GAA Football

Burren and Kilcoo set to face-off in Down SFC round two

Kilcoo's Jerome Johnston could return for their clash with Burren  
Sean Mahoney

WHILE the opening weekend may have been somewhat tepid, the second round of the Morgan Fuels Down Senior Club Football Championship is sure to catch the eye, with a number of mouth-watering clashes.

None more so than Sunday’s prime-time billing between the two heavyweights of Kilcoo and Burren. Bearing in mind the missing personnel from both teams, it was the draw neither team wanted, but a game many neutrals desired to bring the championship to life.

The Johnston brothers, Jerome and Ryan, are likely to make their long-awaited return from injury for the Magpies, whereas Donal O’Hare could return from America in time for Burren. While the Burren v Kilcoo clash is not do-or-die, there are a number knock-out games in the backdoor that will be certain to draw a crowd, including Ballyholland Harps against Glenn. The games take place on Sunday night in Newry’s Pairc Esler. Both Ballyholland and Glenn were in control of their games before coming undone in the last-quarter against Clonduff and Bryansford respectively.

Bryansford’s reward for that win is a tasty encounter against neighbours and fierce rivals Castlewellan, which takes place in Newry on Friday at 8pm. Bryanford’s confidence will be high following their rampant finish against Glenn, but Castlewellan should be capable of holding their own after easing past Loughinisland.

The curtain-raiser on Friday will be another meeting of neighbours when Mayobridge, who needed a late Ryan Brady point to oust Rostrevor, go head-to-head with Clonduff, with a 6.30pm throw-in. Clonduff are likely to start with big Arthur McConville after he bagged two goals as a substitute in the opening round. The Sky Blues will have Conor Garvey, Conleth O’Hare and Corey Quinn available for selection, while Benny Coulter remains an injury doubt at this early stage. The game between St Peter’s, Warrenpoint and Downpatrick will bring the curtain down on the second round of the championship on Monday (August 8), with an 8pm throw-in at Clonduff.

But before all that, Ballymartin have been given the tough task of facing Rostrevor on Thursday night, which comes only three days after they lost to Burren. The Reds should have the upper hand in this must-win-game and are expected to progress, while Saval have to pick themselves up after suffering a drubbing by Kilcoo before they play Longstone on Saturday at Atticall.

And in another in last chance saloon scenario, Annaclone take on Loughinisland in Castlewellan on Sunday.

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