Club Football Championship with Brendan Guckian & Seamus Gallagher: Episode 204
This week for our Sports Preview show Brendan Guckian and Seamus Gallagher join Breifne Earley to run the rule over what might lie in store for all twenty clubs taking part in the Leitrim Club Football Championships.
Current U17 Leitrim Manager Brendan Guckian runs the rule over the teams taking part in the Connacht Gold Leitrim Senior Football Championship, a competition the former inter county midfielder won on three occasions (1995, 2003 & 2007) with his own club St. Mary’s.
Former County Board Secretary, Seamus Gallagher, himself a Championship winner with Drumkeerin in the second tier in 1975 talks us through what lies ahead for the secondary grade of the game in the county.
In the Senior grade Group 1, his own club, St. Mary’s, facing into a particularly tough group against three of the fancied sides in last season’s beaten finalists Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins and Mohill and Aughawillan who have won the competition two and three times respectively in the last six years.
Those four will be joined by Fenagh St. Caillins, managed by Joseph Flynn, who oversaw St. Mary’s last season with both those sides clashing in the first round of games on Saturday week.
Aughawillan will get the opportunity to watch their upcoming opponents with a weekend off while Mohill and Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins will clash in what promises to be the tie of the opening round.
Group 2 sees Glencar/Manor favourites to top the group as winners although Allen Gaels will be looking to regroup after a disappointing season in 2019, Leitrim Gaels will be relishing their first ever crack at this level in their 24th Championship season, they host Melvin Gaels in their opener next week, while the Kinlough men seeking overall redemption for their Semi Final defeat last season.
Drumreilly have developed a knack of not knowing when they are beaten and it would take a brave their evergreen squad will be looking to secure their quarter final spot and their guaranteed survival at the top table.
A lot will be decided based on how teams finish in their groups and who they face in the quarter final draw as to who might be the top dogs when the Championship runs it’s course at the end of September.
In the Smith Monumentals Intermediate Championship Group 1 sees Eslin, Ballinaglera, Bornacoola, Drumkeerin and Aughnasheelin face off over the five rounds of games to attempt to qualify for the championship quarter finals while Group 2 will require Kiltubrid, Gortletteragh, St Patrick’s Dromahair and Carrigallen to battle it out with last year’s semi finalists Annaduff to provide their opposition at that stage.
With Gortletteragh and Dromahair having dropped down to the Intermediate grade and always competitive Eslin led by the Beirne brothers promoted to the trio of Ballinaglera, Drumkeerin and Annaduff they will be the favourites to challenge for the most competitive championship in the county this year.
Aughnasheelin’s challenge will depend as usual on the numbers they might available for this years campaign while Carrigallen, Bornacoola and Kiltubrid will fancy causing an upset against the fancied sides. It’s amazing to think those three teams combined featured five times in no less than four Senior Championship finals from 2005 to 2009.
Both Seamus and Brendan discuss the effect of home advantage, a new addition to the championship for this season, and whether full crowds will return as expected to the sidelines for these early season games.