SENIOR SEMI-FINALS TAKE CENTRE STAGE

11 September 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The Greenfield Foods Senior Football Championship semi finals take centre stage in Clones this Sunday, with two
intriguing pairings. by COLM SHALVEY

Clontibret are in their tenth SFC semi-final in 11 years and bidding for a ninth county final appearance since 2002 when they take on Magheracloone, who are at this stage again after a five-year absence. Wins over Monaghan Harps and Latton have seen Magheracloone take the direct route to the last four, while Clontibret have bounced back from losing to Ballybay by knocking out Doohamlet, Monaghan Harps and Latton.

There is precious little to choose between the teams on their league form, where Magheracloone are a point ahead in fourth place, while both games between them were won by the home team: Clontibret back in March and the Mitchells in July.

Magheracloone have the pace and energy in the likes of Allan Kieran, Paudie McMahon and Alan McCahey to get at Clontibret, while Tommy Freeman remains a key source of scores in the team managed by his brother Damien. James and Pete Ward anchor the Magheracloone defence well, but the south-Monaghan side will need to get a full game out of Gavin Doogan to bolster their midfield after an injury-riddled year for the county panellist.

Clontibret have a vastly experienced side, with county men Vincent Corey, Dessie Mone and Conor Boyle being joined in playing key roles by Colum and Brian Greenan, but their chances largely rest on Conor McManus ..

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