The quarter-final draw for the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Senior Championship on Sunday evening will be eagerly awaited by some big hitters in the championship.
With the final round of games in the four groups this weekend, the main focus is on who will occupy the runner up positions in all four groups.
It is almost certain at this stage that Glenswilly, Naomh Conaill, St. Michael’s and Kilcar will be in one pot for the draw as winners of their groups.
But the big interest will be on who will be in the second pot with big hitters St. Eunan’s and Gaoth Dobhair short priced to be there. Four Masters look a good bet from Group 3 while Termon are in pole position at the moment in Group but depending on results, the calulators may be needed as Naomh Muire are still in the race. They meet Killybegs in the final game with the Fishermen, although out of contention after two defeats, needing a win to avoid a relegation battle.
What is fascinating about the drew is that the reigning champions, St. Eunan’s, (presuming that they account for Dungloe in their final game on Saturday evening) will be in the runners-up pot and they can meet Glenswilly, St. Michael’s or Kilcar. Because of a change to the rules, they cannot meet Naomh Conaill in the quarter-final because they have already met in the group stages.
If it comes to pass that St. Eunan’s win on Saturday evening, then a repeat of the 2014 county final between themselves and Glenswilly is a possibility. I’m sure the folk in Kilcar and St. Michael’s would be happy enough with that draw.
The other big hitter likely to be the runners-up pot for the draw are Gaoth Dobhair, who have Malin at home in their final game.
The draw will be eagerly awaited by all concerned. St. Eunan’s, if they get through next weekend, would have Rory Kavanagh back from the US for the quarter-final and they will be the ones to avoid.
The final round of games in the Intermediate Championship also take place this weekend with four games on Saturday evening and two on Sunday.
Aodh Ruadh, Bundoran and Fanad Gaels are guaranteed a quarter-final spot with two wins from two outings each.
The battle for the other five places will be decided at the weekend. The runners-up in the three groups will qualify as well as the two best third place finishers. Calculators may be needed, especially for the two third place finishers.
Naomh Columba look a good bet, while the clash of Buncrana and Naomh Colmcille will be a tasty local derby.
A notable change is in place this weekend with the throw-in times on Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. This will allow anyone who wants to attend two games while GAA followers will also be able to watch the All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Mayo. Whoever made this decision deserves some credit.
P W L D F A Pts
Glenswilly 2 2 0 0 31 22 4
Gaoth Dobhair 2 1 1 0 29 27 2
MacCumhaill’s 2 0 1 1 30 34 1
Málainn 2 0 1 1 27 34 1
Naomh Conaill 2 2 0 0 38 18 4
St. Eunan’s 2 1 1 0 23 25 2
An Clochán Liath 2 1 1 0 24 32 2
Ardara 2 0 2 0 19 29 0
St Michael’s 2 2 0 0 38 18 4
Four Masters 2 1 1 0 29 36 2
Gleann Fhinne 2 1 1 0 30 32 2
Cloich Ch Fhaola 2 0 2 0 21 32 0
Chill Chartha 2 2 0 0 36 18 4
Termon 2 1 0 1 29 27 3
Naomh Muire 2 0 1 1 23 34 1
Na Cealla Beaga 2 0 2 0 22 31 0