The coveted Connolly Cup
The final round of fixtures in the group stage of the senior football championship are down for decision this weekend in the battle to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Already through to the last eight are Mullinalaghta, Killoe, Abbeylara and Colmcille with Dromard also making further progress due to their superior scores difference.
Clonguish are also in a strong position to reach the knock-out stages but need at least a draw against Granard to make absolutely certain.
St Mary’s have suffered heavy defeats against Mullinalaghta and Dromard in Group 1 by the combined margin of 26 points but they still have a glimmer of hope.
Should Granard ever happen to score a surprise win over Clonguish at Moran Park on Sunday evening (7pm) they will then be hoping that Dromard can manage to achieve a positive result against Mullinalaghta at McGee Park.
But that scenario is highly unlikely to materialise with Clonguish strongly fancied to beat St Mary’s.
That leaves just two more places to be filled in the quarter-finals and while a draw will be good enough for Mostrim in their Group 2 clash against Carrickedmond at Allen Park on Saturday evening (7pm), the Edgeworthstown side are in fine form at the moment and should come out on top.
It is the same situation in Group 3 and while Slashers can take nothing for granted against Rathcline in Newtowncashel on Friday evening (7.45pm) the sky-blues should be good enough to get the result they require to reach the quarter-finals.
Last year’s Intermediate champions Rathcline suffered a demoralising heavy defeat against Colmcille in the previous round but will be going all out to make amends under the guidance of former Slashers supremo Denis Connerton.
There is nothing at stake in the Abbeylara v Killoe Group 2 game in Granard on Saturday evening with both sides through to the last eight.
But tense times for those teams on the brink of a championship exit and the fierce battle to avoid the relegation play-offs with two clubs dropping down to the Intermediate grade next season.
Group 2 in the Intermediate Championship is already settled with Fr Manning Gaels, Ardagh Moydow and Ballymore through to the knock-out stages.
Thus the focus is firmly fixed on the remaining games in Group 1 with Cashel facing a must win showdown against Sean Connolly’s at Allen Park on Saturday evening (6pm) in order to keep alive their hopes of a quarter-final spot.
St Brigid’s Killashee take on already qualified Ballymahon at the same time in Granard.
Scores difference could well be required to sort out a very tight situation with the eventual bottom team meeting Young Grattans in the relegation play-off.
SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 3 FIXTURES
Clonguish v Granard
Dromard v Mullinalaghta
Carrickedmond v Mostrim
Killoe v Abbeylara
Longford Slashers v Rathcline
The Open Draw for the SFC quarter-finals will be made after the Dromard v Mullinalaghta match at McGee Park on Sunday evening
INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 3 FIXTURES
Cashel v Sean Connolly’s
Ballymahon v Killashee
Ballymore v Ardagh Moydow
Prediction: Ardagh Moydow
Fr Manning Gaels v Young Grattans
Prediction: Fr Manning Gaels
WEEKEND COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS FIXTURES
Friday 9 August
Peter Hanley Motors Senior Football Championship Group 3 - Round 3
Newtowncashel, Páirc Chiarán: Rathcline v Longford Slashers, 7:45pm
Junior Football Championship Group 1 Round 2
Flood Park: Legan Sarsfields v Killoe Emmet Og, 8pm
Junior Football Championship Group 2 - Round 2
Allen Park: Clonguish v Kenagh, 8pm
Saturday 10 August
Peter Hanley Motors Senior Football Championship Group 2 - Round 3
Newtownforbes, Allen Park: Mostrim v Carrickedmond, 7.30pm
Granard, Higginstown: Killoe Emmet Og v Abbeylara, 7.30pm
Mulleady Group Intermediate Football Championship Group 1 Round 3
Allen Park: Cashel v Sean Connolly’s, 6pm
Higginstown: St Brigid's Killashee v Ballymahon, 6pm
Sunday 11 August
Peter Hanley Motors Senior Football Championship Group 1 - Round 3
Carrickedmond, Moran Park: St Mary's Granard v Clonguish, 7pm
Colmcille, McGee Park: Dromard v Mullinalaghta St Columba's, 7pm
Mulleady Group Intermediate Football Championship Round 3 - Group 2
Emmet Park: Young Grattans v Fr Manning Gaels, 2pm
Leo Casey Park: Ballymore v Ardagh Moydow, 2pm