Clan na Gael vs Keady

The closer this game gets, the harder it becomes to pick a winner with any real degree of confidence.

Both sides head into this one thinking they can come out the other side of it and reach the Intermediate Final.

Clans are rightly the bookies favourites and have been the top contender since the start of the season, but they haven’t been operating at top gear.

Which could be a good thing of course. Having made it to this stage without peaking is a credit to the Lurgan side.

They got over Shane O’Neill’s in a game that didn’t reach the expected level of entertainment while they were much too good for Clonmore.

Apart from a ten-minute period in the opening half, Clan na Gael breezed through their quarter final clash without having to burst themselves.

More is expected of the Lurgan side, while Keady on the other hand have been coming a long nicely, under the radar perhaps, and could upset the odds today.

They contain plenty of good footballers all over the pitch, and their forward line is capable of causing headaches.

They too haven’t been tested much of course, with Ballyhegan offering little challenge while Middletown were out classed in the opening round.

Stefan Campbell is obviously the go-to forward in the Clan na Gael ranks and it will be interesting to see who picks him up.

‘Soupy’ drifts out the field but would be a huge threat on the edge of the square if that’s where Clans decide to play him.

Check out our thoughts on today’s game with our dedicated Intermediate Championship Podcast!

Shane McPartlan is another who can play anywhere from midfield up and is a brilliant footballer to watch.

Ronan Austin lined out at full forward the last day out and if they go with that tactic again, expect plenty of high balls into the forward line.

Keady will have to get their match ups right from the off if they want to contain what is a very good Clans forward line.

Keady boast their own quality attacking unit, with Odhran Fullerton, Sean McCabe and Ryan Donnelly making up a pacey full forward line.

Conor Hughes is a skilful player well fit to kick a score while Dean Nugent is the linkman at centre half forward.

In midfield Eugene McDonnell is still the leader and would have fancied lining up against Austin should he start at centre field.

When these respective teams would have had their team meetings at the start of the season, Clan na Gael would have been planning on winning the championship.

On the other hand, Keady were perhaps looking at promotion and a championship run, so Paul Doyle’s men are perhaps in bonus territory.

With Sarsfields, Whitecross and now Tullysaran all dumped out of the competition, Clans should be the clear favourites to claim the title.

They perhaps have enough quality to see this one through, but Keady are well worth a punt and could just sneak through this one.

Prediction: Keady (just about)