AFTER the shadow boxing and the largely predictable early rounds, the Derry championship scene starts for real this weekend.
DERRY SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER FINALS
LAVEY V BALLINDERRY
Saturday, Owenbeg, 5pm
LAVEY emerged from a feisty clash when the sides met last year. Gareth McKinless was sent off against Coleraine, but has his red card rescinded. Shea Downey missed the win over Steelstown, but if he return’s the Erin’s Own men will be at full strength.
SLEACHT NÉILL V SWATRAGH
Saturday, Owenbeg, 6.45pm
AFTER getting trounced in last year’s final, the Emmet’s are back again and face their improving neighbours. Both teams play a similar brand of football, with Shane McGuigan and Christopher Bradley holding the keys in this one.
Verdict: Sleacht Néill
DUNGIVEN V NEWBRIDGE
Sunday, Owenbeg, 5pm
BOTH clubs were in the relegation mix last season before the CCC’s u-turn on relegation and now one of them will make a semi-final. There have been signs of hope from both camps and little to choose here.
GLEN V MAGHERAFELT
Sunday, Owenbeg, 6.30pm
A REPEAT of the 2019 decider when Glen almost salvaged a draw in the final seconds. Both teams lacked any urgency for long periods the last day. Magherafelt had the tougher test. This could take extra time.
DERRY INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALLCHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER FINALS
FAUGHANVALE V CASTLEDAWSON
Saturday, Swatragh, 12.30pm
THE ‘Vale set down a marker in their win over Foreglen, in what proved to be a tough group. Castledawson held off Lissan by the skin of their teeth in a play-off and have it all to do.
DRUMSURN V DESERTMARTIN
Saturday, Ballinascreen, 2pm
DESERTMARTIN have more than proved they can cut it at this level after back to back wins in the junior grade. Drumsurn have been the best team not to have won the title of late. A great game in prospect.
FOREGLEN V GREENLOUGH
Saturday, Ballinascreen, 3.30pm
BOTH teams have championship pedigree at this grade after spells playing in the senior grade. The ‘Lough will need Niall Loughlin at full pelt in this one. Foreglen lost to Faughanvale but have upped their game since.
GLENULLIN V LIMAVADY
Sunday, Celtic Park, 2.30pm
LIMAVADY needed all their resolved to come through via the play-offs and have had an exciting season so far. It took until the fourth game for the ‘Glen to hit the net, but with Eoin Bradley in their attack, they’ll not be far away from silverware.
DERRY JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINALS
CRAIGBANE V BALLYMAGUIGAN
Saturday, Swatragh, 2pm
THE two favourites for the Joe Brolly Cup clash on Saturday on the back of comfortable quarter-finals wins. Craigbane can call on Lee Moore after suspension and the midfield battle will be crucial here. A tight call.
BALLERIN V DOIRE TRASNA
Sunday, Celtic Park, 1pm
BALLERIN tanked Trasna when the sides clashed in the group stages and both teams eased through their qualifiers by similar margins. Paul Ferris and Eoghan Quigg are the respective attacking stars, with the prize much bigger this time
DERRY SENIOR CAMOGIE CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINALS
BALLINASCREEN V SWATRAGH
Sunday, Foreglen, 1pm
SWATRAGH beat Sleacht Néill to add another league title and have been on an upward curve in recent seasons. Ballinascreen were nine-point winners over Bellaghy in the quarter-final, but it’s hard to see the ‘Swa not getting the job done.
LAVEY V SLEACHT NÉILL
Sunday, Foreglen, 3pm
THE champions topped their group with the minimum of fuss and face a Lavey team full of goals and with Aoife Shaw buoyed from leading the footballers to a first title. A repeat of last year’s semi-final.
Verdict: Sleacht Néill