THE BIGGEST drama in the last round of group games in the Dominic Smith Electrical Senior football championship took place in St. Patrick’s Park and Chadwicks Wexford Park last Sunday.
In the Wexford town venue, Crossabeg-Ballymurn were leading St. Anne’s after 53 minutes and heading to the quarter-finals when the Rathangan men did what they do best and finished strongly to win by two points.
By all accounts the game itself was a great one to watch as both teams played the way football should be played, so well done to the players and their mentors.
Unfortunately for Crossabeg-Ballymurn, the other two results in Group A went against them and they did not qualify even though they had an impressive five points total.
Great credit is due to the men in green for their performances in their first year as a Senior football team. They conceded the lowest amount in their group, were second in the scoring charts, and had the best scoring difference.
They played some great football and were enjoyable to watch, so they should be proud of their contribution and looking forward to next year with confidence.
The drama in St. Patrick’s Park was closer to home for me as my own club, Sarsfields, played out a draw with HWH-Bunclody to finish fifth on scoring difference and consign our opponents to a relegation play-off with St. Martin’s.
I’d say for anyone not involved it was another entertaining game of football because there was no sign of any sweepers or defensive set-ups as both teams went toe-to-toe.
The last 15 minutes of this clash were as exciting as it can get and included brilliant scores, heroic defending, great tackling, and tremendous spirit shown by both teams.
It was a heart-breaking result for HWH-Bunclody, and they were unlucky, but well done to both teams and especially the younger players on both sides.
Being involved on the sideline is a nightmare in games like this, as we all forget for a few hours that it’s only a game of football after all.
With all the issues decided and the quarter-final pairings finalised, it is now time to test my “expertise”, which is another name for luck, as I attempt to make my predictions. The bookmakers will be shaking in their boots.
Two local derbies take centre stage, with Gusserane taking on St. James’ in the first one. Both teams possess a lot of fire power, and it should be a great game to watch, but here I will tip St. James’ to win in a tight encounter.
Castletown versus Kilanerin will be eagerly awaited by supporters and neutrals alike for obvious reasons. I have seen Kilanerin in two of their wins this year and was impressed with their style of play, but Castletown will be champing at the bit for this one and I expect them to squeeze through here.
Shelmaliers versus Starlights is another interesting one with the last two champions clashing. Shelmaliers have been the form team this year and should go through, but it won’t be as easy as some people might think.
The final game is between St. Anne’s and Glynn-Barntown, yet another hard one to call. St. Anne’s topped their group and if they can continue their scoring exploits throughout the championship, I expect them to win this tie.
In Intermediate, Fethard are in great form and should be too strong for St. Mary’s (Maudlintown), while the other unbeaten team in the grade Horeswood should win against Ferns St. Aidan’s.
Clongeen have done brilliantly to qualify for this stage, but Rathgarogue-Cushinstown are expected to win this one. In the last tie I’ll tip Taghmon-Camross to reach the semi-final.
My last set of predictions in the Intermediate ‘A’ are St. Mary’s (Rosslare), Cloughbawn, Volunteers and Adamstown.
Best of luck to all teams involved this weekend.