GAA Football

Antrim SFC state of play as groups reach climax

Cargin manager Damien Cassidy are aiming for four in a row this year and remain unbeaten in the group stages of the Antrim SFC Picture: Seamus Loughran
DAVID MOHAN

AFTER a short break, the Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship resumes on Sunday with round five of six in the round robin section as clubs bid to make it through to the knockout phase.

With the top two in each of the four groups reaching the quarter-finals, there may be a little more clarity as to who will advance by full-time.

In Group One, defending champions Cargin look well on course and they will guarantee a quarter-final and top spot should they overcome Rossa on home turf to maintain their 100 per cent record.

St John's will be fancied to score a home win over Moneyglass to leapfrog Rossa - who are ahead on scoring difference - and leave it an interesting final day with the Johnnies at Cargin who may already be through, with Rossa hoping for a favour should they defeat Moneyglass and it then comes down to scoring difference.

There is still the unlikely scenario that Cargin lose both games to the city clubs who both also defeat Moneyglass to leave it a three-way tie and again, it will be scoring difference to decide.

Moneyglass aren't quite out of it, but would need to win their final two games and hope for Cargin to defeat both Rossa and St John's to leave three teams on four points although with a massive scoring disadvantage, there would likely need all games to be decided by big margins for the St Ergnat's men to complete the great escape.

Group Two is one of two with three teams and St Brigid's can guarantee themselves a quarter-final and first place with a win at Ahoghill on Sunday.

Victory for the hosts would leave them level on points with the south Belfast club with Portglenone - who have the bye on Sunday - able to make it a three-way tie should they win their last game against Ahoghill. Even a defeat for Ahoghill wouldn't spell the end as it would then come down to that last game against their neighbours.

Group Three has a 'group of death' feel to it with three teams all vying for two places.

Aldergrove are eliminated and they host and Aghagallon side who sit two points behind joint-leaders Lámh Dhearg and Naomh Éanna who meet at Hannahstown on Sunday.

A win for the Red Hands would send them through as they would be, at worst, two clear of Naomh Éanna and Aldergrove who meet on the final day, but should the Glengormley club once against defeat the Lámhs with Aghagallon overcoming Aldergrove, then it leaves things delicately poised and the potential of a three-way tie at the top with again, scoring difference coming into play.

Group Four, another of three teams, is the most straightforward as Creggan, who enjoy a bye on Sunday, have already wrapped up to spot.

Second place is still on offer and St Gall's will assure themselves of that if they get the better of Gort na Móna at De La Salle Park.

A draw would keep the Gorts in the hunt, but it would leave them needing a 19-point win over Creggan in the final game to overtake St Gall's on head-to-head.

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GAA Football