Nire’s Thomas O’Gorman in action with Clashmores-Kinsalebeg’s James O’Leary during their J.J. Kavanagh & Sons Waterford Senior Football Championship match in Fraher Field.
Photo Sean Byrne//Deise Sport.
With all six games in the new look Senior Football Championship having been played last weekend the reaction from the public and the players has been positive. The attendances were well up on last year’s first round games under the two group league format and all six games played were keenly contested with increased interest in the second round draws being made in Fraher Field after the game between An Rinn and Brickey Rangers on Sunday evening.
With the players now returning to their respective county hurling and football squads in preparation for the championships we are unlikely to see club action in either code for some time but Sunday’s football draw threw up some very interesting games for clubs and their supporters to look forward to and there is every indication that the new format may prove a success.
The first draw to take place was for the three quarter final games involving the six winners from last weekend and it is no disrespect to Ballinameela to suggest that the other five winners would have been targeting them as their best route to semi-final qualification. In that regard Kilrossanty would have been happiest as they avoided the ‘big three’ of The Nire, Stradbally and Ballinacourty.
While the meeting of An Rinn and Ballinacourty is likely to be a close affair there is no doubt but that the clash of bitter rivals The Nire and Stradbally is the pick of the ties with neither relishing the thought of losing and going into a dogfight in the losers’ group to qualify for the one remaining semi-final spot.
In the losers section the big game will be that between Rathgormack and Clashmore, either of whom would have been favoured to come through against any of the other teams in their half of the draw. Ardmore will be fancied to come through against Portlaw while the meeting of Brickey Rangers and Gaultier should go down to the wire.
The situation now is that the losers of the quarter final games will face the losers of the three first round losers group games with the winners going through to play the three losers group winners in an open draw to play off for the semi-final spot with the three beaten teams going into the relegation playoffs. As matters stand it will take five more series of games to complete the championship, two fewer than the eight weekends it took under the previous two group league system.
The full draw for the championship going forward is as follows.
A – Quarter finals – Ballinacourty V An Rinn, Stradbally V The Nire, Kilrossanty V Ballinameela.
B- Losers Group First Round – Ardmore V Portlaw, Brickey Rangers V Gaultier, Rathgormack V Clashmore.
Second Round A V B.