Clan na Gael vs Clonmore Preview

The last of the Intermediate Quarter Finals, Clan na Gael and Clonmore will square off for the final spot in the last four.

With Whitecross and Sarsfields exiting the competition earlier than expected, Clan na Gael would now seem the standout favourites.

Diarmaid Marsden’s men are in search of gaining entry to the Senior grade and Championship success seems the best way to do that.

They face an unknown prospect in Clonmore this evening and Seamus McCallan’s side will be confident of causing a major upset.

They hold some impressive form heading into this contest, winning four of their five outings so far this season.

They defeated Ballyhegan, Middletown and Collegeland in the league before falling in the final round to league-leaders Carrickcruppen.

These results see Clonmore currently ranked third in Division 2B and the main goal for the season will be to get to the top tier of Intermediate football.

But that doesn’t mean they’ll abandon the championship. They’ve already seen off a Division 2A side in Wolfe Tones the first day out.

They showed all the determination, grit and fight needed to succeed in the championship and that could hold them in good stead today.

With just over fifteen minutes remaining, Clonmore looked like they were falling at the first hurdle as they trailed by five points.

Wolfe Tones led the contest and with a 0-8 to 0-3 advantage, they looked like they would see the game out and book their spot in the next round.

Clonmore had other ideas. James Grimley drifted forward to rattle the net on two occasions and gift his side a 2-8 to 0-10 victory.

They will be up against stiffer opposition today of course as Clan na Gael are determined to get over the line this year.

Stefan Campbell was a surprise inclusion in the starting team that defeated Shane O’Neill’s in round one, having not featured in the league.

His influence is crucial for the Clans and Clonmore will have to detail one of their players to shadow Campbell wherever he goes.

Brendan Donaghy would seem the obvious candidate for that role and if the two county teammates square off, we could witness an outstanding battle.

The Lurgan men aren’t over reliant on ‘Soupy’ of course and hold plenty of game winners in their team.

Shane McPartlan is a special talent up front and he has all the qualities needed to lead the line should Campbell play further out the field.

Ronan Austin only came on the last day out, but his experience will be called upon at some stage to help get his men across the line.

Clonmore will bring an air of confidence with them to the Athletic Grounds but they may just find this one a step too far.

Clan na Gael are still driven on by the hurt of losing last years semi-final and they should get back to at least that stage this season.

Campbell may have been quiet in their win over Shane O’Neill’s, but it was his first bit of action in a blue jersey this season.

Clan na Gael would seem to have too much quality sprinkled all over the field and should find themselves in the last four after today.

Prediction: Clan na Gael