By Mike Fitzpatrick
Junior A Football
Fermanagh vs. Sligo
Level on points nearer the bottom half of the table, both sides could certainly do with the points. With Rangers and Donegal having already qualified for the playoffs, the fortunes for these two clubs are not looking good. With Down also ahead of them, one will be disappointed come next month when the playoffs kick in. An enticing game to look forward to, both sides will surely be fighting tooth and nail from the first whistle.
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Tipperary vs. Waterford
As has been mentioned many times before, nobody expected Waterford to have played the way they have done this season. Following something of an exodus in the offseason, when many of Waterford’s young stars left for new pastures, the naysayers of the New York GAA scene were predicting nothing but doom and gloom for The Decies.
This game however, will surely be a major test of strength and character for the lads from the southeast. Tipperary, the champions from last year, and clearly the team to beat this time around, will be all out for the win, to put paid to those thinking that Limerick are the side who will gain glory come October.
I have a feeling that Tipperary will come out fighting from the first whistle, and Waterford may just have a couple of big names over for this one. A fabulous game is in the cards, with two sides all out for victory. Get along to Gaelic Park for what must surely be one of the most eagerly hurling games of the season.
Division 2 Final
Rockland vs. Offaly
Rockland are clearly the surprise packet of New York’s football scene this season. Having risen from the ranks of junior football for the first time in their short history, nobody was really sure just how well they would fare. They silenced any critics immediately with some fine victories, and now they are a mere game away from contesting with the big boys next year.
To climb from junior to senior ranks in two seasons is a fantastic achievement. But Offaly stand in the way. Having been there or thereabouts all season, Offaly, the side which has hovered just below the top division for a number of seasons, will certainly be out to clinch it this year. An exciting game of football beckons.
Division 1 Football
Monaghan vs. Westmeath
Only the hardest of hearts would not feel for Monaghan. As of last year, they have played well against the stronger sides, only to lose out in the championship points stakes. They are now perilously close to relegation, having enjoyed just two seasons out of top-flight football. They simply must win to keep their season alive, particularly if they want to play in the top division next year.
For John Moore’s Westmeath men, however, there’s a different situation afoot. Win this game, and they will be that one step nearer the playoffs. Wesmeath will no doubt be favorites, but if Monaghan can get out of this slump, and convince their talented squad that Division 1 football is deservedly theirs, then who knows.