All County League Division Four
Naomh Colmcille v Urris, Pairc Colmcille, Sunday, 2pm
Promotion is the carrot that will dangle in front of Naomh Colmcille and Urris this Sunday as they collide in Pairc Colmcille in a match that could ultimately determine who will be playing division three football next season.
Urris currently occupy that all-important second place, sitting two points ahead of Newtown in the table but having played a game extra. Both sides have already met this year, with Urris strutting off Crampsey Park the victors on a scoreline of 3-11 to 1-15.
Kevin McLaughlin and Oisin Hession top scored on that occasion, kicking 1-3 apiece. Both men have been pivotal to Urris’ march towards promotion thus far. Experienced players like John McCarron and Paddy Doherty have combined well with talented youngsters such as Luke Mullins and Brendan Doherty, and as a package they look stronger than ever this season.
Besides Downings, who are currently sit at the top of the table and on a probably unassailable eight point lead, Sean Paul Doherty’s men are the only team to have beaten Newton in the league this year.
But this time, however, the sides will meet in Newton’s back yard, and Ryan McKinley’s men will hope that home advantage will be the grain of rice that tips the scale sending them towards promotion.
Ben Scott, Hugh O’Donnell, Mark Friel, Reece Duncan and Kevin Gallagher have all broken into the senior squad, adding extra options and energy to the red and white army in the absence of Gerard Curran, Daniel Clarke and Michael Lynch.
In addition, two of the players who played such a big part in last season's county and Ulster championship-winning campaign, Ciaran Devine and Ryan McErlean, are back in action after taking time out to get married.
This adds the extra spice to Sunday’s clash. Urris may be two points ahead, but they will need a further two points this weekend to keep their promotion destiny in their own hands as Newton have a game in hand.
After Sunday, Urris face a difficult run-in as their two final games come against the two sides that have already beaten them this year in Letterkenny Gaels and Downings.
Naomh Colmcille will come up against Pettigo and Carndonagh twice, two sides who will be searching for points for a very contrasting reason, as they seek to stay in the division.
Both teams are high scorers in the league this year. Naomh Colmcille have scored 12-131 and conceded 13-81 in their ten games. Urris have scored 19-128 and conceded 11-95 in their eleven games.
With so much on the line this weekend we could see the scores drop, as neither side will want to lose what can effectively be seen as a promotion play-off game.
Downings are the only team to leave Pairc Colmcille with points this year as the men in red and white have turned it into a fortress to build their promotion campaign upon.
Undoubtedly, this could prove to be the biggest game in for these two sides this season with the prize a return to division three.
It's something that both sides would have set as a target at the beginning of the season. It's so or die time.
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