Sarsfields vs Clan na Gael – Friday 17th July – 8pm
When it comes to ‘Game of the Week’, it’s hard to look past this clash as one that stands out in the Intermediate division.
This game features not only two rivals, but two teams who will see themselves capturing silverware by the time the season is complete, with both League and Championship glories up for grabs.
Clan na Gael earned promotion after finishing second in the league last season but suffered when Grange leapfrogged the Lurgan side by winning the Championship.
Meaning the Clans must spend another year in the Intermediate division, and fight for their right to get up into the Senior league once again.
Promotion will also be at the forefront of Sarsfields minds, as the High Moss men finished second from bottom in Division 1B last year, having won just four games.
Some impressive Championship displays showed that Sarsfields can compete at the top table, but failure to win a game saw them knocked out at the play off stages.
With the McGeown brother Eamon and Paul central to their success, it’s sure that Sarsfields will test out their neighbours full back line on Friday evening.
Teams will all be planning on how to use the ‘advanced mark’ to their advantage, and it’s sure that the McGeown siblings could create a ‘Twin Tower’ threat on the edge of the square.
Of course, the Stevensons, Michael and Colin will offer some assistance up front as will Kevin McAlinden and Caolan Skelton who are well able to split the posts.
Goal scoring quality has always been a big part of the Sarsfields side, and this season should be no different.
Clan na Gael offer their own talent up top, with Armagh captain Stefan Campbell the star man on show.
Campbell is well fit to play further out the field, and often found himself out round the middle of the field last season, a tactic Diarmaid Marsden could employ once more.
They have the evergreen Ronan Austin to call on around the middle third of the field and he still holds a lot of sway in the Clans ranks.
Full-forward Shane McParland is more than capable of leading that forward division and his scoring prowess is crucial for Clan na Gael.
A win for either side on Friday evening would start the ball rolling and with the games coming thick and fast, momentum will be key to any success experienced this year.
Both teams will be fired up to get off the mark early on, and perhaps the hurt of last year will drive Clan na Gael on and a win on Friday would set them up beautifully for a charge at promotion.