This one has the potential to be the game of the season as Shane O’Neill’s take on Culloville with a spot in the final up for grabs.
It’s a repeat of the 2021 Intermediate opener when the Blues caused the upset of the round to overcome the Shane’s.
That surprise element is gone now however as Culloville’s run last season and performances this year have saw their credit rise.
Kieran Hatzer’s men went all the way to the final but eventually lost out to Carrickcruppen after impressive wins over Shane O’Neill’s, St Paul’s and Sarsfields.
They carried that confidence and momentum through to this season and captured the Division 2B league title.
They’re championship run has been flawless, defeating both Keady and Collegeland without breaking sweat.
But this weekend they face a much different and difficult challenge in the form of championship favourites Shane O’Neill’s.
The Camlough crew have earned promotion to senior football for 2023 following their successful Division 2A league campaign.
They claimed the league title despite being without their trio of county men for the majority of the campaign.
But the Mackin brothers, Connaire and Ciaran, along with defender Greg McCabe has since returned to the fold.
Throw in the forward quality of Paul O’Rourke, Aodhan Conlon and youngster Ruairi O’Brien and Shane O’Neill’s have quality all over.
Culloville arguably have the best forward line in the competition, and they’ve shown their ruthlessness in front of goals.
For Shane’s, they’ll have to be mindful of the scoring threat posed by Colm Watters, Ryan Garvey and Dara Quinn.
The clash of Ciaran Mackin up against Niall Rowland in the middle of the field will be crucial to deciding the game.
This one really could go all the way and a drew wouldn’t be a surprise at all, but Culloville may just have the firepower to edge it.