Focus on – Senior C’ship Section 4

BIG PLAYER: Gary Mullins is a key man for Claremorris

BIG PLAYER: Gary Mullins is a key man for Claremorris

Section 4 – Claremorris, Ballintubber, Kiltane, Moy Davitts.

Apparently this is the easy group to predict – Claremorris and Ballintubber will progress at the expense of Kiltane and Moy Davitts.

If you’re waiting for a but you won’t find one because that is exactly how we think it will pan out. Claremorris and Ballintubber are two hungry, quick young teams who will have too much for Kiltane – going through a transition phase, and Moy Davitts – a team with not enough scoring power.

Hence the relatively short preview here.

TUBBER'S MAIN THREAT: Alan Dillon

TUBBER'S MAIN THREAT: Alan Dillon

We’ve alright tipped Ballintubber as our bet for what we think will be a very open championship and we haven’t dismissed Claremorris’ chances either.

And we’ll know more still after the first round when they go face to face in Claremorris. The two are on 100% records in the league. Ballintubber sit atop Division 1B with five wins from five while Claremorris are only two points behind with four wins from four.

Ballintubber are going with much of the talented young players to have come through in recent years. Out of the team that played Garrymore the week before last the only players who have not played Under 21 in the last two years are Tom and Paul Earley, Alan Dillon and goalkeeper Brendan Walsh. You can’t win anything with kids? Wait and see I guess!

Alan Dillon is, naturally, the key man but if they can spread enough scores around a forward line that has potential, they’ll take stopping.

Claremorris could stop them first time out. They’re not quite as young as Ballintubber but still have more of an infusion of youth than most clubs.

TEAK TOUGH: Gary Ruane is still going strong for Moy Davitts.

TEAK TOUGH: Gary Ruane is still going strong for Moy Davitts.

Crucially, and this is where Ballintubber may suffer slightly, the experienced players are guys who can be big game players – Gary and Mickey Mullins, Pat Navin and Ger Brady. Keep an eye on TIALTNGO’s tip for the top too – Seán Prendergast.

We still think Ballintubber will do the business.

And the second game sees Kiltane travel to Foxford. Don’t get me wrong – these two teams can’t be completely dismissed, its just we don’t see it happening. Moy Davitts have had the better form – one win, two draws from five Division 1A games versus Kiltane’s two wins from five Division 1B games.

The Moy men have two classy players in James and Tomás Mulderrig and a legend of a man in Gary Ruane. As we said at the top scoring could be their problem and if Conor Jordan can play like he can, that could be rectified. But we think too much pressure will fall on his shoulders. How they’d love to still have Frank Molloy.

But they should have enough for Kiltane who are really in transition. Shane Lindsay, Edmund Barrett, Michael Sweeney and Seán Carey are classy footballers but the Erris men might struggle in defence.

Kiltane host Claremorris in Round 2. A trip to Bangor will be a real test for Niall Heffernan’s men if they lose to Ballintubber first time out. That could be real squeeky-bum time but they have the ability to overcome that hurdle.

Ballintubber should, we think, have too much for Moy Davitts in Clogher, which will make Ballintubber v Kiltane in Clogher a meaningless enough game. But not so Claremorris at home to Moy Davitts. If results go like we think, they’ll be on a win each and to the winner goes it all.

Again, a test of resolve for Claremorris and one which might battle harden them. They’ll have enough in store.

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