Promotion hopefuls Foreglen and Greenlough face off in Division 1B
H&A Mechanical Services ACL Division 1B
Foreglen v Greenlough (Saturday, August 4th, 6-30pm)
Another head to head in the promotion chase, Foreglen one point off second placed Newbridge and three behind leaders, Claudy.
Greenlough are similarly placed on points but behind on score difference.
Neither side can afford to drop points against their promotion rivals so defeat for either in this encounter could spell the end of the promotion road.
Both sides have difficult games to finish, Foreglen facing Castledawson away, Kilrea away and Steelstown at home; Greenlough at home to Kilrea and Glenullin with Steelstown away in between.
In their most recent game, the O’Brien’s leading scorer with 3-31, Kevin O’Connor, scored 3-02 against Drumsurn while Enda Lynn, who is the division’s top scorer with 3-42, hit 1-07 in the one-point win over Castledawson.
These two are likely to be the match winners but it’s the supply line which will decide the contest in a game which will go a long way to deciding promotions places.
VERDICT: Home advantage could be crucial in very tight game.
Glenullin v Ballymaguigan (Friday, August 2 at 8pm)
The Mitchel’s were very disappointed with their relegation at the end of last season and would not have expected to find themselves in such deep trouble at this stage of the season, again staring relegation in the face with just one point before their last game and without key players.
Then they were four points down in the 33rd minute against Limavady to make their position even more perilous.
However, inspired by Leigh Mullan who scored 1-03, Paul and Conor Rafferty (1-02 each) and Neil McNicholl (0-04) they crushed the Wolfhounds by 12 points to give themselves some breathing space but they still need points.
The Trea’s are just above the relegation zone themselves and a Glenullin win would see them leapfrog the visitors out of the relegation places.
The Mitchel’s have the scoring firepower to outscore the opposition but both teams have been inconsistent all season.
VERDICT: Mitchel’s firepower secures crucial win.
Claudy v Limavady (Sunday, August 4th, 2.30pm)
The Mitchel’s are closing in on a return to the top-flight and will be strongly fancied to stay on course as they plan for the remaining games against Ballymaguigan away, Newbridge at home and Drumsurn away.
They have three points in hand over chasers, Foreglen and Greenlough, but a win over bottom of the table Wolfhounds would eliminate the loser of the mouth-watering clash at O’Brien Park.
However. Claudy will be aware Limavady gave Glenullin quite a battle until early in the second half with Richard King scoring 0-05.
In the midweek game Claudy had five points to spare over Castledawson, Oran Armstrong scoring 0-07, their goal scored by Blaine Carlin. and Claudy are unbeaten with 13 points from six wins and a draw.
The evergreen Marty Donaghy scored 1-03 in the win over Faughanvale and it difficult to see anything over than a comfortable home win here.
VERDICT: Claudy march on with easy win
Kilrea v Drumsurn (Friday, August 2nd, 8pm)
With four teams above them, fifth placed Kilrea are the outsiders in the promotion race, their draw with second placed Newbridge a creditable display but not the ideal outcome in a congested promotion race.
They finish away to fellow challengers, Greenlough, and home to third placed Foreglen, Castledawson at Pearse Park their last game of the season.
That’s a difficult run-in but it at least affords the opportunity for the Pearses to directly influence those teams looking to secure a promotion spot.
In their most recent match James Kielt scored 0-07 and Tiarnan Quigg the only goal in the draw with Newbridge.
Drumsurn have been in good form recently, drawing with Foreglen and scoring three goals courtsey of Pearse McNicholl, Daryl Mullan and Dara Rafferty,
Drumsurn will trouble Pearses but not enough to win.
VERDICT: Kilrea to keep outside chance of promotion alive.
Faughanvale v Castledawson (August 4th at 2.30pm)
Faughanvale have played seven games and secured four points from two wins and five defeats.
For their part, the Broagh Road side have lost their last two games to Claudy, by five points, and to Greenlough, by one.
They are precariously placed on five points, one ahead of the home team ‘Vale, both sides with two wins going into this crunch clash that neither can afford to lose.
Castledawson have to face promotion seeking Foreglen and Kilrea either side of a game against bottom side, Limavady, the Vale also meeting the Wolfhounds, Ballymaguigan and Newbridge.
This is a big clash because the loser of this clash is in relegation quicksand and will be hoping that one or two of the other strugglers slip up in the run in to ease their worries.
Faughanvale will need a herculean effort to avoid dropping into relegation zone but are capable of winning
VERDICT: ‘Vale could edge it at home but this will be close.
Steelstown v Newbridge (August 4th at 2.30pm)
It would take a series of extraordinary results over the last four rounds for the city side to be dragged deep into the relegation battleground, their seven points from two wins, a draw and three defeats keeping them three points clear of second bottom club, Glenullin (3 points) and of Faughanvale (4 points), Ballymaguigan and Castledawson.
A late point from Mark Foley earned them a share of the spoils with the Trea’s, Emmet Deane coming off the bench to score 1-01.
Newbridge are two points behind leaders, Claudy, but must travel to O’Neill Park in the penultimate round of the season, as well as well as facing Ballymaguigan away from home.
They also entertain struggling Glenullin in the middle of next week, which should be a home win so two points here are a must.
VERDICT: Newbridge’s need is greater which could carry them to win!