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Errigal To Make It Through To Another League Final.
On what is sure to be a very exciting weekend of club football there is much more at stake than “just” the O’Neill Cup. Saturday will see the first of the promotion play offs and league semi finals and the game that will attract most attention and focus is sure to be the Carrickmore v Errigal Ciaran fixture. This Division One semi final will be their third meeting this year with Carrickmore having won the first two games including a one point victory in the opening round of the Power NI championship.
However this game sees both teams coming into the match having had something of a lay off while waiting for the championship to be completed. Defending champions Errigal have been kicking their heels for what seems an age and trying to keep players sharp in both mind and body in such circumstances is far from easy. Such situations are far from ideal in terms of ensuring a team is fully focussed on the challenge they face. This game to them however is more than just a semi final. In addition to defending their league title it is their one chance of revenge this season and the pride in the jersey that they have might well swing it in their favour. They will be looking for big games from Enda and Ciaran Mc Ginley while the ball winning and ball carrying abilities of Peter Harte and Ronan Mc Rory will be central to their chances of victory.
One thing is sure Errigal have shown over the past couple of years that a league title is something to be valued and they will be doing their best to hold onto the title. They face a Carrickmore side that were in top form throughout the league but who seemed to run out of steam and ideas against Clonoe in the championship. Conditions in terms of weather will make it difficult for both sides to play fast flowing football and this may suit the more physical approach of the Carmen men. Kieran Mc Aleer, Conor Gormley, Niall Loughran and Colm Mc Gurk will provide the physicality and leadership for their team while a fully fit Caolan Daly and Mark Donnelly will carry much of their attacking threat.
This match will draw a large crowd and looks like being a close affair. On what could well be a wet and slippery day there will be lots of frees conceded so accuracy from placed balls will be important. In tight games, like matches between these two sides, free takers are crucial and both Kevin Mc Nally and Peter Harte will need to be on top form for their respective sides. It would appear that Errigal may have a greater need to win this one to avoid a three nil whitewash for the season and that need could well be the difference in the final outcome.