Graham Guilfoyle and Clara are in the SFC "B" semi-finals
THE semi-finalists have been finalised in the Tullamore Court Hotel Senior “B”, Intermediate and Junior Football Championships after the completion of the quarter-finals this weekend.
W ith the top team in each group having qualified direct for semi-finals, there were two quarter-finals in each championship this weekend. The semi-final draws will take place live on Offaly GAA's facebook page on Monday evening at 7.45pm – the two teams that have qualified direct for the semi-finals will be kept apart from each other and an open draw will determine which of the quarter-final winners they meet.
Clara and Tubber qualified direct for the Senior “B” Football Championship semi-finals and they will be joined in the draw by Ballycumber and Walsh Island. Ballycumber looked very good in their 1-16 to 2-10 quarter-final win over parish rivals Erin Rovers on Friday evening. Ballycumber, who were short a few players, were more clearcut winners than the final scoreline suggests.
Walsh Island had a fine 1-8 to 0-6 win over St Rynagh's in the other quarter-final on Sunday afternoon but it came at a high cost as they lost key players Colm Gavin and John Doyle to straight red cards after a mass brawl near the end – Joey O'Connor and Sean Dolan were given straight reds for Rynagh's while Walsh Island's Oisin Murphy was sent off for a yellow and black. Rynagh's attacker Gary Mahon had got a red card early in the second half.
Gracefield had a very important win in the relegation play off on Friday evening, putting Ferbane back to intermediate with a 2-12 to 1-13 success. Gracefield had been beaten in the senior “B” final by Durrow last year, having been relegated from senior the previous year, and going to intermediate would have been a disaster for them.
The Intermediate Football Championship quarter-finals took place on Sunday afternoon with Clonbullogue and Raheen advancing at the expense of Shannonbridge and St Brigid's. Clonbullogue's performance was the big talking point as they destroyed Shannonbridge by 5-15 to 0-12. County U-20 star Keith O'Neill was on fire for them and the Clonbullogue performance suggests they will be very difficult to beat in this.
Raheen had an anticipated win over St Brigid's, 1-12 to 0-11. St Brigid's had only managed two points in a walloping by Clonbullogue in their last group game and they were competitive here, even if Raheen always looked like they would get there. Daingean and Clodiagh Gaels qualified direct for the semi-finals.
In the intermediate relegation play off, Ballycumber secured their status with an easy 2-13 to 1-5 win over a Kilcormac/Killoughey club who have made very little effort with football this year.
Edenderry and Rhode joined Tullamore and Doon in the Junior Football Championship quarter-finals. On Saturday, Rhode had to work hard to beat Tullamore's third team, An Tulach Mhor by 1-15 to 2-7 in the quarter-final. The other quarter-final on Sunday saw Edenderry recover well from a poor start to beat Ballinagar by 2-7 to 1-8.
Kilclonfert were relieved to secure their junior status on Saturday, beating Clara by 2-8 to 0-8 in the relegation play off.
In the Senior Football Championship, Ferbane qualified for the semi-finals with a huge 3-11 to 0-14 win over Edenderry in their quarter-final on Saturday while the quarter-final between champions, Rhode and Shamrocks is starting at 4.00pm in O'Connor Park today. Tullamore and surprise packets Durrow are in the semi-finals.
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