Epic battle on cards for semi-final clash

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CLANN Éireann Park will host this weekend’s Intermediate Championship semi-final between St. Peter’s and Wolfe Tones, which is expected to draw one of the biggest crowds seen at the venue for some time.

Hundreds of neutrals will attend the game along with the supporters of both sides and all will be hoping for a rip-roaring encounter. This particular local derby is a fairly routine one to analyse; the Derrymacash men have been struggling from the beginning of the season in Division One and have just one victory to their credit, however, they showed great character last time out when coming from behind against Grange have nothing to lose in Saturday’s semi-final.

On this occasion though, they will meet a side playing with a lot of rhythm and intelligence, and coming into the game on the back of a consistent run of form in the league. But Championship games are all about one off performances. Irrespective of league standings, the team with the greatest hunger could prevail on Saturday and any team with the guile and ambition of Finnian Moriarty on board deserves to be respected; the Armagh player will be driving his side until the bitter end.

The ‘Cash will be looking for big performances from David Heaney, James Lavery, former county minor Ruairi McCaughley, Ryan McQuillan and from one of the most under rated players in the county Johnny McCarron. The Tones, against Grange, finished strongly which would suggest that their fitness levels were spot on. Incidentally, their quarter final win was also played at Clann Éireann on a night not exactly suited to free flowing football.

The measure of St. Peter’s progress of late can be gauged on their win in their quarter final win against Silverbridge; the Whites had showed a lot of composure to overcome Shane O’Neill’s in an earlier round but against the ‘Bridge the term ‘coming of age’ would apply. There is a youth and vibrancy about the Whites’ attack at the moment; Niall Creaney, Danny McNally and the talented Niall McConville play with a lot of flair. The towering Aaron Findon is supplemented around the middle by the experience of Paul Brady and with Emmett Haughian back from injury and Robbie Geary in good form, the Whites’ rearguard, which is also bolstered by the mobile Sam Marshall and Sean O’Neill, who had a spell with Armagh minors, will be difficult to penetrate.