Sunday 25 February 2018

Junior Championship takes flight

BOTH these sides open their Group D Championship campaigns on the back of League defeats last Sunday as Dowdallshill suffered a heavy defeat to Westerns and St Kevin's were denied by St Nicholas by the minimum.

2013 has been a mixed bag for both clubs and with a bang in form Sean McDermotts waiting in the wings this could well prove to be a knockout encounter.

St Kevin's League from was slightly better to begin with, but last week's defeat apart, Dowdallshill have shown signs of improvement, possibly in the nick of time.

Verdict: Dowdallshill

REGARDLESS of what happens in the second game at Ardee, both these sides will fancy their chances of making it out of Group C at Stabannon Parnell's expense. Still, they will both also be keen to ease the pressure on that second outing with a win on Friday night.

League comparisons aren't possible as they operate in different grades and that might prove to be Hunsterstown's trump card as they hold their own in Division 2.

Finbarr's are right in the mix in Division 3, however, and relegation from the Intermediate grade clearly hasn't affected their hunger.

Verdict: Hunterstown Rovers

ANYTHING other than an Oliver Plunkett's victory would be a huge surprise in Group B in Dunleer on Sunday night, as the Division 1 outfit bid to extrictae themselves from the Junior ranks at the second attempt this summer.

If anything the JFC grade is actually stronger this year than it was in 2012 and the Drogheda side's Division 1 form has been poor, so it might not be as straightforward as people might think.

That shouldn't prevent them from opening with a win on Sunday in what could turn out to a one-sided double-header overall.

Verdict: Oliver Plunkett's

ON current League form this Group A clash has the potential to be just as lopsided as the curtain-raiser with Westerns hitting a hot streak at just the right time in the League.

The promise their opponents have shown in recent seasons appears to have waned with eight defeats from eight League starts this term - hardly inspiring form as the Championship looms.

It's a familiar story for the Drogheda club as a lack of personnel hinders their progress and it could get worse this summer before it gets better, starting on Sunday.

Verdict: Westerns

The Argus

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