AIB Ulster GAA Football Championship Semi-Finals: Kilcoo (Down) v St Galls (Antrim), The Athletic Grounds, 2.30pm
The other semi-final in Ulster pits potential dark horses Kilcoo against regular Ulster title pursuers St. Galls at the Athletic Grounds.
Kilcoo have had a remarkable year, winning only their second county title in 75 years, yet find themselves in the last four in the race for Ulster, while St Galls are one of three teams to win an Ulster title in the last ten years.
Kilcoo got the better of Mayobridge in the Down final but were a much improved side as the breezed past Monaghan champions Ballybay on a scoreline of 0-13 to 0-7. Starlet Jerome Johnson was central to his team’s success as he fired over four points from play. The Hogan Cup winner with Newry side St Colman’s was also one of the scorers in a run of four unanswered points before the break which gave Kilcoo the physiological edge in the tight contest.
St. Galls are no strangers to this stage of the Ulster club championship, winning last in 2009 and were crowned All-Ireland winners in March 2010. This year the Antrim champions easily saw off Fermanagh champions Tempo in the Ulster quarter-finals by 1-15 to 0-9; the half-time lead was 1-12 to 0-3 points. They took their foot off the gas in the second period and Tempo outscored them 0-6 to 0-3, but in truth the game as a contest was over in the first half.
Despite St. Galls experience in the Ulster championship they are only slight favourites to overcome Kilcoo. The Down side boast lively inter-county forward player Conor Lafferty in their ranks and must be treated with respect. Add to that, hunger, desire and an attacking style that is a fresh approach to football, it will come as no surprise if the Down men can cause an upset come Sunday evening.