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30 Sept 2022

Big football weekend as semi-finals taking place in Offaly football championships

Big football weekend as semi-finals taking place in Offaly football championships

Big football weekend as semi-finals taking place in Offaly football championships

IT is one of the biggest weekends of the year for the Offaly club scene with the Senior, Senior “B”, Intermediate and Junior Football Championship semi-finals all down for decision.

You can read the preview for the Senior semi-finals by clicking here

There are two attractive senior and senior “B” double bills in Tullamore on Saturday and Sunday and supporters are in for some thrilling action beween all the grades.

Senior “B” Football Championship

Clara v Walsh Island: Saturday, October 16 in O'Connor Park at 2.00pm
Clara will be fairly hot favourites to beat Walsh Island in the first of the senior “B” semi-finals on Saturday next. Clara have been favourites from the start of the campaign and while there are doubts about their form, it will be a surprise if they don't advance to the final.

Clara qualified direct for the semi-final as group winners while Walsh Island have done very well to reach this stage. Walsh Island have performed with great character and commitment and they provide the perfect example of a team performing to the best of their ability. Unfortunately for them, their 1-8 to 0-6 quarter-final win over St Rynagh's came at a high cost. They had two key players, midfielder Colm Gavin and forward John Doyle red carded after getting involved in a late brawl and Walsh Island simply can't afford to be down anyone. They should never have got sucked into that and unless Walsh Island can get those red cards rescinded, they will have their work cut out here.

Walsh Island will give their all as usual and they will fancy their chances of an upset. O'Connor Park, however, should suit a young and fast Clara team and they can win.
Verdict – Clara.

Ballycumber v Tubber: Sunday, October 17 in O'Connor Park at 2.00pm
One of the games of the weekend will be provided by Ballycumber and Tubber. This is a meeting between neighbouring clubs to set the pulse racing and it's a very hard one to call.

Tubber might be slight favourites by virtue of qualifying direct for the semi-finals. They lost to Walsh Island in their first game but they have performed very well since then. They have one of the best forwards in Offaly in Bernard Allen while a former county star, Ciaran McManus is still playing very well for them, despite being in his mid 40s.

Ballycumber have come into form at the right time. They lost to Clara but have won their other games and looked very good in their quarter-final win over Erin Rovers. They were missing Ethan Keena, Donal Lynam and Luke Gavin-Mangan for that and will be hoping at least some of these will be back. Like Tullamore v Ferbane in senior football, no result would be a surprise here. Ballycumber do appear to have a balance and a level of consistency that Tubber sometimes lack and they get the nod for those reasons.
Verdict – Ballycumber.

Intermediate Football Championship

Clodiagh Gaels v Raheen: Saturday, October 16 in Gracefield at 4.00pm
This is a repeat of the group meeting between Clodiagh Gaels and Raheen when the Killeigh-Killurin outfit took a surprise win on their way to the semi-final. Raheen are traditionally the strongest football club in Killeigh parish and defeats by any of their neighbours never sits well with them. They have improved significantly since then. They looked good in their group win over Ballycommon, which secured qualification and they did what they had to do in the quarter-final against St Brigid's. Clodiagh Gaels will be confident of repeating their earlier win. They have a lot of good footballers and they will be very competitive. Raheen, however, are slight favourites and their recent form has been convincing.
Verdict – Raheen.

Daingean v Clonbullogue: Saturday, October 16 in Edenderry at 4.00pm
Another repeat of a group game. On that occasion Daingean also produced a surprise by beating Clonbullogue and last year's junior champions have played very well to top the group. They have been working very hard and are moving really well. Yet they find themselves slight underdogs for this one. That is because of Clonbullogue's recent form. They were brilliant in their group win over St Brigid's and the quarter-final against Shannonbridge. They have a lot of talent, though Clonbullogue always seem to have the potential to blow up. This is close to a 50/50 game but Clonbullogue's recent form has been so good that it is difficult to go against them.
Verdict – Clonbullogue.

Junior Football Championship

Doon v Edenderry: Sunday, October 17 in Durrow at 12 noon
Doon are marginal favourites for this but Edenderry will fancy their chances. It is Doon's first team but Edenderry is a big club with a large pool of players at their disposal. Doon qualified as group winners while Edenderry went the quarter-final route, rallying well to beat Ballinagar.
Verdict – Doon.

Tullamore v Rhode: Sunday, October 17 in Ballinagar at 12 noon
Tullamore have been championship favourites from the start of the year but will be expecting a tough challenge from Rhode. Rhode know how to play football and they beat Tullamore's second team, An Tulach Mhor in the quarter-finals. Tullamore won their three group games to qualify direct for the semi-finals. Junior is a long way back for their second team and they are desperate to get back to intermediate. Rhode will give them a real run here but Tullamore have a lot of very good players.
Verdict – Tullamore.

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