From Saffron Gael
Naomh Éanna vs Lámh Dhearg Sunday August 6
Throw In: 3pm Referee:
Darren McKeown (St Gall’s)
Naomh Éanna’s reward for their four point victory over Glen Rovers Armoy in the preliminary round is a meeting with 2016 junior champions, Lámh Dhearg.
Traditionally, junior champions struggle when they compete for Intermediate honours and the Lámh’s will be hoping to buck that recent trend.
With a strong league campaign that has yielded eight wins from their 12 matches so far and four wins on the bounce, the 2016 Ulster Junior champions are coming into form at the right time of the season. 18 goals in those four matches, albeit 11 in one match against Loch Mór Dál gCais, the Hannahstown side carry a huge goal threat but with Domhnall Nugent reportedly not fit to play after concussion, it leaves a huge void for someone to fill for the Lámh’s. Naomh Éanna showed plenty of signs that during their preliminary round victory that they are capable of at least matching their exploits from last year.
In John McGoldrick they have an exceptional free taker, ball winner and a player who can play in a variety of positions. Brendan Cormican was superb as sweeper against Armoy the last day out in horrendous conditions but despite the individual scoring exploits of McGoldrick, the most impressive trait the Hightown Road side showed was their team work. On a day that wasn’t concussive for pure hurling, they worked their socks off for each other and won the lion’s share of second phase possession – ultimately proving to be the difference in the sides. Both teams are sitting high in the Division 3/4 table but have yet to play each other in the league. Both come into this quarter-final in good form but I think if reports are true suggesting Nugent will be missing for the Hannahstown men then it will be the difference.
Naomh Éanna to progress to their second semi-final in two years