In the most exciting and competitive round of the football championship fixtures to date this season, there was little to separate all of the teams. But, it still threw up a few shock results.
The most mouth-watering tie on paper for the weekend lived up to expectation in Pearse Stadium on Saturday evening as two of the favourites for the Frank Fox Cup, Moycullen and Corofin, collided.
Kevin Johnson’s Corofin had total control in the opening half, leading by 1-06 to 0-05, thanks to a Dylan Brady goal. However, the tables turned in the second half. Moycullen played like a team possessed in the second half as Dessie Conneely was in red hot form and produced a real captain's performance to give Moycullen a two-point victory.
Tuam Stars maintained their 100 per cent record on Friday evening by the skin of their teeth. They were pushed all the way to the finish line by Oughterard who are yet to get off the mark in group one despite two gritty performances against Tuam Stars and Moycullen.
Naomh Anna Leitir Móir got their first win back at senior level with an excellent 0-15 to 0-11 victory over An Spidéal. Last year's intermediate champions showed serious character to bounce back from their hammering against Corofin only a fortnight ago.
2021 champions Mountbellew-Moylough continue to lead the way in group two having eventually shaken off a strong Salthill-Knocknacarra side on Sunday evening in Tuam Stadium.
Conditions for football could not have been any better, and both teams produced some scintillating play in what was a highly entertaining affair.
Trailing by 1-08 to 0-05 with 10 minutes to play in the first half, the Seasiders scored 1-04 without response to go into the break a point ahead - Robert Finnerty having spearheaded all of Salthill-Knocknacarra’s good play.
Val Daly must have had harsh words at half-time as Mountbellew-Moylough tightened up at the back for the second half and eventually wore down their opponents. Eoin Finnerty and Barry McHugh’s scoring ability ensured the champions got the win in the end.
Annaghdown also recorded their first victory of the campaign as they resigned St James’ to another defeat on Saturday afternoon in Kenny Park. There was a share of the spoils for Barna and An Cheathrú Rua in Pearse Stadium on Sunday as Barna came from behind to claim a late draw.
There was drama on Friday evening as Milltown and Caherlistrane faced off in Tuam Stadium. It was a tough game with neither side taking a step back from the other as both are in a good position to make the quarter-finals.
The game entered added time with the scoreline level pegging, but neither side could take advantage of their opportunities to claim all two points.
St Michael’s, under the stewardship of Colm Tummon, are making good progress and picked up their second win of the championship over Killanin - Connal Gallagher grabbing the winning goal for the Westside based team.
Claregalway consigned Monivea-Abbey to their third consecutive defeat on Sunday afternoon as they claimed a two-point victory.
Group 1: Moycullen 1-14 Corofin 1-12; Tuam Stars 1-12 Oughterard 0-14; Naomh Anna Leitir Móir 0-15 An Spideal 0-11;
Group 2: Annaghdown 1-15 St James’ 0-12; Barna 0-10 An Cheathrú Rua 0-10; Mountbellew-Moylough 1-19 Salthill-Knocknacarra 1-14.
Group 3: Milltown 0-08 Caherlistrane 0-08; St Michaels 1-10 Killanin 1-08; Claregalway 1-11 Monivea-Abbey 0-12.
Galway IFC round three
The groups of the intermediate football championship are starting to take shape with many teams having already qualified for the quarter-finals with a game left to play. Some teams have established themselves as frontrunners for promotion to senior level with strong performances to date.
Corofin and Glenamaddy booked their places in the quarter-finals of the championship - the former having overcome Cortoon Shamrocks in a lively game in Kenny Park on Sunday afternoon.
Corofin missed a glut of goal chances in the first half which would have had them out of sight, but in the end they had more firepower than Cortoon Shamrocks, who are missing Adrian Varley and Joseph Donnellan.
Glenamaddy sent out a clear statement to the rest of the championship as the dished out a 22-point hammering to Moycullen. Moycullen have been weakened, having lost some players to the senior side, and it is now left to themselves and Cortoon Shamrocks to battle it out in a fortnight's time to avoid relegation, while Corofin and Glenamaddy will battle it out for top spot.
St Brendan’s are backing up last season’s strong showing having been promoted from the junior ranks with another string of impressive performances.
They followed up their opening round hammering of Caltra in a similar vein, running out nine point winners over Michéal Breathnach’s. This leaves St Brendan’s top of the pile with four points and guaranteed of the top spot in group two.
Michéal Breathnach’s and Caltra will meet in a fortnight’s time for a do-or-die fixture which will determine whether they make a quarter-final or their season ends. The head to head rule also means that Oranmore-Maree are facing a relegation battle for 2022.
Despite losing their talisman Shane Walsh, having transferred to Kilmacud Crokes, Kilkerrin Clonberne have shown all their battling qualities to maintain a 100 per cent record going into round three of the group stage.
They booked their place in the quarter-final thanks to a determined two-point win over Killererin on Friday evening. They will slug it out for top spot with Oiléain Árann, who made it two from two thanks to a hard-fought three-point victory over Headford on Saturday evening.
These results mean Killererin and Headford will be clashing in two weeks' time to avoid a relegation dogfight.
The fourth group of the intermediate championship follows a similar pattern to group one and group three. Kilconly and Dunmore MacHales both have four points on the board thanks to their respective wins over Williamstown and St Gabriel’s at the weekend.
Both Kilconly and Dunmore MacHales will have aspirations of gaining promotion this season. This sets it up nicely for their encounter in two weeks' time as both bid to gain the coveted top spot and a seeded draw for the quarter-final. It is a familiar story for St Gabriel’s as they are in a battle to avoid the relegation play-off with Williamstown.
Results: Group 1, Corofin 2-11 Cortoon Shamrocks, 0-11Glenamaddy 4-16 Moycullen 0-06.
Group 2, St Brendan’s 3-13 Michéal Breathnach 1-10; Caltra 2-09 Oranmore Maree 0-11.
Group 3, Kilkerrin-Clonberne 0-09 Killererin 0-07; Oileáin Árann 0-12 Headford 0-09.
Group 4 Dunmore MacHales 1-14 St Gabriel’s 0-08; Kilconly 1-12 Williamstown 1-05.