This Saturday the semi-finals of the Offaly Senior Football Championship will play out in O’Connor Park and those in attendance should be in for a real treat with two intriguing games down for decision.
In the first game at 4pm old rivals Rhode and Tullamore go head to head. The sides met as recently as August 11 in the group stages of the championship and in a relatively low scoring game, Rhode prevailed by 3-8 to 0-8. Rhode are the only team in the championship with a 100% record and their average winning margin of exactly ten points per game suggests they are focused on regaining the Dowling Cup.
Tullamore currently lead the Roll of Honour on 26 titles (two more than Rhode) but they will be up against it this Saturday if they are keep on course to winning title 27. They will be boosted by their win over Gracefield in the quarter-final where they scores a noteworthy 16 points and there will be no fear in the Tullamore camp when it comes to facing Rhode.
However while it is normally very close when these rivals meet, on this occasion Rhode would have to be fancied to make it through to the decider.
The second semi-final is a repeat of last year’s final which Edenderry won against the odds over Clara. This year Edenderry have struggled at times winning just one group game against Ferbane however they looked to have made a timely return to form in the quarter-final where they saw off Erin Rovers by 2-16 to 1-12. If they have rediscovered last year’s form, they could be on course for back to back finals.
In their way stand a Clara team who are unbeaten to date with their only dropped point coming against the aforementioned Erin Rovers. Interestingly Clara are the only team remaining from Group 1 which may suggest it was the easier of the two. Clara have strength in depth and have been perennial finalists of late however they are prone to off days and they will have to be on their game if they are to overcome Edenderry.
While Edenderry are defending champions, and that is sure to be a major incentive for them on Saturday, on balance Clara are the stronger team and if they perform on the day, they should make it through to another final