Down to last 8

Down to last 8

6 October 2021

THE quarter-final draws for this year’s Down football championships have been made with reigning senior champions Kilcoo facing Carryduff in a mouthwatering repeat of last year’s final.

The Belfast side managed to overcome Longstone in their third round clash by a margin of five points to book their place in this Saturday’s eagerly-awaited fixture. The throw-in is 5pm at Páirc Esler.

The Senior Championship contests continue on Sunday when Downpatrick face perhaps their toughest battle to date as they meet a strong Clonduff side.

The Yellas advanced to the quarters after a convincing victory over a fancied Warrenpoint side that has firmly placed themselves back on the radar of the remaining teams.

However, Aidan Robinson’s Downpatrick have proven they very much belong in the last eight after notable wins over Carryduff and Longstone. This one is scheduled for a 3pm start at Páirc Esler.

Sunday’s action concludes with Burren going toe-to-toe with Mayobridge, also in Newry at 7.15pm.

Despite a shaky start to their campaign, The Bridge reached the quarters after disposing of Bredagh in their third round tie.

Glenn meet Ballyholland in the remaining senior quarter-final match next Monday evening at Páirc Esler, with this fixture also having a 7.15pm throw-in.

The Newry side moved on to the next stage of the competition after defeating Castlewellan by two points on Monday, in a game where The Town will rue their missed opportunities in front of goal.

Meanwhile Saul have drawn Rostrevor whilst Loughinisland will meet Bryansford in their respective senior relegation playoff ties.

Saul have endured a torrid campaign in their first season back in the big leagues mainly thanks to the stiff competition they faced in Burren and Carryduff.

They will be hoping to salvage their senior status sooner rather than later at the Castlewellan venue this Sunday at 1pm.

Whereas Jody Gormley’s Loughinisland will also hope to retain their status after they tasted defeat at the hands of both Ballyholland and Mayobridge.

The Blues have a chance to right their wrongs after they surrendered their lead in both rounds to their opponents at vital stages of the game. They face tough opposition in Bryansford, who just haven’t seemed to hit the ground running this campaign. 

Following losses to Glenn and Warrenpoint, Bryansford will be hoping for a much better team performance this Sunday in the St John’s venue at 1pm.

In intermediate action, the relegation play-offs kick-start on Friday night when Bright meet St John Bosco in Liatroim. 

Bright are hoping to put their losses from their opening two fixtures, including diminishing a nine-point lead to Tullylish in the first round and failing to overcome St Paul’s, behind them to ensure they don’t fall into the depths of junior football.

Elsewhere in Kilcoo, Dromara will face St John’s also on Friday at 7.15pm. Both of these local sides are hoping to experience the highs of the championship after being on the receiving end of the unfavourable outcomes in their openers.

Dromara fell disappointedly short against Clann na Banna in their first round tie before Saval plunged them into the relegation battle.

St John’s came agonisingly close to progressing to the third round to fight for a spot in the quarters, but now find themselves in the same position as Dromara after Newry Shamrocks overcame the Johnnies by just one point.

The local intermediate quarter-final action begins on Saturday when Darragh Cross meet Tullylish in Downpatrick at 3pm.

The Cross managed to bounce back in style in their third round clash as they overcame Newry Shamrocks by a comfortable nine points after losing their second round tie to Liatroim.

Liatroim will face Drumgath in the other local action on Sunday in Kilcoo, with the throw-in scheduled for 3pm.

Finally in Junior Championship action, Aughlisnafin meet Kilclief in Bright at 1pm on Saturday, in what is promised to be a really entertaining affair. 

After both teams overcame Teconnaught in their openers, it’s clear that either of these teams could progress to promotion glory.

Also on Saturday, Dundrum will meet Ardglass in Ballykinlar in a repeat of their opening round tie. Ardglass bounced back after their initial defeat with a win over Aghaderg, although Dundrum must be considered favourites after they bettered their opponents a few weeks ago.

The junior action concludes on Sunday when Drumaness face Glasdrumman in Ballykinlar at 1pm.

Drumaness managed to progress to the quarters after they comfortably disposed of St Michael’s in their last round fixture.