Fianna up to test?
The match which many people feel may well determine the destiny of the O’Neill Cup stands out as the highlight of this week’s championship programme with Coalisland Fianna’s title credentials to be seriously tested by Carrickmore at Plunkett Park in Pomeroy, writes Seamus Donnelly.
Friday September 7
Healy Park, Omagh
Galbally v Gortin
Gortin were impressive first round winners and will fancy their chances of advancing to the Intermediate semi final when they take on inconsistent Galbally.
The Pearses accounted for Clann na Gael in the opening round but may find Gortin a sterner test especially a forward line that includes Diarmuid McNulty, Kevin Mossey and Paddy Northern.
Galbally were finalist last year and that experience will undoubtedly help them if and when the game is in the melting pot. But Gortin’s superior fire power may just shade it.
Times Tip: Gortin
Cookstown v Loughmacrory
Loughmacrory’s confidence will undoubtedly have been boosted by a first round victory over Pomeroy but they will run into a stiffer task when they meet the Fr Rock’s on Friday night.
Cookstown were cruising early in the second half against Augher before overcoming a late scare as the Clogher Valley side launched a late fightback.
The Fr Rocks will be hoping that Owen Mulligan can play some part but in James McGahan they have a very able deputy.
Even without Mulligan one would have to favour an in form Cookstown to have too much class for Loughmacrory.
Times Tip: Cookstown
Saturday September 8
Plunkett Park, Pomeroy
Brackaville v Brocagh
Perhaps the two most inform sides in the Junior division clash in one of the ties of the weekend at Pomeroy.
Brocagh dug deep to see of both Fintona and Clogher and they will need to dig deep again if they are to beat a Brackaville side who have gone unbeaten all season.
Brackaville have managed to blend youth seamlessly with experience and will hope young stars Rian McHugh and Che O’Donnell can help them into a Junior final.
Times Tip: Brackaville
Coalisland v Carrickmore
The pick of the quarter final ties in the senior championship sees a repeat of the 2010 county final with Carrickmore out for revenge.
Carmen have went quietly but effectively about their business in the league and will fancy their chances of springing an upset on a fancied Coalisland side.
The Fianna struggled to shake off Greencastle in the opening round and will need to up their game considerably if they want to repeat their 2010 heroics.
Coalisland have a settled side and may just have too much strength in the middle third for Carrickmore.
Times Tip: Coalisland
Sunday September 9
Aghaloo v Glenelly
Of the teams remaining in the Junior Championship Aghaloo have probably had the toughest passage to this stage and they enter Saturday’s game as favourites.
With four teenagers in a forward line that includes veteran Stephen Donnelly, the O’Neills showed plenty of youthful exuberence when accounting for Newtownstewart.
Glenelly will be hoping that Seamus Harkin continues his fine run of form in front of goal but Aghaloo should just shade this tussle.
Times Tip: Aghaloo
Omagh v Errigal Ciaran
Omagh showed plenty of heart to dig out a win against Clonoe coming from seven points down in the first tie to force a draw before squeezing through the replay.
The battlehardened St Enda’s will however be without the services of midfield duo Joe McMahon and Conor Starrs for this last eight tie.
Errigal have went about their business in a low key manner this year and with Peter Harte, Aidan McCrory and Enda McGinley available to them they have the tools to beat anyone.
There won’t be anymore than a kick of the ball between the sides at the end of the game but it’s a game that Errigal might just shade.
Times Tip: Errigal Ciaran
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Weather for Dungannon
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: South west