Eddie Noonan on the ball for Ballymahon in his attempt to evade the challenge of Fr Manning Gaels opponent Mark Hughes in the Senior Football Championship first round game. Pic: Declan Gilmore
Following a rather low key start to the 2017 Senior Football Championship with the opening round fixtures in Group 3, all bar St Brigid’s will be in Connolly Cup action on a packed programme this weekend.
Killashee made it tough enough for Granard in the first round clash at Emmet Park on Saturday evening last and despite conceding a goal in the early stages of the game last year’s Intermediate champions only trailed by a point at half-time.
St Mary’s gradually asserted their superiority on the changeover and after brave St Brigid’s suffered an own goal misfortune midway through the second half they faded out of contention to lose by 2-10 to 0-10 in the finish.
In the other Group 3 game at Keenan Park, a well struck point from the boot of substitute Eoin Keane with time almost up earned Fr Manning Gaels a draw (1-9 to 1-9) against Ballymahon who had led by 1-6 to 1-3 at the break.
Title holders Mullinalaghta St Columba’s enter the championship arena this Saturday evening when they take on Longford Slashers at Higginstown while the 2015 county champions Killoe Emmet Og face Dromard at Allen Park on Sunday evening.
Mostrim and Clonguish will kick-off the feast of football this weekend at Maguire Park on Friday evening while Abbeylara, the beaten finalists for the last two years, confront Carrickedmond in Granard on Saturday.
Six senior and four intermediate matches are scheduled to be played at six different venues, involving a total of 21 clubs when you include the Ardagh/Moydow amalgamation.
You can read all about the predictions in a special 2017 Longford GAA Championship football preview supplement inside this week’s Leader.