The Claregalway Hotel senior football championship really takes off this weekend with some clashes up for decision.
The game that stands out as in the “must attend” category is Killererin and Cortoon Shamrocks on Sunday in Tuam Stadium at 6.30pm.
Having watched Padraic Joyce in action twice against Moycullen in the club championship and last weekend for Galway against Mayo nobody would need a greater incentive to attend this tie. The man is in an unreal vein of form and how Cortoon deal with his threat will determine their chance of advancing.
Killererin will start as favourites and rightly so, however the loss of young Colin Forde is a big blow and if Nicky Joyce is also ruled out, then their margin of error will be diminished hugely. Cortoon are an ambitious bunch and they will feel that they have the forwards to cause the county champions some real trouble. Michael Martin, David Warde, and Derek Savage pack a punch and if they get enough supply they will do damage.
It might be worth a punt by Cortoon Shamrocks to double mark Padraic Joyce by dropping a forward back or at least to put a sticky corner back on him rather than a footballing centre-back as there will only be one winner in that contest. Based on his displays against Moycullen it is a case of if you stop Padraic you are a long way towards stopping Killererin. I look forward to seeing how the Cortoon management team lay out their team in an effort to do just that.
In the other ties I would fancy Tuam Stars to have too much for a youthful Killanin who are not going well. Caltra and Moycullen is a hard one to call and the dominance that county players Gareth Bradshaw and Mark Lydon bring to bear around the middle is difficult to counteract. Bradshaw’s hard running through the middle is a particularly difficult thing to stop.
If Declan Meehan is still out with his hamstring it will be a big boost to Sean O’ Dea’s side and if they can control the central diamond and stop ball getting into Michael Meehan they have a genuine chance of advancing.
County finalists Milltown take on Kilkerrin-Clonberne at Saturday evening in Tuam and it should be tight. You’d fancy Diarmuid Blake and Darren Mullahy to have the legs to drive Milltown on, particularly if Damien Dunleavy is still out for his side.
An Cheathrú should be too strong for Claregalway, although the meeting of Barry Cullinane and Seán Ó Domhnaill should be worth watching. If NUIG have most of their panel they should be too strong for Micheal Breathnach’s and despite going horribly in the league, you’d expect Salthill, especially if Westmeath star Damien Healy is available after their qualifier game with Tipperary on Saturday to pip Monivea.