Friday, July 02, 2021

By Richard Commins

KILDARE’S “Big 4” of Athy, Moorefield, Sarsfields and Celbridge were kept apart in the Preliminary Round draw for the Joe Mallon Motors Senior Football Championship which was held live on KFM on Friday evening. Champions, Athy, were the last team drawn out of the hat and will face a clash with Glenn Ryan’s Round Towers outfit.

Athy, County Champions 2020 Photo: Sean Brilly

Moorefield face Maynooth who narrowly avoided relegation last year while Celbridge have a local derby with Confey to look forward to.
In one of the more interesting clashes of the round, Sarsfields, under former Kildare star Pádraig Brennan, are up against a young Clane side whose exciting forwards Shane O’Sullivan and Brian McLoughlin have burst onto the senior inter-county scene this season.

Raheens made great progress in last year’s competition, reaching the quarter final stage, and some will fancy them to overcome Johnstownbridge in the other tie of the round. The Bridge will likely be without Paul Cribbin of course after the injury he suffered against Meath.

Intermediate champions Clogherinkoe face into their first season at senior level with doubts surrounding hamstrung star Jack Robinson and it won’t be an easy baptism for them with Naas lying in wait. Naas for their part have underachieved in the last two championships and will be eager to get off to a flying start this time around. In the other two games St. Laurence’s will meet Eadestown and it’s Carbury against Castledermot.

Assuming the Big 4 win their opening round games they will be split up in the Group phase based on the predetermined draw with Sarsfields and Celbridge destined for Winners Group A and Moorefield and Athy in Winners Group B

The eight losers go into two losers groups, C and D and must win their group to reach the Quarter Final directly whereas the top two in Groups A and B will qualify automatically for the Quarter Finals. The two third placed teams from Groups A and B play off with the runners-up from Groups C and D for the final two last eight spots while the bottom teams in the two losers groups will face a relegation play-off.

The same set-up applies in The Auld Shebeen Bar Athy Intermediate Football Championship where relegated Monasterevan under new manager Conor Mortimer face Suncroft while the winners of the 2020 Junior Championship, either Caragh or Robertstown have a tough opener against Two-Mile-House.

The fun will commence once Kildare senior footballers have exited the Championship, so hopefully not for a while yet!
Full Draws as follows:

Joe Mallon Motors SFC:
Preliminary Round:
Game 1: St. Laurence’s v Eadestown
Game 2: Sarsfields v Clane
Game 3: Confey v Celbridge
Game 4: Carbury v Castledermot
Game 5: Maynooth v Moorefield
Game 6: Clogherinkoe v Naas
Game 7: Johnstownbridge v Raheens
Game 8: Round Towers v Athy
Group Stage:
Group A (Winners): Winners Games 1,2,3 and 4
Group B (Winners): Winners Games 5,6,7,8
Group C (Losers): Losers Games 1,2,3,4
Group D (Losers): Losers Games 5,6,7,8

Auld Shebeen Bar Athy IFC:
Preliminary Round:
Game 1: Nurney v Leixlip
Game 2: Ellistown v Milltown
Game 3: Ballymore v Allenwood
Game 4: Caragh/Robertstown v Two Mile House
Game 5: Straffan v Rathangan
Game 6: Sallins v St. Kevin’s
Game 7: Ballyteague v Kilcock
Game 8: Monasterevan v Suncroft
Group Stage:
Group A (Winners): Winners Games 1,2,3 and 4
Group B (Winners): Winners Games 5,6,7,8
Group C (Losers): Losers Games 1,2,3,4
Group D (Losers): Losers Games 5,6,7,8

Tom Cross Transport JFC:
(No preliminary round):
Group A: Rathcoffey, Rheban, Grangevolvin, Ballykelly, Kildangan, Kilcullen
Group B: Castlemitchell, Athgarvan, Cappagh, Caragh/Robertstown, Kill, Ardclough

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