Thursday, 17 April 2014

Vital Intermediate games this weekend

Roscommon Herald Intermediate Football Championship Quarter-finals


Seamus Duke 


St. Dominics v St. Ronans (in Elphin on Saturday at 3 pm - note change of venue)


If this game had been held three weeks ago I would be giving Dominics a confident thumbs-up to win fairly easily. However they were very poor against Fuerty and were lucky to win. They have not re-captured the form which saw them get to last year’s final, which is a big worry for them. They have loads of good players like Mark Miley, Michael Finneran, Conor Fallon Liam  Murray and plenty more who have loads of experience but they just havn’t put it together this summer so far for some reason.

  St. Ronans havn’t exectly set the world on fire this summer either. They were beaten by St. Croans but scraped past Ballinameen in a low scoring encounter. Gay Sheerin will have them firing on all cylinders for sure though. Mark Healy, Andy McPadden and Damiehn Kielty and others will have to raise their game massively if they are to be in contention here. 

I get the feeling that St. Dominics are a team short on confidence at the moment but they should be good enough to deal with the challenge of St. Ronans this weekend.

Prediction: St. Dominics

Bookies Odds: St. Dominics 4/5; St. Ronans 11/10. Draw 13/2.


Castlerea St. Kevins v Eire Og (in Ballinlough on Saturday at 6 pm)


Castlerea have been the surprise packets of this year’s Intermediate Championship and they have coasted into the quarter-final on the back of two excellent wins over  St. Michaels and Boyle. They have loads of good young players who tasted Junior success with this team a couple of years ago. On their best form they are a match for anyone in this championship and Eire Og will be well warned.

  Eire Og have been reasonably consistent so far and they beat Fuerty well before losing out narrowly to St. Dominics. They have plenty of good players too -- men like Ross Nolan, Barry Nolan, Paul Freeman and others who are top class at club level. 

  I have a suspicion that this might not be as easy as Eire Og might expect but I still think that they have the players to qualify for the semi-final.

Prediction: Eire Og.

Bookies Odds: Castlerea St. Kevins 1/1; Eire Og 1/1. Draw 7/1.


Roscommon Herald Intermediate Football Championship Relegation Play-offs


Ballinameen v Shannon Gaels (Saturday in Ballyfarnon at 6 pm)


It has been a poor year for Ballinameen, who have suffered with players out through injury and players who have gone away to work in the UK and further afield.  They were beaten by St. Ronans and St. Croans to land in this predicament.

  Shannon Gaels were very disappointed at how they did in the championship proper -- losing to Tulsk and Michael Glaveys. It may be a bit of a struggle but I expect The Gaels to survive.

Prediction: Shannon Gaels. 

Bookies Odds: Shannon Gaels 11/10; Ballinameen 5/6. Draw 6/1.


Boyle v Fuerty (Saturday in Tulsk at 2 pm)


Boyle’s slide down the ratings has been another surprise this championship summer. They have lost so many players since winning the Intermediate championship two years ago it has inevitably weakened them. Fuerty won last year’s junior championship and they almost caused a shock when  running St. Dominics to one point in the last round. The bookies odds strongly favour Boyle but if they are not ready to battle hard they could be caught by a Fuerty team that will give it everything. I have a suspicion that Boyle will just be good enough.

Prediction: Boyle. 

Bookies Odds: Boyle 2/7; Fuerty 3/1. Draw 10/1.


(All odds courtesy of First Choice Bookies, Castlerea)