IT'S getting to the sharp end of the championship now and football enthusiasts would do worse than head to Killorlgin on Saturday evening for the Intermediate semi-final meeting of Dromid Pearses and Spa.
The former are reiging county junior champions but are not looking out of their depth at this higher level, while Spa were county intermediate champions two years ago and are determined to regain that title and make another, more successful, challenge for the All-ireland club title they missed out on at the final hurdle.
Some credit is due to Dromid for putting the fallout from their ill-fated All-ireland club semi-final loss to Derrytresk behind them so quickly (perhaps it has emboldened them even more) and even with, or perhaps because of, a change in manager they have taken to this Intermediate championship with plenty of gusto and with some success.
Declan O'sullivan remains their leader but they have build a formidable team around him, and as they showed against An Ghaeltacht in their quarterfinal win, they are not adverse to rolling their sleeves up and working extremely hard in defence to complement the attacking skills O'sullivan and Niall O'shea bring to the team.
Spa didn't enjoy their one season in the senior ranks but the drop back to Intermediate suits them. The plan would surely be to establish themselves as a senior club at some point but for now the Killarney club are focussed on where they are at. Playing in division one of the county league will harden their edge, but already they have a successful balance of graft and grace.
Better known names as Niall O'mahony, Andrew Garnett and Cian Tobin are well supported by very fine footballers like Bryan Russell, Alfie Giles, Anthony O'sullivan and Cormac Cronin. However, Micheal O'donoghue is still getting treatment for the hamstring injury that kept him out of the quarter-final replay win at the weekend, and reports are that 'Stam' is touch and go to start next Saturday.
Spa struggled a little against St Marys without O'donoghue, while Dromid can be a little over-reliant on Declan O'sullivan. If Spa can restrict O'sullivan's influence (not by any means easy to do) they will be half way there.