Football championship hots up with four quarter-finals

St James’ v Mountbellew/Moylough (Sat 6pm in Tuam Stadium )

In Tuam Stadium on Saturday evening (6pm ) the Jimmies will be hopeful of reaching a county semi-final after coming through a stern test from a determined Michael Breathnachs squad two weeks ago.

However, Mountbellew will be favourites for this match after dispatching Milltown with relative ease in the last round after struggling for form in the first two rounds of the championship.

The form and experience of Johnny Duane can’t be underestimated if the city side are to take down Michael Donnellan’s young troops.

As always the county players will be expected to prove their worth for their clubs so a shootout between the ever consistent Paul Conroy and rising stars Barry McHugh and Michael Daly would not be off the cards in this intriguing battle for a last four spot.

With Salthill/Knocknacarra out of the championship - the pressure will be on Mountbellew to show some of their potential, and start knocking on Corofin’s door like they have been at underage level for the last number of years.

It should be a close game and a draw is not beyond the realms of possibility. Shane Hehir is officiating at this game.

Corofin v Moycullen (Sat 6pm in Pearse Stadium )

A far stronger and more potent Moycullen side than the first championship game between these two sides last June should be capable of putting up more of a fight this weekend at Pearse Stadium on Saturday (6pm ).

Tommy Faherty is the man in the middle.

The Connemara side put up a courageous fight in the first half of that match in June - leading by two points at half time – however, they faded away in the second half when Corofin kicked into gear.

Since that game Moycullen have welcomed back Seán Kelly and Peter Cooke from the US, both of whom are a huge boost for Paul Clancy’s charges, adding to the pedigree of Gareth Bradshaw, David Wynne and Dessie Conneely and making them a formidable force.

Unfortunately Corofin’s strength in depth, system of play, experience and array of attacking options means that the only foreseeable outcome of this tie is yet another semi-final appearance for the champions.

After a dangerous scare against Salthill last weekend the pressure will be on Kevin O’Brien’s side to put in a consistent 60 minute performance and prove their worth as champions.

Assuming they don't take Moycullen for granted they should be too strong for the Connemara side.

Tuam v Monivea /Abbey (Sat 5.45pm in Kenny Park )

In Kenny Park at 5.45 on Saturday evening the Stars will fancy themselves in this quarter final after three successive wins so far.

Even with the losses of Dara O’Rourke (travelling ) and Galway captain Gary O’Donnell (injury ) they have the confidence in their squad to see themselves going through.

The return of Cormac McWalter from America is a much needed boost.

Monivea/Abbey would be seen by outsiders as doing well to get this far after last year’s promotion, but with two consecutive wins the confidence of this team will be very high.

Having both the Flaherty brothers back and not coming straight from a hurling match will be an added bonus for Monivea even if the two lads have no doubt deservedly enjoyed themselves following last weekend’s All-Ireland victory.

In what should be a really competitive game, both teams will believe that they can have more to say in the championship after this weekend. Kieran Quinn is on duty in this game.

Annadown v Naomh Anna, Leitir Mór (Sunday 3.45pm in Pearse Stadium )

In the last of the quarter finals which will be played in Pearse Stadium on Sunday afternoon (3.45pm ) with James Molloy in charge - all eyes will be on the battle between Damien Comer and Seán Andy O’Ceallaigh on the edge of the Leitir Móir square.

Nobody on either of these team would have much experience of playing at this stage of club championship, however, Annadown have looked mightily impressive so far under the guidance of Alan Flynn.

They were extremely professional in dispatching a very weak Killererin team in the first round and were impressive in holding on to their lead against a much fancied Mountbellew/Moylough team in the second round.

Having already come through three tough battles Leitir Mor will not be a team to lie down and will fight to the end whether the scoreboard is in their favour or not.

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