The Tullamore Court Hotel Football championships get underway this weekend, headlined by Senior A double headers at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park on Saturday and Sunday. Details of the Senior A, Senior B and Intermediate games are as follows: –
Tullamore Court Hotel Senior A Football Championship
Saturday 7th April at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park
Gracefield v Clara at 5pm
The 2017 championship throws in at 5pm on Saturday. Clara were finalists last year, falling to Rhode at the final hurdle, while Gracefield were recent semi-finalists in 2014, 2016 and 2017. When they met last year, Clara were the 1-11 to 0-11 winners in round 2, while Clara were 1-8 to 0-10 winners in 2015’s round 1. So far in the league, Clara have beaten Edenderry while losing out to Tullamore (by a point) and Rhode. Gracefield, meanwhile, are without a league win having lost to Ferbane, Rhode and Cappincur.
Edenderry v Tullamore at 6.30pm
The second part of Saturday’s double header sees a meeting of two sides who drew with each other in their two most recent meetings – ending 1-8 each last year with Edenderry’s 0-15 matching Tullamore’s 2-9 in 2016. Both were beaten quarter-finalists last year, Edenderry’s and Tullamore’s campaigns ended by Clara and Gracefield respectively. Edenderry’s league campaign sees them without a win, having lost to Rhode and Clara. Tullamore have beaten Clara and Ferbane so far in this year’s league. Edenderry have current Offaly panellists in David Brady, Seán Pender, Jordan Hayes and Seán Doyle, while Tullamore will include Paul McConway, Declan Hogan, Michael Brazil and Aaron Hensey.
Sunday 8th April at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park
Rhode v Cappincur at 12 noon
The 2017 meeting of these two was a tight affair – Rhode squeezing through on a 0-13 to 1-9 scoreline. Reigning champions, Rhode, who seek three in a row, have started the league impressively with wins over Edenderry, Gracefield and Clara. Cappincur were Senior B winners in 2016 and retained Senior A status having won the relegation final last year. They also have a 100% league record following wins over Ferbane and Gracefield.
Durrow v Ferbane at 1.30pm
Durrow return to Offaly football’s top grade, having last played at Senior grade in 1986 as St John’s. Senior B champions last year, they begin their campaign with a meeting with 2016 finalists Ferbane, who were also semi-finalists last year. Durrow have Offaly panellist Bobby O’Dea, while Ferbane’s Offaly panellists are Shane Nally and Cian Johnson, and as well as being Minor A winners in 2015, 2015 and 2017, were U21 winners in 2017. Ferbane have beaten Gracefield in the league, but lost to Cappincur and Tullamore. Durrow have yet to begin their league campaign.
Tullamore Court Hotel Senior B Football Championship
Saturday 7th April at Durrow
St Rynagh’s v Bracknagh at 6pm
Relegated from Senior A grade last year, St Rynagh’s will face a club moving in the opposite direction. The Kildare boder side were Offaly Intermediate winners and Leinster Junior runners up in 2016, while they also formed part of the St Broughan’s side who were Minor winners in 2016. The Kildare border side will include Offaly panellist Peter Cunningham, while the Cloghan based club will miss Joey O’Connor, currently out of action through injury. Bracknagh are without a league win, having lost to Ballycumber and Raheen so far.
Sunday 8th April at Daingean
Raheen v Walsh Island
Walsh Island were Senior B quarter-finalists last year, their campaign ended by Bracknagh, while Raheen retained their Senior B status following a relegation playoff win over St Brigid’s. Last year, Raheen won the corresponding tie by 1-11 to 0-10 in round 3, as well as winning the 2016 tie 3-16 to 1-8. The 2014 Intermediate championship winners, Raheen will include Offaly panellists James Lalor and Conor Carroll, while Walsh Island will call on Alan Mulhall. Raheen began their league with a defeat to Shamrocks before beating Bracknagh two weeks ago. The Island’s only league outing has seen them defeated by Shamrocks.
Sunday 8th April at Cloghan
Shamrocks v Erin Rovers at 4pm
Having won last year’s Intermediate championship with a 2-12 to 1-10 win over Ferbane and gone on to reach the Leinster Final, newly promoted Erin Rovers begin life at Senior B grade when they face neighbours Shamrocks. Shamrocks themselves were Senior B semi-finalists last year where they lost to eventual winners Durrow. Shamrocks’ league campaign has seen them with two wins, over Ballycumber and Walsh Island.
Tubber v Ballycumber at 5.30pm
Last year, Tubber’s interest in the Senior B championship was ended at the semi-final stage by Bracknagh, while Ballycumber reached the quarter-final only to lose out to Durrow. The seides drew in last year’s round 3, ending Tubber 1-10 Ballycumber 2-7. The clubs combine at underage, Ballycumber/Tubber being Minor A runners up in 2015. Ballycumber are recent winners at this grade, being champions in 2015 before relegation in 2016. Ballycumber won the recent league meeting of the pair, 0-11 to 0-10. That was Tubber’s only league outing so far, while Ballycumber have also enjoyed a win over Bracknagh.
Tullamore Court Hotel Intermediate Football Championship
Saturday 7th April at Daingean
St Brigid’s v Ballycommon at 6pm
Ballycommon are another promoted side, Junior A champions last year after they beat Clodiagh Gaels 0-10 to 0-6 in the Final of that grade. David Dempsey enjoyed an extended run on the Offaly team during the recent Allianz NFL. The Croghan based side played Senior in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and Cian Donohue is a current Offaly panellist.
Saturday 7th April at Rhode
Clonbullogue v Daingean at 6pm
These two contested the Junior A Final in 2014, Daingean winning 1-7 to 1-6 that day, before Clonbullogue won that grade with a 2-8 to 1-9 Final win over Ballycommon a year later. Both were beaten Intermediate quarter-finalists last year. Daingean edged last year’s meeting 0-14 to 0-12 in round 2, and also won the 2016 IFC tie by 1-10 to 0-10. Both have experienced recent underage success, Daingean part of three in a row U21 winners St Vincent’s (2014, 2015 and 2016), while Clonbullogue contributed to St Broughan’s, 2016 minor A winners.
Saturday 7th April at Ferbane
Kilcormac-Killoughey v Shannonbridge at 6pm
Shannonbridge were Intermediate semi-finalists last year, losing out to neighbours Ferbane after a replay, while Kilcormac-Killoughey make a welcome return to football fields after a brief absence. In recent years, Shannonbridge were intermediate runners up to Bracknagh in 2016, while Kilcormac-Killoughey were Junior A winners in 2012 and Intermediate winners in 2013.
Sunday 8th April at Shannonbridge
Ferbane v Doon at 6pm
Neighbours Ferbane and Doon last met last year, the town side winning 5-11 to 0-10. Both subsequently saw their title hopes ended by Erin Rovers, Ferbane in the Final (1-10 to 2-12) and Doon in the semi-final (0-9 to 2-16).