With the club championships finished for the year, attentions turn to Ulster Club and local league action this weekend.
AIB Ulster Club Junior Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Inniskeen v Lámh Dhearg, Sunday, 2.30, Dungannon
Inniskeen bid to qualify for the Ulster Club JHC Final when they take on Antrim junior champions Lámh Dhearg in Dungannon on Sunday.
Having regained the Monaghan SHC title via wins over Castleblayney, Carrickmacross and Monaghan Harps, Inniskeen had a facile victory over Cootehill in their delayed Ulster quarter-final last Sunday. Lámh Dhearg from Hannahstown, Belfast won the Antrim JHC title in a dramatic finish to the final, where a late goal saw them pip Cushendun.
Ronan Meegan and Tadhg Campbell have been in prolific form for Inniskeen, who will also be looking for big performances from Paul, Dónal and Colm Meegan and Martin Murphy. Dómhnall Nugent, Aidan McGuigan, Brendan McComb and Charlie McCloskey should play key roles for Lámh Dhearg.
Eurotech Junior Football League Cup Semi-Finals
Toome v Blackhill, Sunday, 2.30, Toome
Clones v Seán McDermotts, Sunday, 2.30, Clones
The JFL semi-finals are both down for decision on Sunday. JFC winners Blackhill face a mid-Monaghan derby away to Toome.
Blackhill ended their long wait for a championship title against Seán McDermotts a fortnight ago, having edged past Toome after extra-time at the semi-final stage. Blackhill went nine games unbeaten in the JFL, including a three-point win over their neighbours, but after edging into the top half, Toome impressed since the league split, topping the table, helped by a one-point win at Emerald Park.
Dónal, Ryan and Anthony Courtney, Dermot Daly, Darren Woods, Mickey and Tommy Geehan and Philip Donnelly should play key roles for Blackhill, while Toome will be looking for big performances from Frank Connolly James and Gary Wilson, Seán McMahon, Mattie O’Reilly and Jason Murphy.
Meanwhile, Clones host Seán McDermotts.
The Seáns are looking to bounce back from their championship final loss to Blackhill, which followed their semi-final win over Sunday’s opponents. These teams shared second place in the JFL and were separated by just a point in the post-split Cup section, with their three meetings resulting in a draw and one win apiece.
Clones will hope that Fintan Kelly, Adrian Alford, James Mealiff, Darragh Holland, Eoin McQuaid and Fabian Beggan can lead their challenge, while Damien Larkin, Niall Kearns, Paddy Kieran, Brian McQuaid and Adam O’Driscoll are among the main men for the Seáns.
Eurotech Junior Football League Shield Final
Aghabog v Drumhowan, Saturday, 4.00, Cremartin
Drumhowan and Aghabog contest the inaugural JFL Shield Final at Cremartin on Saturday – note change of venue.
Both of these teams just missed out on qualifying for the Cup section of the league, while neither made the latter stages of the championship, but they cruised through to this fixture. Drumhowan topped the shield group with four consecutive wins, which included a third victory of the year over Aghabog.
Drumhowan will be looking to David Millar, Kevin and Kieran Mooney, Darren Duffy and Colm Lambe to lead the way, while Aghabog will need Damian Smyth, Seán O’Brien, Gary McBride, Ciarán Logue and Tyler O’Hanlon on form.
Silver Hill Farm Minor Hurling Championship Final
Carrickmacross v Monaghan Harps, Saturday, 2.30, Clontibret
The MHC Final Replay is down for decision in Clontibret on Saturday.
These teams couldn’t be separated three weeks ago, when a strong comeback by Carrickmacross saw them wipe out an eight-point deficit. Having won the double last year, Monaghan Harps retained the league title earlier this year. The Harps can call on players who featured in the SHC Final – Cathal Power, Dylan McAree and Conor Duffy – along with the likes of Aidan Burns, Remy McKenna, Niall McManus and Nathan O’Donoghue. Oisín Wilcox, Luke McKenna, Lee Butler, Peter Clinton, Jack Marron and Karl McMenamin should lead Carrick’s challenge.
The juvenile competitions are also finished for 2016, although the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol county finals take place on Saturday in Castleblayney.
Latton’s aim to qualify for a place in the final of the delayed Ulster Club Ladies IFC when they take on Donegal side St. Naul’s on Sunday. Latton eased through their rescheduled quarter-final against Granemore from Armagh, while St. Naul’s proved too strong for Derry’s Ballymaguigan.