Friday 29th September 2023
This weekend sees the various Down championships reach the semi final stage and in each grade the line ups look like they could deliver some mouthwatering ties with the potential for a few upsets present also.
The two semi finals in the Parador Lodge junior championship take place on Saturday at 2:00pm. In the first of these the two beaten semi-finalists from last year - East Belfast and Ardglass - meet.
East Belfast have been rejuvenated since the start of the championship and their two point quarter-final win over Dundrum will
give them huge confidence. Ardglass started the league really well before dropping off but have roared back in the championship and limited Aghaderg to five points in the quarter-final. Ardglass’ semi-final last year was a tight, low scoring affair too and this game could take a similar pattern (Ardglass have scored just one goal in reaching the semi-final between the group and knock out stages). Despite their inefficiency in finding three pointers, the fishermen will believe this is a job they can get done and make it to the showpiece.
In the other semi-final pre-competition favourites Drumaness meet with Kilclief. Drumaness have had their challenges with games clashing with local soccer leading to player absenteeism and this match is likely to clash again. Poor results almost saw the Drums beaten at the group stage and it took a replayed quarter-final for them to find a way past a Dromara side who were runners up in last year’s junior championship. Waiting in the wings is Kilclief. They beat a Glasdrumman side who had been performing well in the championship by some 18 points in a real statement of intent to qualify for this stage and have racked up 10-53 in their four championship outings (conceding 4-31). With that firepower they will fancy their chances of going all the way.