Madden and Granemore meet in grudge match

There is no love lost between these two sides and their feisty league encounter earlier in the summer is enough to whet the appetite for this winner takes all clash. Probably the toughest of the quarter finals to call a winner with any degree of certainty, both teams will look forward to a huge opportunity to reach the last four.

Madden have held the upper hand over their rivals this season, winning both of their league games but Granemore ultimately had the last laugh when they gained promotion to the top flight, finishing second in Division 1B. Should Madden go on to win the 2019 championship this would see Granemore remaining in 1B for another season while Madden would go up.

That’s for another day however and neither side will be looking that far down the road just yet. Granemore have been quite impressive during their championship campaign so far, winning all three of their group games against Armagh Harps, Silverbridge and St Peter’s to top the table.

Madden started their championship campaign in whirlwind fashion seeing off league champions Maghery in the first round before falling at the hands of Dromintee.  They did win their final group game against Annaghmore but since Maghery topped the group, Madden had to take the scenic route to the quarter finals, beating Killeavy on the way.

Granemore’s defence has been superb during the championship, conceding just one goal through the three group games and they will need to be on top form once again this weekend against a dangerous Madden attack that will enjoy playing in the wide open spaces of the Athletic Grounds.

Madden have no stand out attacker but work tremendously well as a unit and Aron McKenna, Ciaran Rafferty, Conor Grimley and Kyle Morgan will all need to be watched. Ross Finn may be the man to pick up Conor Grimley while Darren Carr could start on Ciaran Rafferty, but Granemore will have to be mindful of the likelihood that Ryan Grimley could end up in the full forward position. 

Grimley will most likely partner his brother Niall for the throw up and we could witness a ferocious battle in the centre of the field with both sides attempting to edge the physical stakes. Granemore will look to Brendan Boylan and Tony McClelland to gain primary possession for their side with the option of pulling Kieran Toner further out the field as well.

With Toner starting at the edge of the square Granemore will try to expose the lack of height in the Madden full back with the O’Neill brothers Eoin and Jason playing off the big full forward. Liam Doyle pulls the strings from centre half forward and could be shadowed by Ryan Morgan from the get go.

Granemore will be well aware of the danger Niall Smith can cause will his raiding runs forward and should have learned from past mistakes, as Smith struck 1-4 in their round three league clash earlier in the year, it will be interesting to see who Eamon Kavanagh pairs with Madden’s wing half back.

With the teams evenly matched this game is a hard one to call. If Madden can play the free flowing football they like to then they should have too much for Granemore but if it were to turn into a dogfight you’d have to give the St Mary’s side the edge. Neither side will want to pass up such a golden opportunity to reach the semi finals and a draw is a very plausible outcome after 60 minutes.

A huge thank you to both Carr Construction and Madden GAA for sponsoring the article!