Champions get defence off to an early start

A little bit earlier than some would have liked the Royal Theatre Senior Football Championship roars back into life for 2010 on Saturday evening. First up in the championship are the champions and the new kids on the block in the solitary five team group in Charlestown at 7pm on Saturday. West Mayo will bring the combined forces of Islandeady, Parke, Louisburgh, and Balla together under the guidance of Padraig Walsh to try to topple Ciaran McBrien’s men in the championship opener. Charlestown will go into the game as hot favourites, but they have been known to be slow starters in the championship, and this early outing could prove to be a tricky encounter if the amalgamated side manage to click on the field. Players like Ollie Feeney, Jarlath O’Malley, Peter Collins, Simon Cloherty, and Conor Walsh will be watched to show they have the class to make the step up from the junior ranks to senior football.

Charlestown have bags of experience but they will have to plan without veterans John Casey and David Tiernan who are injured, but after winning the championship last season after they lost the two previous finals they should have enough quality to see off the junior amalgamation.

Westport make long trip north

Fresh from winning last year’s intermediate title, Westport would have been hoping for an easier entry back into the ranks of senior football than having to travel to Kiltaine in the first round of the championship. It is never an easy task to go to Kiltaine and come away with any kind of result, especially in championship football but that is what Martin Connolly’s men will be looking to do. James Gill is out injured so it will fall to the younger stars of the club like Lee Keegan and Kevin Keane along with Damien Keane to lead the charge for the ‘Covies.

But Kiltaine have plenty of quality in their ranks, the likes of Mikie Sweeney, Shane Lindsey, and Edmund Barrett are all capable of putting in big performances in what will be a full blooded physical encounter with the home side which will go right down to the wire.


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