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  • GAA

Tight encounters expected in Intermediate quarter finals

Saturday, 29th August, 2020 11:02am
Tight encounters expected in Intermediate quarter finals
Tight encounters expected in Intermediate quarter finals

 

By Liam Hogan  

 

Gortnahoe/Glengoole v Ballinahinch in Borrisoleigh on Saturday at 1.30pm.

Ballinahinch reached the quarter final against all the odds following their third-round victory over Moyne-Templetuohy. Davy Gleeson’s injury time winner paved the way for a 1-19 to 0-21 win. Gleeson has become the leader in attack in recent years at a time when injuries are creating problems and with a small player base, it’s the last thing Ballinahinch need. Donnacha McGrath and Brendan Ryan didn’t play against Moyne but are recovering while Shane McGrath played through the pain barrier of a broken toe sustained against Drom & Inch. Wing back, Sean Ryan returned to action against Moyne also.

But when it comes to grit and true spirit, Ballinahinch have lots of it and at least they are a step further than last year. They face an up and coming Gortnahoe/Glengoole side. Always considered each year to feature in the concluding stages, Gortnahoe haven’t reached the knockout stages since 2017 when they lost the final to St. Mary’s. Incidentally, they played Ballinahinch twice that year, first in the group stage which went the way of the North men but later made amends in quarter final. Unbeaten so far thanks to a win over Kilsheelan and drawing with Golden they completed their group with a fifteen-point win over Moneygall. They have a full bill of health and youth could swing it their way. Verdict: Gortnahoe/Glengoole

 

Borrisokane v Boherlahan-Dualla at The Ragg on Saturday at 2.00pm

Unbeaten so far thanks to big wins over Carrick Davins and Galtee Rovers and a draw with Knockavilla Kickhams, Borrisokane are facing a youthful Boherlahan-Dualla side with confidence. Borrisokane have plenty scoring talent with Jack Larkin, Conor Ryan, Garry Ryan and Oisin Larkin on song every day. The evergreen Philip Austin, a winner of a county Intermediate medal in 2010 continues to torment every backline and has also scored most days. 

Boherlahan returned to Intermediate grade following their junior success in 2018 and reached the last eight in 2019 when losing to eventual champions Sean Treacys. So far this year the Mid side drew with Shannon Rovers in the first round in a game they should have won had they taken all their chances in the opening forty minutes. Losing to Ballybacon was not on the menu but they recovered well to defeat Cappawhite in round three. With plenty of skill and fast hands they look to their inspirational centre back in Darragh Hickey at centre back. Midfielder James O’Sullivan does well and other payers like Tomas Ryan, Fionn McCullagh and Euan Ryan have a bit of flair about them. It is a repeat pairing of last year’s group game which Borrisokane won 1-22 to 0-12. They should win again but the margin will be much smaller. Verdict: Borrisokane

 

Ballybacon/Grange v Knockavilla Kickhams in Bansha on Sunday at 2.30pm

On paper the best team in this year’s championship is Knockavilla Kickhams. Unbeaten so far, they completed their group stage with a draw against Borrisokane with a team led by Tipperary senior Ger Browne at centre back. Aaron Browne, a winner of an All-Ireland under 20 in 2019 is a great goalkeeper. Kieran Breen, Tipp minor & under 21 medal winner in 2016 & 2018 is a solid defender and with county minor Devon Ryan reliable on frees they all the ingredients of a good team.

Ballybacon/Grange won their first two matches over Cappawhite and Boherlahan, but they were caught by Shannon Rovers in their final group game. Already qualified they were not as sharp as one expected perhaps. On the day against Rovers they had to rely on Brendan Cummins for scores as the former Tipp custodian scored seven points from placed balls, the majority from the midfield area.

Last Sunday, their sister club Ardfinnan exited the County Senior Football championship when they lost to Loughmore. They operated without Brian Dillon, Aaron Lonergan and Gavin Whelan. Whelan received a hefty challenge (totally accidental) in the game against Shannon Rovers. Still Ballybacon will look on 2020 as bonus territory. They survived a relegation battle last year and that could be the best they can achieve. Verdict: Knockavilla Kickhams

 

Moyne-Templetuohy v Moneygall in Templemore on Sunday at 4.00pm.

Both teams were preliminary quarter final casualties last year with Moneygall as North champions falling to Golden Kilfeacle while Moyne Templetuohy lost to eventual champions Sean Treacys. Both sides will fancy their chances to advance this time round. 

Last day out Moyne were favourites but lost to Ballinahinch by a point. Injury problems continue to hinder preparations with James Bergin, Pierce Meade, Louis Everard and Diarmuid Leahy receiving treatment but Leahy did play against Ballinahinch and scored a point. 

Moneygall will want to get back on the horse following their last group stage loss, a fifteen-point defeat to Gortnahoe-Glengoole. It must be said that qualification was in the bag following their opening wins over Golden Kilfeacle 3-20 to 2-12 and against Kilsheelan 3-16 to 1-15. The size of the win over Golden was notable in that Golden reached last year’s semi-final. However, injuries to Joe & Sean Fogarty are a major concern.

Moyne-Templetuohy defeated Moneygall in the 2017 quarter final 1-16 to 0-13. They might repeat that win on Sunday and advance to the last four. Verdict: Moyne-Templetuohy

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