Football

Lay of the land: St John's in grave danger in Antrim as Naomh Conaill and Eunan's meet again in Donegal

Crossmaglen's campaign in Armagh opened with a draw against Clan na Gael.
Crossmaglen's campaign in Armagh opened with a draw against Clan na Gael. Crossmaglen's campaign in Armagh opened with a draw against Clan na Gael.

Antrim


ST John’s are in danger of being the first big faller in Antrim unless they can win in Cargin on Friday night.


Defeat would eliminate them and even victory might not be enough if Rossa, who face Tír na nÓg, can overcome the three-point inferiority they have in terms of score difference going into the games.


Aghagallon and Moneyglass face a straight shootout in group four on Sunday evening, with the winner qualifying alongside St Brigid’s, who have beaten both in one of the two groups of three.


St Gall’s are already gone having lost their opening two games to Dunloy and Creggan, who meet on Sunday in a dead-rubber.


After losing to Lamh Dhearg, Portglenone are in dangerous territory too. They host neighbours Ahoghill, who are out barring a freak set of results, on Saturday evening.


If the Lámhs beat St Enda’s it uncomplicates the thing but a win for the Glengormley men and Portglenone would create a three-way tie that would come down to score difference, where it’s currently Lamh Dhearg +9, St Enda’s +6 and Portglenone +1.


Friday: Cargin v St John’s, Rossa v Tir na nÓg


Saturday: Lamh Dhearg v St Enda’s, Ahoghill v Portglenone


Sunday: Dunloy v Creggan, Moneyglass v Aghagallon


Who's through: Cargin, Creggan, Dunloy, St Brigid’s


Who's out: St Gall’s, Ahoghill (effectively)


Armagh


THE first round of group games took place at the weekend, where Clan na Gael’s draw with Crossmaglen and Ballymacnab’s win over Maghery were the standout results.


Round two takes place this weekend with the Maghery-Killeavy tie jumping off the page. The 2020 champions would almost certainly be eliminated unless they take something off the league champions.


Silverbridge travel to Armagh Harps on Friday night for a pivotal game in Group C. The ‘Bridge lost to Madden at the weekend while the Harps beat Shane O’Neills.


Crossmaglen’s campaign continues away to Sarsfields in the Sunday evening tie.


Friday: Armagh Harps v Silverbridge


Saturday: Grange v Clann Eireann, Shane O’Neills v Madden, Granemore v St Peter’s


Sunday: Mullaghbawn v Clan na Gael, Maghery v Killeavy, Ballymacnab v Dromintee, Sarsfields v Crossmaglen


Cavan


CROSSERLOUGH and Kingscourt were the victors in the two big games of the opening round but it will be at least another week, probably two, until things take proper shape in Cavan.


Laragh United, top of the 12-team table after a big win over Lavey, face Crosserlough this weekend. There’s no real standout tie in the round two draw that sees Cavan Gaels take on last year’s beaten finalists Killygarry and holders Gowna face Lavey.


This weekend: Kingscourt v Ballinagh, Lacken v Castlerahan, Mullahoran v Ramor, Lavey v Gowna, Crosserlough v Laragh, Cavan Gaels v Killygarry


Derry


AFTER a week’s break for hurling, it’s back to football action in the Oak Leaf county, with Slaughtneil needing to find their feet a bit after taking just a point from their opening two games against Steelstown and Magherafelt.


They host Ballinderry on Saturday, while Loup – unlucky in their first two outings - host Steelstown in an intriguing tie and Ballinascreen and Lavey renew acquaintances after their recent relegation playoff in the league, won against the odds by ‘Screen.


Glen, without Conor Glass, have won two from two and face an Eoghan Rua side in need of a win to keep their top-four hopes alive in the seven-team Group A.


Saturday: Ballinascreen v Lavey, Loup v Steelstown, Slaughtneil v Ballinderry


Sunday: Dungiven v Swatragh, Eoghan Rua v Glen, Kilrea v Newbridge


Donegal


THERE’LL be an element of shadow boxing in Davy Brennan Park on Sunday afternoon when Naomh Conaill and St Eunan’s meet in an early repeat of last year’s controversial final.


The Glenties men won that one but there’ll be no tears shed either way this weekend with both likely to qualify in the top four spots of a 16-team format.


St Michael’s host Kilcar in the other game of note but it’s very early days in the format that they have, with 12 of the 16 teams staying alive after four games each.


Saturday: Aodh Ruadh v Gaoth Dobhair, St Naul’s v Glenswilly, St Michael’s v Kilcar, Sean MacCumhaills v Killybegs


Sunday: Cloughaneely v Milford, Ardara v Glenfin, Dungloe v Four Masters, Naomh Conaill v St Eunan’s


Down


YOU have to give them one thing, Down know how to make a weekend last. Their opening round of championship fare runs over the five days as standard, starting with Saul v RGU Downpatrick on Thursday and ending with the big clash of holders Kilcoo and league champions Carryduff on Monday night.


Warrenpoint face Burren in another heavyweight encounter on Sunday evening while Mayobridge-Bryansford and Ballyholland-Loughinisland should be worth a look too.


The back-door element means nobody will be eliminated this weekend.


Thursday: Saul v Downpatrick


Friday: Bredagh v Clonduff, Bredagh v Clonduff


Saturday: Mayobridge v Bryansford


Sunday: Glenn v Saval, Longstone v Castlewellan, Warrenpoint v Burren


Monday: Carryduff v Kilcoo


Fermanagh


THE league final between Derrygonnelly and Kinawley takes place this weekend but the seedings, and draw, for the championship are already complete.


Based on finishing positions in the league, with first, fourth, fifth and eighth in one group and second, third, sixth and seventh in the other, the league final itself is irrelevant to the draw.


Derrygonnelly, who won all nine league games, are in with last year’s beaten finalists Erne Gaels, Belnaleck and Roslea, while holders Enniskillen Gaels will face Kinawley, Ederney and Devenish in Group B.


Games start on the weekend of September 10.


Monaghan


HOLDERS Ballybay are winless after two games, beaten heavily by Aughnamullen at the weekend, and could find themselves in a real mess if they fail to get something out of Sunday’s tie with Latton.


Hot favourites Scotstown, after a miserable league, were beaten by Inniskeen in their first game too. They face a Donaghmoyne side that had victory over Clontibret snatched away by Conor McManus’ penalty six minutes into stoppage time.


Half the teams are two rounds in out of four, meaning nothing is settled yet, but Truagh could do with a result against Aughnamullen this weekend.


Saturday: Inniskeen v Donaghmoyne, Aughnamullen v Truagh


Sunday: Scotstown v Magheracloone, Latton v Ballybay




Tyrone


CHAMPIONSHIP football is still a few weeks away but they’re in the thick of sorting things out in the league. Carrickmore went top but Dromore are in action on Monday night and would go back to the summit with a win over Omagh. Third and fourth play off in Killyclogher too with the hosts facing Trillick.


At the bottom Edendork were the week’s big winners, seeing off Donaghmore and Loughmacrory to create some daylight between them and the bottom three, although they face Coalisland this weekend in a decisive game.


It’s bottom team down and 14th v 15th in a playoff, with Moortown, Coalisland and Greencastle occupying those positions at the minute.