Tullysaran vs Sarsfields
In a normal league season, these two teams would still be vying for the two promotion spots on offer and would be in prime positions to get up a division.
But this is far from a normal league campaign. Clan na Gael have already claimed one of those places having won the 2020 Intermediate Championship.
Tullysaran and Sarsfields are tied at the top of the table with ten points each and the winner this weekend will take a massive step towards securing Senior football next year.
Tullysaran were defeated on the opening day of the season last year against Whitecross but were very impressive thereafter.
Wins over Tir na nOg, Clan na Gael, Culloville and Shane O’Neill’s saw Tullysaran emerge as one of the favourites for promotion.
They solidified that notion with a win over St Paul’s two weeks ago in a ‘catch-up’ fixture from last year, winning 1-9 to 0-8.
Tullysaran went to Lurgan in search of revenge as it was St Paul’s who ended their championship hopes last year.
Likewise, it was the O’Connell’s club who stopped Sarsfields in their tracks in last year’s championship quarter final.
The High Moss men will need no reminding of that day as they were simply out played all over the field by this weekend’s opponent.
Tullysaran gave one of the performances of the entire championship to dominate Sarsfields and ultimately win 2-17 to 1-9.
Both sides hold outstanding talent in their forward units, and this could point to a shootout this weekend.
Gavin Conlon was the goal-scorer the last day out for Tullysaran and his accuracy from frees will be a concern for Sarsfields.
Eddie Mallon is also a terrific talent while Mark McKeever was one of the finds of the season in last year’s championship.
The McGeown brother always carry that aerial threat of a ‘Twin Tower’ double act when deployed in the full forward line.
It unusual that Sarsfields can afford to play both inside as Eamon generally ends up at midfield, with Paul directing the play at full-forward.
Kevin McAlinden and Michael Stevenson are also handfuls on their day while Caolan Skelton is always good for a score.
Sean and James McAlinden over good legs and footballing ability at the back and can get forward when needed.
Sarsfields gained good wins in last years league over Culloville, Whitecross, Tir na nOg, Shane O’Neill’s and St Paul’s.
The Lurgan men currently sit top of the table on score difference and will reaffirm that position with a win at the weekend.
The fact that Tullysaran have a game under their belt may help them ease into this encounter, but no doubt it’s one that could go right down to the wire.