The focus returns to the club football scene in Galway this weekend with a full round of fixtures taking place, and the results will provide a strong indication of how each of the groups is shaping up in terms of qualification and relegation.
An Spidéal v Killererin – Friday August 9, Pearse Stadium 7.45pm
Group 1 of the football championship looks to be the most unpredictable. There is no clear dominant team in the group. The first game to take place in this group is on Friday evening where Killererin take on An Spidéal in Pearse Stadium. The intermediate champions of last season will be favourites for this tie, but nothing can be taken for granted. Killererin showed their spirit in their opening round draw with Milltown only to run up two points short against Salthill-Knocknacarra the following day out. As usual An Spidéal will be looking to their young hotshots in the form of the O’Laoi brothers Antaine and Finnian. This firepower should be enough to get them the two points.
Barna v Milltown – Saturday August 10, Tuam Stadium 2.15pm
Both of these sides are seeking their first victory in this year's championship. Milltown have drawn one and lost the other, whereas Barna have drawn their first two games. Milltown will be hoping to draw inspiration from Liam Costello, whose pace and trickery caught the eye for the Galway u20s. Despite their poor start to the campaign, Milltown should have enough experience to get over the line.
St Michael’s v Salthill-Knocknacarra – Saturday August 10, Moycullen 2.45pm
There will be a clearer picture of which will be the first team to qualify from group 1 after the top-of-the-table clash between these two sides. On paper the seasiders would be much more fancied, but St Michael's have shown in their two championship fixtures and throughout the league that they are no pushovers. There will not be much to split these two.
Annaghdown v Corofin – Friday August 9, Tuam Stadium 7.30pm
This fierce rivalry between these two neighbours is to be renewed on Friday evening, though it will lack the same vigour as previous years. Annaghdown sit bottom of this group with zero points and face the daunting task of challenging the All-Ireland champions. It is hard to look past anything but a Corofin win here.
Tuam Stars v Naomh Anna, Leitir Móir – Saturday August 10, Clonbur 3.45pm
Tuam will be hoping to boost their qualification hopes with victory over the basement side from Connemara. Tuam were impressive in their last outing against Annaghdown with Conor Rhatigan strong in the engine room. They also ran Corofin close in the opening round and will be looking to build some momentum towards the business end of the group stages.
Claregalway v St James – Saturday August 10, Kenny Park 7.30pm
Claregalway will be hoping to continue their impressive form this Saturday evening. Two wins from two has them in a strong position to qualify from the group, and another win on Saturday evening will give them great confidence. The Jimmies looked depleted against Corofin and will be looking to put in a stronger performance this time round.
Moycullen v Mountbellew-Moylough – Saturday August 10, Pearse Stadium 4pm
Last year’s finalists appear to be the only clear challengers to Corofin’s crown and lead the way in group 3. They will be hotly fancied again this weekend, but it should not be forgotten that Moycullen took them to extra time in last year's quarter final. This should be the pick of the games from the weekend.
Monivea-Abbey v An Cheathrú Rua – Saturday August 10, Pearse Stadium 5.45pm
Monivea-Abbey were impressive last round in their win against Moycullen with Galway flier Cillian McDaid very much to the fore. An Cheathrú Rua were unlucky in defeat against Killanin and will be hoping they can pick up some points in Pearse Stadium.
Caherlistrane v Killanin – Saturday August 10, Kenny Park 5.45pm
Killanin will be hoping to push up the table this coming Saturday with a win against a struggling Caherlistrane side. Leading from the back for Killanin will be Ruairi Greene and Cathal Sweeney, who will be hoping to take advantage of the Caherlistrane side reeling from the retirement of their marquee forward Cormac Bane.