DERRY GAA: Claudy target league glory in title showdown with Newbridge

Is Aaron Kerrigan the man to shoot Claudy to Division 1B title glory
Is Aaron Kerrigan the man to shoot Claudy to Division 1B title glory

H&A Mechanical Services ACFL Division 1B (Friday, 7.45pm unless stated)

Limavady v Castledawson

The Wolfhounds are petering perilously to the relegation precipice with an away game against Ballymaguigan to follow this home game against the Broagh men.

Their task is simply stated but terribly difficult. They must win both remaining games and hope the Treas lose to Faughanvale this weekend and Castledawson lose to Kilrea in their final game.

Last week Limavady were badly beaten by Faughanvale, 11 points the margin. Castledawson have an outstanding game at home to Foreglen but they can ease their own worries and push Limavady through the trapdoor. Limavady simply must win.

VERDICT: Castledawson push Wolfhounds over edge

Steelstown v Greenlough

Steelstown eased their unexpected relegation worries with hard-earned two-point win away to Drumsurn.

They posted early goals from Gareth Logue and Mickey McKinney but had to battle hard as Drumsurn recovered from their poor start. Steelstown were reduced to 14 players when Emmett Deane was red carded in the final minutes and he misses this game.

For promotion, the Clady side will need to win here and hope the O’Leary’s lose their last two games, an unlikely outcome as they are at home to Faughanvale in their final game.

VERDICT: Greenlough see off safe Steelstown

Glenullin v Drumsurn

Not many would have predicted the Mitchel’s would be in a relegation dogfight with just two league games to play.

But that’s the predicament they face as they welcome Drumsurn to Sean O Maolain Park for a game they must win. Dermot O’Kane returned from injury against Newbridge and pointed six frees but it was not enough as the O’Leary’s, managed by Paddy Bradley, won by four points.

The Mitchel’s also had Niall O’Kane red carded and he will miss this game. With Ballymaguigan and Castledawson two points better off than the Mitchel’s, a win might not save them. However, defeat would be disastrous as they are away to Greenlough in their final game and that will not be easy, especially if the Clady side are still in the promotion hunt.

VERDICT: Mitchel’s to keep safety hopes alive

Claudy v Newbridge

Unquestionably this is the outstanding game of the weekend as unbeaten and promoted, Claudy, welcome second placed Newbridge who have lost just once.

Like Claudy, who shared the spoils with Foreglen, they have drawn one game, against Kilrea. In their most recent game Newbridge got the better of Glenullin, Danny Mulholland (1-02), Kevin Sweeney (1-02) and Jude Diamond (1-01) their top scorers. However, they will be without Sweeney for this clash as he was red carded against the Mitchel’s.

At Ballymaguigan top scorer Aaron Kerrigan put the Mitchel’s in control with two early goals and they had eight points to spare at half time to gain promotion. If they can avoid defeat, they will add the title to their laurels. However, a Newbridge win would give them the title.

VERDICT: Mitchel’s must be at their best but take title

Faughanvale v Ballymaguigan

Faughanvale’s convincing 14 points win over Limavady last week had two decisive outcomes.

It almost certainly pushed the Wolfhounds lover the relegation edge while almost certainly guaranteeing safety for the Treas, even though they were well beaten by promoted Claudy.

The Vale have seven points and are three points clear of Glenullin, who are in the bottom two and have to win their two remaining games against Drumsurn and Greenlough to go above the ‘Vale. Ballymaguigan have six points, as have Castledawson. The latter two clubs are on six points, so

Glenullin are breathing down their necks.

VERDICT: Faughanvale to pile pressure on the teams below

Kilrea v Foreglen

The two can go into the closing games without any pressure. Both have 10 points, Kilrea at home to Castledawson and Foreglen hosting Steelstown in their final match.

The O’Brien’s also have an outstanding game against Castledawson. Kilrea put a dent on Greenlough’s already slim promotion hopes when they beat the Clady side, two first half Paddy Quigg goals doing the damage.

Foreglen have more to play for but their destiny is well outside their control at present and both clubs will already be looking toward championship.

VERDICT: Kilrea to take the points.

Castledawson v Foreglen (Monday, 7.30pm)

By the time this game takes place, the outcome of the O’Brien’s game at Kilrea could well have determined whether or not Foreglen are still in the promotion hunt. The result of the top of the table clash could also have altered the equation.

The Dawson are on the relegation periphery with six points and will want to get out of trouble as soon as possible, so they will not make life easy for the O’Brien’s.

Niall McNicholl earned Castledawson a share of the spoils from a late free, while Foreglen squandered six points lead at home to Greenlough and had to share the points.

VERDICT: Outcome depends on the weekend games!