, Tyholland
North-Monaghan rivals Scotstown and Truagh go head-to-head in the RFL Division One Final on Sunday.
Both teams are chasing redemption of sorts, as Scotstown look to make up for their SFC Final defeat to Latton and Truagh attempt to atone for losing the O’Duffy Cup decider against Castleblayney. Truagh, who finished the season strongly to take third place in the table, were first to qualify for the final with an impressive win away to Clontibret, while Scotstown, who finished top of the table, beat defending champions Castleblayney in their delayed semi-final last Sunday.
Scotstown can call on a number of players who featured in their seniors’ run to the county final, including Paul Grant, Stephen Sherry, Orin Heaphey, Conor Caulfield, Damien McArdle, Fergal McPhillips and William Carroll, while Truagh can field a blend of veterans like Gary Meehan and Paul Donaghue alongside up-and-coming talent such as Christopher and Seán McKenna and John McCarron.
Truagh took three points from the four available against Scotstown this year, but the Blues have been consistent throughout the year and could have enough in the tank to edge this one and make it third-time lucky.
Platinum Tanks Reserve Football League Division Four Final
Blackhill v Castleblayney, Sunday, 2.00, Killanny
Sunday’s RFL Division Four Final is another local derby between Blackhill and Castleblayney.
These teams finished third and fourth in the league table to qualify for the semi-finals, where they both had away wins. Blackhill, whose semi-final was played back at the end of September, had a double-scores win against Toome, while Blayney saw off Aghabog after extra-time to join their neighbours in the decider. Blackhill won a low-scoring game by a point when these sides clashed back in April.
Donal and Ciarán Courtney, Pauric Murphy and Dermot Daly are likely to play key roles for Blackhill, while Blayney have a mixture of experienced players like Jerry Brady and Seán McGeough alongside young guns such as David McMahon and Aaron McNamara. Blayney can call on a number of players who featured in either their run to the RFL Division One semi-finals or the Ulster Club Intermediate Hurling Final, so they may have the edge in sharpness, something that may prove decisive between two evenly-matched teams.
Silver Hill Foods Minor Hurling League Final Replay
Castleblayney v Emmet Grattans, Saturday, 2.00, Oram
Castleblayney and Emmet Grattans meet again in the replay of the MHL decider on Saturday, seven days after they played out a low-scoring draw.
Blayney lost to Clontibret in the championship final for the second year in a row, but they came back to win the league last year and they will be determined to do the same on Saturday. These teams shared the top position in the league table after they both won four of their five games. Emmet Grattans (an amalgamation of Carrickmacross and Inniskeen) put up some big scores in their first couple of games, but they lost a low-scoring game against Blayney in their last outing.
Rising star Fergal Rafter is the pivotal figure for Blayney, along with Niall Garland, Patrick Finnegan, Tony Forde and Cormac McNally, while Emmet Grattans will need big performances from Colm and Conal Meegan, Jamie Guinan and Kevin Crawley. This game could need extra-time to sort it out, but Emmet Grattans may have missed their chance last week and Blayney’s greater experience could just about see them over the line.
All-Ireland Ladies Club Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
Donaghmoyne v Carnacon, Sunday, 2.00, Donaghmoyne
Just a week after winning their sixth Ulster Club SFC title, Donaghmoyne’s ladies will attempt to qualify for the All-Ireland final when they host Mayo side Carnacon.
After cruising to a ninth successive Monaghan championship, beating Emyvale in the final, Donaghmoyne defeated St. Gall’s, Clann Éireann and Glenfin to win their sixth Ulster title in seven years. Carnacon, who have won 12 of the last 13 Mayo championships, retained the Connacht crown when they got the better of Roscommon side St. Brigid’s.
Donaghmoyne can call on eight players who helped Monaghan to this year’s All-Ireland final – Cathriona McConnell, Sharon, Cora and Joanne Courtney, Amanda Casey, Eileen McElroy, Niamh Lynch and Linda Martin. Seven-time All-Star Cora Staunton is still the star player for Carnacon, who will also be looking for big performances from Michelle McGing, Fiona McHale and Claire Egan, although Sharon McGing is set to miss out after she was sent off against St. Brigid’s. Donaghmoyne can make home advantage count and take a huge step towards a third All-Ireland.
Ulster Club Junior Camogie Championship Final
Clontibret get their long-awaited shot at an Ulster Club Junior Camogie Championship title on Sunday when they take on Castletara from Cavan in the final. Monaghan double-winners Clontibret, who defeated Castleblayney to win their seventh county title in a row, beat Dungannon from Tyrone and St. Paul’s of Belfast to reach the provincial decider, which was originally due to be played back on October 9, only for a dispute in the other half of the draw to hold the competition up. Nevertheless, Clontibret will be determined to make history by becoming the first Monaghan club to lift the Bridie McMenamin Shield, with players like Marie Greenan, Joanne McSkane, Nicola Morgan and the Boyles expected to lead the way. Castletara were runners-up last year and they will provide stiff opposition as they look to go one step further, with players like Bríd Boylan and the Priors sure to be to the fore.