The intensity of club football goes up a few notches when the safety net is taken away and quarter-final places are at stake.
This weekend the race to win the Frank Fox Cup really heats up with eight attractive senior football championship knock-out games down for decision.
There are some interesting games which are well located at convenient times at Pearse Stadium and Tuam Stadium with two double headers on both Saturday evening and Sunday.
In Pearse Stadium on Saturday at 6pm Barna take on Annaghdown followed at 7.30pm by Tuam Stars and Micheal Breathnachs.
I have little doubt in going for Annaghdown to defeat Barna. With players like Frankie Burke, Niall and Mattias Coleman, Fergal O’ Doherty, Wesley Fallon, and Anthony Pender all going well, they should have far too much for Barna.
The second game is difficult to call. Micheal Breathnachs trounced Corofin four weeks ago and notched 1-13 with ease, but Tuam have been showing good form and are in great shape under the guidance of the energetic and experienced Alan Flynn. They are two of the fittest sides in the championship and it has the makings of one of the best games of the weekend. If pushed, I’d give a hesitant vote to Breathnachs.
Caltra and Caherlistrane to advance in Tuam Stadium
Also on Saturday in Tuam Stadium Caltra take on Claregalway at 6pm in a game they will be expected to win, and that tie is followed at 7.30pm by Caherlistrane and Mountbellew/Moylough.I would go for Pete Warren’s charges to advance in that tie.
On Sunday there are also two double headers well worth attending.
In Pearse Stadium at 3pm Moycullen and Killererin will do battle in what should be a great game. Both sides are down big players who have headed off for the summer to earn the yankee dollar and Killererin will need all Nicky and Padraig Joyce’s magic if they are to progress.
That game is followed at 4.45pm by Corofin and An Cheathru Rua.
Assuming the Corofin backs can keep tabs on Niall O’Briain and Ciaran De Paor, who scored 2-10 between them against St Brendan’s, you’d take the county champions to get back to winning ways.
In Tuam Stadium at 5pm it is St Brendan’s against Glenamaddy followed at 6.45pm by a potential cracker between Milltown and Salthill/Knocknacarra.
We fancy St Brendan’s to defeat Glen, and while it should be very close, the scoring potential of Sean Armstrong, Seamie Crowe, and Thomas Burke, allied to Barry Dooney, David Gilmartin, or John Boylan around the middle, and Finian Hanley (if recovered from injury ) at full-back, should see the seasiders into the last eight.
No doubt the likes of Cathal Blake, Darren Mullahy, Damien Brennan, Mark Hehir, Diarmuid Blake, and Ciaran Murphy will have another view on that matter.
Ray Silke’s high risk six team accumulator for the coming weekend:
Caherlistrane, Caltra, Annagdown, St Brendan’s, Salthill, and Corofin: