Defining games loom in football championship

Defining games loom in football Naomh Anna Leitir Móir and St James open football proceedings in Group 1 this weekend with the Gaeltacht outfit desperate to a win after two successive defeats.

Having lost by just two points in both of games, the Connemara side needs to start turning solid performances into points on the board.

St James’ also put in a decent showing in defeat last time out versus Moycullen, and will want to keep their qualification hopes alive also with a win.

The second game in Group 1 is the clash of Milltown and Moycullen, both of whom sit at the top of the table with two wins each.

It is hard to see past a Moycullen victory, but they will have to bring their A-game to overcome a Milltown side in fine form.

The final game of the group is between Annaghdown and An Spidéal. Alan Glynn’s Annaghdown will be glad to have bagged their first win and will be confident of another on Sunday against a struggling An Spidéal. A victory would put them right back into the mix for a quarter-final spot.

Naomh Anna Leitir Móir v St James, 3.45pm Pearse Stadium (Sat 26 ) Milltown v Moycullen, 6.15pm Duggan Park (Sat 26 ) An Spidéal v Annaghdown, 3.15pm Pearse Stadium (Sun 27 ).

Group 2

Barna and Caherlistrane is the first game of Group 2 on Saturday afternoon Two consecutive draws for Barna has them in the middle of the table ahead of the weekend. If they are to have quarter-final ambitions, they more than likely need a win from this fixture.

Caherlistrane, meanwhile, are on zero points at the bottom of the table and will be really targeting this game for a victory. It could be a defining game for both team’s seasons.

The second fixture sees Oughterard and Corofin clash once again in the group stages. Corofin is the only team to have won both games in this group, but Oughterard can consider themselves extremely unlucky not to be in the same position. They coughed up a late lead against Barna a fortnight ago to draw, and suffered similar result against Caherlistrane in their previous fixture. Concentration in the latter stages will be a huge area of focus for Oughterard if they are to come out of this game with any points to show.

To wrap things up in Group 2 Killanin and Salthill-Knocknacarra meet on Sunday afternoon. Last year’s finalists have not had the best start to the season, but they will be looking to get things firmly back on track against Killannin who are winless. It should be a tight affair.

Barna v Caherlistrane, 4.15pm Tuam Stadium (Sat 26 ); Corofin v Oughterard, 5.30pm Pearse Stadium (Sat 26 ); Killanin v Salthill-Knocknacarra, 5pm Pearse Stadium (Sun 26 ).

Group 3

In group 3 this weekend it is Claregalway who has the bye and can rest after their win a fortnight ago over Tuam Stars who play St Michael’s.

It appears as though both teams' quarter-final hopes hinge on this weekend fixtures, with both coming off disappointing results. Expectations would have been much higher for Tuam Stars who lost to Claregalway, while St Michael’s were toothless in attack against Mountbellew-Moylough. It is set up to be a cracker.

The other game of the group is the meeting of Mountbellew-Moylough and Dunmore MacHales. Val Daly’s side should be too strong for Dunmore who have had to wait four weeks for their second game back at senior level. Whether that is a benefit or a hindrance will be seen on the pitch on Saturday evening.

St Michael’s v Tuam Stars, 4.30pm Duggan Park (Sat 26 ); Dunmore MacHales v Mountbellew/Moylough, 6pm Tuam Stadium (Sun 27 ).

Intermediate Fixtures

Group 1 Glenamaddy v Williamstown, 6pm Clonberne (Sat 26 ); St Brendan’s v An Cheathrú Rua, 1pm The Priarie (Sun 27 ) ).

Group 2: Clifden v Caltra, 2pm Moycullen (Sat 26 ); Corofin v Monivea-Abbey, 4.15pm Tuam Stadium (Sun 27 ).

Group 3: Cortoon Shamrocks v Kilconly, 1pm Milltown (Sun 27 ); Kilkerrin/Clonberne v Clg Mícheál Breathnach, 2.30pm Tuam Stadium (Sun 27 ).

Group 4: Killererin v Oranmore-Maree, 1.30pm Monivea (Sat 26 ); St Gabriels v Oileáin Árann, 4.30pm An Spideal (Sat 26 ).


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