The weekend could see things sorted out in section A if Killala and Kilmaine are able to pick up the points on the road leaving both sides to battle it out for top spot in the table on the final day. Last year’s beaten finalists gave Tourmakeady a 10-point trimming in the first round, while Killala had enough to hold of Hollymount by two points in their first game. This weekend sees Killala make their way to Tourmakeady for a do or die battle for the Gaeltacht men. Tourmakeady would have fancied their chances of coming out of Kilmaine with some points on the board last time out and came home with their tail between their legs, so they will be all guns blazing on Saturday to take the points. Despite having a win in the bag already, Tourmakeady should take this one.
Last year’s beaten finalists will have been very happy with their win over Tourmakeady, and will be chomping at the bit to get the two points to guarantee their progression to the next round. Standing in Kilmaine’s way are the wily veterans of Hollymount. The men from St Coman’s Park will be throwing everything at Kilmaine to ensure they have something to play for come the last round of games. So don’t be surprised to see all sides sitting on two points each with a game to play and everything up in the air come the last day of the group stages.
East and north come together over the weekend
Sunday’s game on the Galway border is the one to watch in section two. Both sides picked up wins in the first round, but Belmullet look to have the better shot at going for the title come autumn. They easily accounted for Crossmolina Deel Rovers B in the first round, with Billy Joe Padden in fine scoring form. Last year the men from Erris got to the semi-final of the competition will be going hard to go one better this year.
Davitts were three point winners over Swinford the last time and despite home advantage on Sunday, it will be tricky for them to make it two out of two. Colm Boyle will be a key player for them on Sunday and he will need to be on his toes and marshalling the rest of his defence very well to hold off the Belmullet challenge.
The other game in the section sees Crossmolina B team host Swinford on Sunday, neither side will be expected to make it through to the knock out rounds, but with the two favourites for progression facing each other, which ever side wins on Sunday will be involved in an interesting final day tussle for a potential place in the last eight. Swinford should pick up the points and with the likes of Aiden Campbell, David Heaney and John Carney in their side, they should have enough to see off the Deel Rovers men.
Westport to make progress
Westport went into last year’s championship as favourites but failed to deliver at the end and the tag has been put on them again this season. They had six points to spare over Ballyhaunis at the start of the championship and head north this weekend to take on Bonniconlon. On paper Westport should take the points, but they have not worn the favourite tags well since dropping down from senior and with a number of injury worries Martain Connolly and his management team will be wary of what lies ahead. Bonniconlon could and should have beaten Achill the first day, but a lapse in concentration saw the islanders peg them back at the end to take the points. And they will be itching to put things right on Sunday. Achill will be looking to book their own place in the last eight when they head to the mainland and make the trip to Ballyhaunis. This will be the second year in a row that these sides have met in championship action and a little rivalry could be brewing. Form looks to be against Ballyhaunis, but home advantage could become decisive if things get close near the end, that said Achill should have the edge if they can keep their nerve and close down the Ballyhaunis attack at source. It should be a close one, but the islanders could be very happy going home on Saturday night.
Time for someone to grasp the advantage
The final group in the intermediate championship sees Cill Chomain lead the way at the top thanks to their recent win over Louisburgh, with Mayo Gaels and Kilmeena sitting together on a point each after their draw in the first round. Louisburgh know that they must get something out of this weekend’s game away to Kilmeena if they are to have any chance of staying involved in the competition. This is one that could go right down to the wire with Kilmeena knowing that defeat would seriously dent their own chances of making a fist of getting to the last eight. Mistakes will be costly and both sides will have to be on their feet.
The other game sees Mayo Gaels head to Glenamoy to take on Cill Chomain in what will be a tough encounter for the south Mayo club. Mayo Gaels performed very well in their first round clash with Kilmeena to come out with a point following a 0-14 all thriller. While Cill Chomain put three goals past Louisburgh in the process of recording a four point win. Many thought the north Mayo men would struggle this year, but if they can reproduce that kind of performance, they may have just to much for Mayo Gaels on the day .