2010 All-Ireland club champions St Gall’s, who are bidding for their 11th title in 12 years and their sixth consecutive county senior football crown, face Creggan in the quarter-finals of this season’s competition in Casement Park on Sunday evening at 6.45pm. The game is part of a double-header at the venue with O’Donovan Rossa facing St John’s at 5pm. The first quarter-final takes place tonight in Casement Park at 8.30pm as St Brigid’s play Ahoghill. Meanwhile Cargin play Rasharkin in Ahoghill at 2.45pm on Sunday afternoon.
Reigning county champions Crusheen, who are bidding for a three-in-a-row of titles this year, look on course to book a quarter-final spot after their 0-15 to 1-8 victory over Tulla in their Group 2 SAHC clash on Wednesday night. Crusheen, who lost out in the Munster club final against Limerick outfit Na Piarsaigh after a replay last December, only need a point from their final group game against Newmarket-on-Fergus, who top the group and secured their last eight berth on Wednesday night with a 1-14 to 1-11 win as Clare senior Colin Ryan starred by scoring 0-12.
First-half goals from Ger Arthur and Shane Griffin proved vital in helping Inagh-Kilnamona defeat Clarecastle by 2-11 to 0-15 in their Group 1 clash last night. They are now in pole position to reach the quarter-finals from that group and Kilmaley will join them if they beat Clooney-Quin tomorrow in Cusack Park at 5pm. In Group 3, Clonlara play Sixmilebridge tomorrow in Cusack Park at 6.30pm with a Clonlara victory ensuring themselves and 2009 champions Cratloe will reach the last eight.
In the SBHC, the side to emerge from Group 1 and reach the quarter-finals will be the winners of the tie between O’Callaghan Mills and Éire Óg Ennis, while a similar situation has arisen in Group 2 with the winners of Tubber and Scarriff destined to advance.
In the wake of their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway last week, the Cork hurling focus now switches to domestic matters. Tomorrow afternoon there is a glamour fourth round clash in Mallow at 6.30pm with 2009 champions Newtownshandrum, who can call on current county men Cathal Naughton and Jamie Coughlan, facing 2004 champions Na Piarsaigh, who have county representatives in Sean Óg Ó hAilpín, John Gardiner and Christopher Joyce.
Newtownshandrum player Cathal Naughton. Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Also in the fourth round Midleton, who have Cork attackers Luke O’Farrell and Conor Lehane in their side, face Avondhu in Ballynoe at 6.30pm. While in Páirc Uí Chaoimh tomorrow there are crunch clashes with the two relegation semi-finals of the senior hurling championship down for decision. Bride Rovers, who will field Brian Murphy, face Blackrock at 4.30pm while Paudie O’Sullivan’s Cloyne meet Patrick Horgan’s Glen Rovers at 6.30pm.
The four quarter-finals of the Galway senior football championship take place on Sunday afternoon with 2010 champions Killererin who have county players in Padraic Joyce and Tomas Fahy, facing Michael Breathnach, who have last year’s All-Ireland U21 winner Fiontain Ó Curraoin in their ranks, in Pearse Stadium at 2pm. That match precedes the meeting of An Cheathru Rua and 2006 All-Ireland club champions Salthill-Knocknacarra, who can call on Finian Hanley and Sean Armstrong, at 3.45pm.
The other two games take place in Tuam Stadium on Sunday with reigning champions Corofin, who have county players in Gary Sice, Greg Higgins, Kieran McGrath and Damien Burke, facing a St James team spearheaded by Johnny Duane and Paul Conroy at 5pm. Last year’s finalists Tuam Stars, with Gary O’Donnell and Conor Doherty their main men, face a Milltown team that will look to Mark Hehir, Diarmuid Blake and Michael Martin, in Tuam Stadium at 6.45pm.
The weekend championship action begins with tonight’s Group 2 clash as Drumcullen facing Tullamore in Moystown at 7.30pm. The remaining games in that group take place on Sunday night with Birr playing Shinrone in Carrig at 7pm while Belmont meet St Rynagh’s in Lusmagh at 7pm. Tomorrow evening at 7pm in Group 1, Kilcormac-Killoughey face Kinnitty in Tullamore, Seir Kieran play Shamrocks in Crinkle while this year’s All-Ireland club finalists Coolderry meet Brosna Gaels in Rath.
The first round of the Tyrone senior championship sees four games take place this weekend. Derrylaughan face Edendork, club of youngá county attacker Darren McCurry, at 5.30pm in Coalisland which will be followed by the meeting of Errigal Ciaran team, backboned by John Devine, Davy Harte, Peter Harte and Enda McGinley, and Moortown at 7pm. On Sunday in Errigal Ciaran at 3.30pm, Omagh with the McMahon brothers Joe and Justin in their ranks, face Clonoe. Later that evening at 7.30pm in Carrickmore, Dromore with Cathal McCarron, Ryan McMenamin and Ronan McNabb anchonring their challenge, face Eglish.
The group stages continue this weekend with three games down for decision tomorrow evening in Group A as Rathnure face Buffers Alley in Bellefield at 7pm, Faythe Harriers play Ferns St Aidan’s in Monamolin at 7pm while Glynn-Barntown play Shelmaliers in Wexford Park at 7pm.
On Sunday evening in Group B there are three games at 7pm with reigning champions Oulart-the-Ballagh playing Cloughbawn in Farmleigh Park, Rapparees facing St Anne’s Rathangan in Wexford Park while St Martin’s play Adamstown in Taghmon.