St Paul’s start as firm favourites

Divison one outfit St Paul’s will start as strong favourites against Eire Og in the Intermediate Championship first round game at Clann Eireann Park on Sunday.

The Taghnevan men, despite facing the drop from the top flight, have at times been in enterprising form particularly with wins over league champions Maghery and Carrickcruppin.

The Lurgan side, who were runners-up last season in division 2two, are one of the most improved teams in the county and will no doubt further improve under their current management irrespective of their league standing at the end of the season.

On Sunday the Taghnevan side however face an Eire og team with absolutely nothing to lose, The Ogs have been making steady progress over the past number of seasons and they will relish the prospect of causing a shock.

They will need little motivation and will have taken great confidence from their league win over Clan na Gael recently. Although it is not clear how serious Andrew Murnin’s hamstring injury is, the former County Minor player will be a huge miss should he fail to make the cut. The Saints line out however looks strong with Phelim O’Neill on top of his game being well supplemented by Ryan Lawless, Chris Lavery and Mickey Shanks.

As for the Ogs the Pinebank outfit looked well co-ordinated under the guile of the returned and experienced Dara Edwards, Daniel Ryan has been performing well and there will certainly be no lack of leadership from Steven Burns who would love to finish his career on a high.

St Paul’s considering the tough games they have endured this season should be strong enough to progress to the next round.