Interesting games ahead at football quarter-final stage
At last the football championships are down to the business end of proceedings, with the quarter-finalists in all grades decided.
In Senior, Group A winners Castletown cruised to the last eight with a one hundred per cent record, continuing their consistent performances over the last number of years. They will meet a young Fethard team in the quarter-finals, coincidentally the same opposition they faced at the same stage last year.
Runners-up in Group A St. Anne's had an impressive win last weekend against Horeswood and, despite two losses in the group stages, they are coming in to form at the right time. One of those defeats was to Castletown when the team was decimated by the loss of players going to America for a wedding. Wouldn't you think the bride and groom would have cancelled the wedding to accommodate our championship?
They now play Gusserane who failed to qualify for the quarter-finals last year on scoring difference, but who left nothing to chance this year by going through with three wins.
St. Martin's were again impressive in qualifying with full points and have racked up a lot of scores on the way. They look to be in the mood to make up for last year's defeat in the county final and they will have a big test against St. James' in the knockout stages.
The last pairing will see Shelmaliers play last year's promoted team Glynn-Barntown. The Killurin men are full of confidence after winning three games in a row and will pose a tough challenge for the men from Over The Water.
Such is the competitiveness of the Senior football championship that Adamstown and Starlights will contest the relegation final after both teams had qualified for the quarter-finals last year. It's a very fine line between battling for survival and qualifying for the latter stages, as both Horeswood and Sarsfields will testify.
In Intermediate, Kilanerin led the way in qualification, closely followed by Bunclody and St. Mary's (Maudlintown). The men from The Rocks have had a brilliant campaign so far and will be full of confidence when they face Taghmon-Camross in their next game.
St. Fintan's will be back to full strength for their clash with Bannow-Ballymitty in what could be the tie of the round. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will see some great games of football across the county.
The 2016 Olympics will go down as one of the most memorable and yet forgettable ever from an Irish perspective. Memorable for the medals won by Annalise Murphy and the highly-entertaining O'Donovan brothers, and of course Billy Walsh's contribution to the American medal tally. Forgettable for some of the judging in boxing, the failure of our boxing administrators and of course the Pat Hickey saga.
Zaur Antia, John Conlan and Wexford's Eddie Bolger were hung out to dry by the I.A.B.A. when controversy hit the team with the announcement that Michael O'Reilly had failed a drugs test. Head office knew, yet failed to inform the most important people on the ground in Rio, namely the coaches.
Fergal Carruth said on T.V. that they were promised the information would not be leaked. Well, we all know how easy it is to keep a secret in Ireland! So, the coaches were approached by a journalist at the boxing draw to see if the story was true. They hadn't a clue and it was disgraceful for them to be put in that position. Later when John Conlan told everyone about O'Reilly's non-attendance at the high performance unit prior to departure for Rio, he was contradicted by a press release and in the aforementioned interview.
That's hardly the best way to treat three excellent coaches who stayed with the I.A.B.A. in a difficult time when they were trying to cope with the loss of their head coach. These men picked up the pieces and tried to keep things as normal as possible for their boxers.
But as we all know, things are not always normal in the world of amateur boxing.