SFC Round One – Fri 7th Aug – Abbey Park – 7.00pm
Only two Division 1A teams have secured maximum points from their league outings, and Granemore are one of them.
An opening day victory against Armagh Harps got their season off to a flyer. They backed it up with another eye-catching win over Maghery.
One point was the winning margin in both encounters and Eamon Kavanagh’s men have made a name for themselves as a side that can grind out a victory.
Three of the four Championship wins came by the minimum of margins last year, and they’ve continued that trend into 2020.
The addition of Ryan Rafferty has added further force to their armour this year and he will play his part at some stage this weekend.
He adds lighting speed to the power and footballing ability that the St Mary’s side already hold in their forward division.
Jason O’Neill has been the main threat of the attack for many years and is still the key operator for Granemore.
O’Neill will be assisted by his younger brother Eoghan, along with Liam Doyle who holds a play-making duty at centre half forward.
Kieran Toner is expected to once again line out at full-forward, while performing a roaming role between the edge of the square and centre-field.
Brendan Boylan and Tony McClelland form a powerful midfield pairing that can call on Toner and Pete Carr for assistance.
Clann Eireann are well aware of Granemore’s physical presence around the middle and will need to match them in this department.
Ryan Henderson is back in the orange and white this season and he remains a key figure in the Clann Eireann ranks.
He will relish the physical battle around the centre of the park and if Clann Eireann are to have a chance, they will have to at least break even in this sector.
The Lurgan side can call upon Shea Heffron, Sean McCarthy and Ryan Owens to marshal their defence and keep the Granemore forwards quiet.
Barry McCambridge missed their most recent league clash with Madden last weekend, and his absence will be sorely felt should he not be available on Friday night.
Conor Turbitt holds the magic touch that could lead Clann Eireann to the quarter finals and he is the go-to man for Tommy Coleman’s side.
Ross Finn is expected to move to full-back to shadow ‘Turbo’ with Paudie Hollywood transitioning to centre half back.
Tiernan Kelly is an outstanding talent and he will be one to watch from his centee half forward role.
Clann Eireann have experienced a hot and cold season up to this point, suffering defeats to Grange and Madden either side of their victory over Mullaghbawn.
Underage success over the years has pointed to a Clann Eireann side that can contest at the top end of the Senior Championship table, but that’s not how it has materialised.
Their star players in Owens, Heffron and Turbitt all have youth on their side, and they could come of age with a win against a battle-hardened Granemore team on Friday evening.
However, form would suggest that Granemore will get through this one and should it turn into a dogfight, it will suit Granemore down to the ground and they are expected to have enough to get through.