Champions Ballinacourty and The Nire are the first two sides to book a place in the quarter finals of this year’s JJ Kavanagh & Sons County Senior Football Championship after they beat previously unbeaten An Rinn and Stradbally over the weekend.
The Nire were the first team to book their place in the last eight of the competition after they beat Stradbally on Saturday evening at Fraher Field.
The winners at the break held a 1-7 to 0-4 advantage, Shane Ryan finishing a Jamie Barron pass to the net on 13 minutes.
Ten minutes into the second half the game look done and dusted after Diarmuid Wall finished to the net to give his side a 2-10 to 0-4 lead.
But you right off Stradbally at your pearl and a brace of goals first from Michael Sweeney and then Christopher Casey had the difference on the score board down to five with time running out.
Liam Lawlor struck for a third goal for the Nire with two minutes to go, but Stradbally attacked straight away and struck a third goal for themselves through John Coffey, but they were not able to make any further inroads as The Nire held out for a 3-11 to 3-7 win.
Champions Ballinacourty secured their place in the last eight twenty four hours later when they beat An Rinn also at Fraher Field.
The winners always were in control and at the break held a 0-12 to 0-3 lead.
In the second half, they continued to dominate and while An Rinn struck the games only goal through Donie Breathnach, Ballinacourty ran out double score winners on a 0-18 to 1-6 win.
In the opening game of the weekend, Kilrossanty and Clashmore had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Kilrossanty looked to be easing to a comfortable win after Barry Prendergast early in the final quarter of the game but Clashmore who had Paul O’Connor in outstanding form kicking eight of his sides twelve points came back for what was a deserved draw.
Also on Saturday evening, Rathgormack proved too strong for an Ardmore side that have yet to win in this year’s championship.
At the Bushy Park venue on Saturday evening, they have Gavin Nugent in fine form kicking half of his sides scores in a 0-14 to 0-11 win.
Rathgormack at the break held a 0-10 to 0-3 lead, and while Ardmore lead by Seamus Keating in the second half came more into the game, they had left themselves with two much to do going into the second thirty minutes.
Gaultier recorded their first win of this year’s championship on Sunday evening when they beat 2013 Intermediate Football Champions De La Salle at Walsh Park.
The Barony men at the break held a 1-5 to 1-4 advantage, JJ Hutchinson and Colm Morris hitting the goals for their respective sides.
The second half proved to be just as tight as the first. The Gracedieu based outfit at the end of the third quarter held a 1-9 to 1-7 advantage, but a Sean White goal eleven minutes from time proved decisive for the Barony men who went on to record a 2-9 to 1-11 victory.
Saint Saviours also recorded a first win of championship when they beat Ballinameela at Stradbally.
The Western side looked as though it was they that would record a first win of the campaign at the break as they held a 0-4 to 0-0 advantage.
However, the Ballybeg based outfit in the second half came more and more into the game and were rewarded for their efforts when Mickey Merrigan hit the Ballinameela net seven minutes from time to help them to a 1-8 to 0-6 victory.
Games in round four of the championship are fixed for mid week this week.
Three games are down for decision on Wednesday evening, with two on Thursday and one on Friday with all games having a 7-30pm start.
On Wednesday evening Ardmore play An Rinn in Bushy Park. A win for An Rinn in this game would bring their tally to six points which would secure a place in the quarter finals of the championship. A defeat for Ardmore would mean that with just one game to play, they would remain in danger of dropping down to the Intermediate Grade for 2015.
Kilrossanty and Rathgormack are both in mid table and clash at Fraher Field. A win for Rathgormack would bring them to six points and therefore securing a place in the last eight of the competition, while a win for Kilrossanty would bring them to five points which should be good enough to secure their place in the last eight of the championship.
The final game on Wednesday evening sees De La Salle take on The Nire at Stradbally. De La Salle would go a long way towards securing a place in the quarter finals of the championship but they may have to settle for second best against The Nire who have maximum points from their three games played to date.
On Thursday evening Clashmore and Ballinacourty meet at Fraher Field. Clashmore last weekend picked up their first points of the competition when they drew with Kilrossanty. Ballinacourty on the other hand have three wins from three games. Normally little would be expected to be between these two sides, but Clashmore are struggling somewhat this year and may have to wait for their final game of the league section of the competition to secure their senior status for another year.
At Walsh Park, Saint Saviours and Gaultier meet in what could be an entertaining game.
Both sides last weekend recorded their first wins of the campaign and will know that another win in this game would secure their senior status for 2015 and also possibly secure a place in the last eight of the competition.
Gaultier get the nod to win here but it will be close.
The final game of the round takes place in Fraher Field on Friday evening when Ballinameela take on Stradbally.
These two sides have met a number of times in recent years, and while Ballinameela have put it up to the Cove Men, they tend to be at the wrong end of the result on more occasions than not.
Ballinameela are in need of a win, and are the only team in the group yet to win, meaning that another defeat could well leave them in a relegation dog fight.
Stradbally will go into this game needing just one more win to absolute guarantee their place in the last eight of the competition, and should happen in this game.
Score difference NOT taken into account for teams’ level on points.