Cappincur the big losers as Senior Football Championship resumes

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Cappincur the big losers as Senior Football Championship resumes thumbnail

THE Tullamore Court Hotel Senior Football Championship resumed last weekend after a long three month break and there were wins for Clara, Edenderry, Rhode and Tullamore.
The games went on more or less expected lines as Clara, Edenderry and Rhode were favourites to beat Cappincur, Gracefield and Durrow while the Tullamore v Ferbane game was as close to 50/50 as you can get.
However, there were talking points, particularly another narrow and shattering defeat for Cappincur while Gracefield finally sparked life into their season by running Edenderry very close.
The hard luck story of the weekend belonged to Cappincur, who lost out by 1-9 to 1-7 to Clara on Saturday evening. Cappincur now find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table without a point from three games with Durrow and Gracefield - they are ahead of Durrow and Gracefield on scoring difference - but are unlucky to be in this position.
They competed as well as anyone has against Rhode in the group stages, when losing their opening game by 3-15 to 0-17 while they had Edenderry on the ropes before being over run in the closing few minutes. Saturday's defeat, however, was the hardest one of all for them to swallow. While Clara missed a lot of chances early in the second half, Cappincur stayed on their heels throughout and had gilt edged opportunities in the closing minutes. The underdogs missed a great goal chance and a few scoreable points as a relieved Clara held on for the win.
The clash between Edenderry and Gracefield was one of the games of the year. Gracefield had struggled horrendously in bad beatings by Clara and Ferbane in their first two games but the long break didn't do them any harm as they produced their first competitive performance.
They went toe to toe with Edenderry throughout and while the winners threatened to pull away on a couple of occasions, Gracefield refused to buckle and surrender. Twice in the closing few minutes, Gracefield were level and it took injury time points from Sean Doyle and Mark Abbott to give Edenderry a 2-16 to 3-11 win.
The most predictable result of the weekend was Rhode's demolition job on Durrow. The 4-18 to 0-3 final scoreline was an accurate reflection of the way this game went as Rhode showed no mercy and did as they wished. It could have been an even bigger margin and Durrow, who have received a real baptism of fire after winning the senior B last year, are favourites for relegation.
The meeting of Ferbane and Tullamore provided fine entertainment and as expected, it was a real tight game with little separating the sides. Ferbane were the better, sharper side in the first half and deserved their half time lead of 0-6 to 0-4. Tullamore upped the tempo all over the field in the second half, played much better as Ferbane struggled to find momentum and deserved to win by 0-13 to 0-11 - though Ferbane almost snatched it in injury time when a punch from Oisin Kelly hit the cross bar.
With four rounds left in the group stages, there is still a lot of football to be played and a lot can happen. With six teams qualifying, the top two into the semi-finals and the next four into the quarter-finals, no team is out of the hunt yet but the three teams at the bottom of the table, Durrow, Gracefield and Cappincur are on very precarious ground.
Rhode and Edenderry are top with six points from their three games and Rhode will be expected to claim one of the semi-final places. Ferbane, Clara and Tullamore have four points and the table looks all too predictable. These five will qualify and will be joined by one of Cappincur, Gracefield and Durrow.
Cappincur and Gracefield will meet in the next round and this is the most important game of the year for both. Cappincur have played better so far but Gracefield, who welcomed back Niall Smith, may have turned an important corner on Saturday. One team will be relegated and while Durrow look odds on for that at the moment, they won't have any fear about taking on Cappincur in particular. It would be very ironic if Cappincur went down and Durrow stayed up considering the very different fortunes of both teams to date but that possibility can't be ruled out - though Cappincur's form suggests that they will survive and could make a quarter-final, though the Gracefield game will probably determine that.
Round 4 takes place on the weekend of July 21/22 with Edenderry playing Durrow, Ferbane and Rhode clashing in a very attractive game and Tullamore taking on Clara.



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