The Senior Football Championship is down to the serious stuff at this stage with the remaining two quarter-finals expected to attract a big attendance to Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday evening next.
While the wide margin of eleven points separated the sides when Killoe emerged victorious against Abbeylara in the league phase of the current Connolly Cup campaign a much closer contest is in prospect on this occasion.
Leading the Young Emmets charge are Michael Quinn and Sean McCormack, who will take a lot of stopping, and with another senior county footballer in Padraig McCormack to call upon it must be said that Killoe are shaping up really well under the driving force of Tommy McCormack, an uncle of brothers Sean and Padraig.
Making it a real family affair on the Young Emmets team is Joe McCormack, a son of the team manager Tommy who is working with a talented young squad that went through the league stage unbeaten after winning all four games in fairly emphatic fashion.
But Killoe are now facing their most difficult task so far and the biggest threat is the powerful Abbeylara full-forward Niall Sheridan who is capable of causing havoc if he receives a proper supply of the ball and much will depend on the midfield pairing of Derek Smyth and Arthur O’Connor making a big impact.
Alongside Sheridan is Robbie Smyth, who has the potential to clock up the vital scores, and while Abbeylara manager Donal Ledwith will be quietly confident that his charges can come out on top the vote goes to a fancied Killoe side to make further progress.
Predicting the eventual outcome in the other quarter-final tie involving Colmcille and Dromard is a close call, to say the least, and a draw materialised when the neighbouring clubs clashed in the league stage of the championship a few weeks ago.
Colmcille are going well under the guidance of Gary Brady and won their other three games in the current campaign with a eight-point victory over Abbeylara in their opening fixture a most significant result.
If they could repeat that performance then Colmcille will be hard beaten and will be hoping that the McKeon brothers Barry and Paul can make their presence felt up front alongside another dangerous forward in Declan Farrell – all of whom are capable of making it extremely difficult for the Dromard defence.
Other key figures on the Colmcille team are county defenders Declan Reilly and Noel Farrell and the probable midfield pairing of John Paul Reilly and Enda Farrell while Dromard will be depending on big performances from their main men Diarmuid Masterson, Cian Mimnagh, Jamsie Martin and Francis McGee in their quest to qualify for a semi-final showdown against Killoe or Abbeylara.
Masterson will feature at centre-half-back or centrefield while Mimnagh, Martin and McGee usually account for the bulk of the Dromard scores and will need to do the same again in the bid to reach the last four.
With influential coach Ciaran Fox in charge, the experienced Dromard side could prove to be a tough nut to crack in the battle for the county title but Colmcille may just have the edge in a very intriguing game with little separating the sides in the finish and do not rule out another draw.
Abbeylara v Killoe Young Emmets
Colmcille v Dromard