H&A Mechanical Services Division Three (Round Four)
Magherafelt Thirds v Doire Colmcille
Improving Doire Colmcille are in the strange position of being favourites as they travel to Magherafelt to take on the Rossa’s Thirds. The city club deserve great credit for keeping the flag flying despite a lack of results but recent seasons have seen some major improvements on and off the pitch. They have been patiently working with young players and building gradually.
Magherafelt have a lot of experience and may struggle with the pace of the young city side. The lively front two of Dean Curran and Matt Maguire could be the men to give the Colmcille’s a rare victory. Last week they lost narrowly to Ardmore while Magherafelt lost heavily to Ogra Colmcille.
Verdict: Colmcille for a rare win.
Ardmore v Magilligan
Ardmore have slipped back badly in the last two years due to the loss of players through retirements and emigration. Their opening loss to Ogra Colmcille by a massive margin was a bad start to their campaign. They entertain Magilligan who are one of the stronger teams in the third division and even with home advantage, St. Mary’s will be the underdogs.
Magilligan had a fine away win over local rivals Glack on Sunday but both these teams have struggled at under age level due to lack of numbers, resulting in a lot of experienced men being still in action. Magilligan have a decent team at present and will be fancied to come back down the Derry Road with both points.
Verdict: Magilligan enjoy away win
Slaughtneil IIIs v Drum
Newcomers Slaughtneil Thirds have hit a run of very difficult games after an initial win over Magherafelt Thirds. They take on unbeaten Drum side with promotion very much in their minds. Thirds teams are usually made up of experienced men and players getting tested at adult level. It is amazing that a rural club like Slaughtneil can field three adult teams but nobody seriously expects them to be defeating strong teams like Drum.
Drum have been scoring freely this year they should add further to their points total. Last Saturday the Slaughtneil team lost to Limavady but showed a lot of promise but this is a bridge too far.
Verdict: Drum by a distance.
Glack v Limavady
This is the stand out game of the round as these old rivals clash at Brolly Park, Glack. They met a few weeks ago at this venue and it took a late Oisin Hassan goal to squeeze out a narrow win for the Wolfhounds who had dominated the first half and built up a nine point lead. Despite the bitter cold, these local rivals produced a top quality encounter with the visitors winning by 3-5 to 2-6.
Limavady will be a bit stronger than they were that day but so will Glack so there is unlikely to be much between them again. It must be remembered also that Glack played the second half a man down after getting a player red carded before half time.
Jimmy O’Connor and Niall McGowan are the scoring threats for the home team and big full forward Cormac Boyle is clever on the ball. Limavady probably have a bigger panel and also have bigger men in key areas. Cormac Quigley has an eye for goal and they are strong in midfield through the towering Jack Deery and Ruairi O’Kane.
The Wolfhounds have won their first three and will push hard for promotion. Glack will hope to bounce back from their defeat against Magilligan last week but Limavady look too strong.
Verdict: Limavady to edge a close contest.
Sean Dolan’s v Ogra Colmcille
Unbeaten Ogra Colmcille have a 100 mile round trip to play Dolan’s on their refurbished pitch at Piggery Ridge above Derry’s Creggan Estate. The city men have had a mixed start to the season but notably their best performances have always been at home. For the past few seasons they have had to forfeit home advantage and that did not help their cause.
Ogra have worked hard to keep the show on the road with a limited number of players. They have some quality footballers who were prominent in Intermediate football. They look well capable of pushing Drum and Limavady for top honours and they should have something to spare in this game but Dolan’s will be anxious to get off to a decent start on their ‘homecoming’.
Verdict: Ogra to claim Creggan win.