Shane O’Neill’s vs Clan na Gael
Two of the top teams in this division lock horns on Sunday afternoon and the Game of the Week once again includes Clan na Gael.
This weekend’s round two clash will go down as a dress rehearsal for the main event that is now just weeks away.
Shane O’Neill’s meet Clan na Gael in the opening round of this years Intermediate Championship, so both sides will look to lay down an early marker when they meet on Sunday.
The Clans travelled the short distance to Sarsfields last weekend but will enjoy the benefit of playing on home soil this weekend.
Diarmaid Marsden’s men will welcome their round two opponents to Davitt Park in their first home game of the season.
Home advantage meant very little between the two Lurgan rivals in round one as Clan na Gael secured a one-point win on the opening day of the season.
Shane O’Neill’s also got off to the best possible start, winning on home soil by the minimum of margins, as they saw off Tir na nOg in their first-round encounter.
Their county representatives Greg McCabe and Connaire Mackin are the standout names in the Camlough ranks and both proved difficult to watch last weekend
The former grabbed the all-important, match-winning goal and Clan na Gael will not underestimate the quality within this Shane O’Neill’s team.
The Mackin brothers, Connaire and Ciaran, make their side tick and are well able to take a score when the opportunity rises.
Paul O’Rourke received an All-Star award for his efforts last season and is still the vocal point in his sides attack.
Shane McPartlan does likewise for the Clans and in the absence of Stefan Campbell, McPartlan was the man who led the front line against Sarsfields.
It was McPartlan’s early goal last weekend that helped Clan na Gael earn victory while Caolan Campbell also raised a green flag in the second period to secure the win.
Both managers face the dilemma of perhaps showing their hand too close to the championship, but it is hard to believe more teams won’t want to send out an early signal of intent.
These two sides lost out to Grange in the Intermediate Championship last year and know bigger days are around the corner.
But this weekend it will be all about picking up two points and home advantage might just be enough to swing it for the Clan na Gael.