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Intermediate League Final Preview

posted 16 Dec 2010, 03:12 by Jonathan Tavey   [ updated 5 Feb 2012, 04:52 ]
Doohamlet v Inniskeen: in Drumhowan, Sunday December 19th at 2.00pm.

Barring the intervention of the weather yet again or some other unforeseen circumstance this Sunday should see the conclusion of the domestic programme of matches with the final of the Streamline Coaches sponsored intermediate football league between Doohamlet and Inniskeen in Drumhowan. This is a game that has been in the waiting for some time as it was originally fixed for November 21st but the recent inclement weather and Doohamlet's involvement in the final of the Ulster intermediate club championship saw it put on hold in successive weekends all of which makes for a situation where it will be welcomed by the fixtures making body that the domestic programme will be completed within the calendar year. Looking at the final in outline there are a number of ways in which the potential in this game can be assessed. It is reasonable to suggest that it will be difficult for Doohamlet to raise their spirits following their defeat in last Sunday's Ulster intermediate club championship final while Inniskeen would certainly be seen as the fresher team at this stage. Against that though, they have not had any competitive matches since their semi-final while Doohamlet have come through a very tough Ulster campaign that culminated in a devastating defeat in Breffni Park on Saturday last. At the end of that absorbing encounter against Lisnaskea Doohamlet were physically and mentally shattered as they had given their very last ounce of blood in what was a gruelling encounter played in energy sapping conditions. A week though is a long time in football and Doohamlet have shown great resilience this season and no doubt will have got their minds focused during the week and will be seeking to end their season on a winning note by completing the Monaghan intermediate double of championship and league. Inniskeen for their part will not lack in motivation and will seize on this match as a game that can also end their season on a winning note and bring further silverware back to the banks of the Fane. The Grattans have enjoyed a very successful year so far winning a number of trophies in hurling including the Monaghan senior hurling championship and the Ulster junior club hurling championship but this game on Sunday is about taking a major football trophy back to the club and with it promotion to senior ranks next season.

Doohamlet will again look to their defence which is a well settled unit built around Martin Hughes at full-back and Colin Walshe at centre with wingbacks Kevin McArdle and Darren Connolly along with Walsh forming a very effective defensive/counter-attacking unit. Midfield will be vital as it is from there that Doohamlet can win the possession to keep the supply line going in to Shane McManus and Mark Murphy in particular while Ted Duffy and the experienced Ollie Hughes will also figure, although they will be without the services of Niall Jim Connolly who is in Australia. Inniskeen for their part will not lack in motivation and they have a number of players coming into Sunday's game who have already won Monaghan senior hurling and Ulster club Junior hurling championship medals. Kevin Boylan and Seamus Loftus along with Trevor Hilliard in defence are three such players, Loftus at centre back where his battle with Shane McManus could be one of the features of the game. Their preferred midfield pairing in the championship was that of Michael Lennon and Fergal Duffy but it is up front where they will be looking to the Meegans, Paul and Ronan for the bulk of the scores although Michael Lennon too will be chipping in with at least a couple of points.

Inniskeen has a very impressive record in the intermediate football league, a title they have won on no less than 11 occasions while Doohamlet are seeking their first victory.

This one promises to be a good open game of football where turnovers could be a central feature and it is not outside the bounds of possibility that it could take a replay to sort it out although neither side or the fixtures authorities would like to think that at this moment in time. Throw-in in Drumhowan on Sunday is at 2.00pm and the game is sure to attract a bumper attendance.