THIS weekend sees the first round of fixtures in the 2011 Intermediate Championship.
The action starts this Friday night at the Athletic Grounds where St Peter’s face Silverbridge.
Here are the ties involving local sides.
St. Peter’s v Silverbridge
League positions: St. Peter’s - top of division three, Silverbridge - fifth in division two. Possible odds; Silverbridge 4\9, St Peter’s 5\2.
The Whites have a clear chance here of causing an upset if the sustained pressure of being out in front in division three has not taken its toll, but Silverbridge will be a very difficult team to beat.
The guess is that the Whites will be better served by the big pitch at the Athletic Grounds which will suit their running game. The North Street side reached last year’s semi-final and that experience should stand by them but the tie might just be shaded here by the ‘Bridge who have been playing better teams this year. Verdict: Silverbridge.
Wolfe Tones v An Port Mór
League positions: Wolfe Tones - second in division two, An Port Mór - fourth from bottom in division three. Possible odds: Wolfe Tones 1\4, An Port Mór 5\1.
Several teams could be fancied to win this year’s Intermediate Championship and the Tones would be one of them, but they have fallen short in the past.
In fairness to the ‘Cash team, they look more co-ordinated this season and, unlike in previous years, are showing consistency. Whether they can run a Championship campaign alongside a pressurised final push for promotion remains to be seen but they should be too strong for An Port Mór this weekend.
Verdict; Wolfe Tones.
St Paul’s v Tír na nÓg
League positions: St. Paul’s - fifth from top in division three, Tír na nÓg - fourth from bottom in division two. Possible odds: St Paul’s 7\2, Tír na nÓg 2\7.
Despite getting off to a good start in their league campaign, St. Paul’s have fallen down the third division table and they may struggle, despite their battling qualities, against Tír na nÓg who have not exactly been in sparkling form themselves this term.
The analysis is that the Portadown men will be too strong up front for Taghnevan who, on their best form, could get within a few points of the Ógs.
Verdict; Tír na nÓg.