Clonguish and Killoe to advance

Although Killoe will be without the suspended Darragh Bennett, they should still be good enough to overcome the challenge of Longford Slashers who have struggled in the current Connolly Cup campaign.

Although Killoe will be without the suspended Darragh Bennett, they should still be good enough to overcome the challenge of Longford Slashers who have struggled in the current Connolly Cup campaign.

Glennon Brothers Pearse Park will stage a most intriguing quarter-final clash on Sunday evening next (7pm) in a repeat of last year’s title decider and Emmet Og are looking good to advance a stage further with county players Michael Quinn and brothers Sean and Padraig McCormack leading the charge. Slashers have been hit hard by injuries this season with Stephen Phillips and Conor Clarke on the long term casualty list while Paul Kelly and Mark Smith have yet to make an appearance in the 2013 Championship.

Key figure Kelly still has injury problems and is highly unlikely to play any part against Killoe and while Michael Brady missed the final group fixture against Granard, the county midfielder is expected to be fit to start in the big game on Sunday.

But last year’s beaten finalists will be without the suspended AndrewDalton with Philip Dobson now on the injured list. The general opinion is that Emmet Og will take some stopping in their bid to retain the Connolly Cup, having already beaten Slashers by the emphatic margin of six points in Round 1 of the group stage a few weeks ago.

In the other quarter-final game this weekend Clonguish take on Colmcille at Pearse Park on Saturday evening (7pm) and the Newtownforbes side were most fortunate to win when the clubs clashed in the opening round of the championship.

But Clonguish should have beaten Killoe in the next round, after letting a commanding four-point lead slip in the closing stages in the eventual draw, and they then went on to overcome Dromard.

Colmcille, on the other hand, played poorly against Fr. Manning Gaels in Round 3 when they were lucky to win by just a point and will need to be at their best in the hope of springing a surprise against the vastly experienced Clonguish side.

PREDICTION: Wins for Clonguish and Killoe