A glorious opportunity has opened up for the four clubs involved in the remaining Senior Football Championship quarter-finals at Pearse Park this weekend, one of whom will eventually end up in the 2013 county final on the first Sunday in October.
The luck of the draw has finally favoured Mullinalaghta after some very tough fixtures in recent seasons but will they make the most of their big chance by beating Abbeylara? Under the guidance of Gerry Fox, St. Columba’s are currently unbeaten in Division 1 of the league but a major cause for concern is the possible absence of JJ Matthews who got injured in the surprise setback against Mostrim in Round 1 of the championship.
Matthews adds a real cutting edge to the Mullinalaghta attack but his side could be hard pressed to overcome Abbeylara in what promises to be a tough and tight contest on Saturday evening (7pm). Adding extra spice is the fact that the clubs are amalgamated for the minor board competitions under the guise of Northern Gaels who have won several underage titles.
Abbeylara manager Donal Ledwith was without the injured Robbie Smyth for the entire group stage and if the dangerous forward was fit to return it would be a tremendous boost for their chances of reaching the semi-final against Dromard or Mostrim, who meet on Sunday evening (6.45pm). Reports suggest that Seamus Hannon, after captaining London to the Connacht Senior Championship Final this year, could be back in action for his native Edgeworthstown. Without Hannon, Mostrim managed to reach the last eight mainly due to a most significant win over Mullinalaghta in Round 1 of the group stage and are going well with Dromard man Enda Macken at the helm.
Macken faces his own club in the quarter-final and while Mostrim scored a convincing win when the sides clashed in the league, Dromard have a lot of championship experience and might just have the edge with prolific forwards Francis McGee, Cian Mimnagh and Jamsie Martin the main men.
PREDICTION: Wins for Dromard and Mullinalaghta