Championships getting serious

Championships getting serious

12 September 2018

KILCOO remain on target for a magical seven-in-a-row as the race for the Down Senior Football Championship crown starts to intensify.

Paul McIver’s record-breakers saw off Downpatrjck on a score of 2-14 to 0-10 in Newcastle on Saturday evening and now await the draw to see who they will meet in the semi-finals.

The draw was to have been made on Monday night following the clash between Loughinisland and Warrenpoint, but as that finished level at 0-9 apiece, the draw will now take place in St Malachy’s Park, Castlewellan, after Saturday’s replay.

Downpatrick were expected to push Kilcoo all the way in their quarter-final, but the threat never materialised.

Kilcoo had just too know how for Downpatrick and second half goals from Ceilum Doherty and a returning Ryan Johnston put the issue out of the RGU’s reach.

Joining Kilcoo in the semi-finals are Mayobridge and Burren with the fourth place waiting on the outcome of the Loughinisland v Warrenpoint replay.

Mayobridge were taken to the wire by Clonduff in their quarter-final tie and only emerged 2-16 to 2-15 winners after a mighty Clonduff fightback just fell short.

Burren had their hands full against Castlewellan on Sunday night, but they were able to spring Donal O’Hare from the bench and his contribution of three points at a crucial stage of the game proved decisive — Burren scraping home 0-10 to 0-7.

Coincidentally, despite the fact that the current system used for the SFC and IFC has been heavily criticised, the top four teams in Division 1 of the ACFL — should Warrenpoint go through — are all in the last four.

It is a similar case in the IFC with Bredagh, Liatroim and Darragh Cross — who were all expected to reach this stage of the competition — joining Division 3 leaders Saul in the semi-finals.

The IFC draw was made in Monday night and pits Darragh Cross against East Down rivals Liatroim with Saul clashing with Bredagh in another all East Down derby.

Darragh were extremely impressive in their 2-8 to 0-6 demolition of Drumgath in Kilcoo on Monday night, while Liatroim enjoyed a 2-17 to 0-12 win over Tullylish. Bredagh cruised to a 3-9 to 1-7 win over Annaclone and Saul upset the odds with a sensational 1-15 to 1-6 win over a fancied Ballymartin outfit in Newcastle. 

The JFC semi-finals draw was also made on Monday night and sees Ardglass take on Teconnaught, with Aughlisnafin facing the winners of tonight’s replay between Kilclief and Aghaderg in Castlewellan.

Ardglass displayed a great tactical awareness to get the better of Dromara on a 2-7 to 0-11 scoreline at Drumaness on Saturday and Teconnaught beat St Paul’s 3-16 to 0-11 after they produced a storming second half performance.

Aughlisnafin, as expected, edged out Newry Mitchels 1-13 to 2-7 at a wet and windy Mayobridge on Monday night and they will most certainly fancy their chances against either Kilclief or Aghaderg. The six semi-finals will be played over the weekend of September 28-30.

Meanwhile, Portaferry and Ballygalget lock horns on Saturday in a bid to join Ballycran in the Senior Hurling Championship decider. Ballycran beat Portaferry 1-15 to 0-11 on Saturday, but the Ports get a shot at redemption at McKenna Park this weekend.