Current standings for Group 2
With two rounds remaining in this group stage, this is how the teams all stand in the group table. The top team in the group after the five rounds progresses into the Championship Semi final and the second and third teams will progress into the quarter finals along with the second and third placed teams in group 1.
Currently we are placed 4th, two points off both An Tóchar in 2nd and Baltinglass in the 3rd spot. However with two rounds yet to play there is still a potential swing of four points. If we secure the 4 points remaining from our last two fixtures there is still a strong possibility that we will progress from the group.
Of significant importance is the fact that we currently have the best scoring differential of all the teams in the group, if we can hold onto this position after all rounds are played, it may well serve as the Ace up our sleeve.
As we know from experience, no team should ever be underestimated when it come to the Championship. When you try to forecast the results for the remaining two rounds it quickly becomes apparent that there are many different equally possible outcomes for this group. One of the possible outcomes is that 4 teams finish up on 6 points each. Teams which finish level on points will be separated by their score differential and in this case we could actually top the group! It is also possible that even if we win our remaining games, other results may not go in our favour and 6 points may not be enough for us to progress.
One thing is for sure, there will be some surprises yet to come as nothing can be taken for granted. The strong showing of Ashford against Baltinglass in the last round is testament to that.
This Championship group stage has so far been anything but smooth sailing for our team, numbers have been tight with suspensions and injuries taking a toll, at times the ball just will not bounce in our favour, we may have been unfortunate on some occasions with refereeing decisions but all of that is just football and every team will have its difficulties.
The clear fact is that our Intermediate team and management is good and on a good day they will outplay any opposition in front of them, but now they find themselves in a difficult position, after the excellent start, two defeats have followed and this will understandably put a sizable dent in any young players confidence. This season we must have one of the youngest ever teams to play in the Intermediate Championship, they have pace and ability in abundance but if we are going to turn things around and have more good days, not only will we need our young players to play like they can, but it will be necessary for our more experienced players to step up, and lead them from example.
This Championship campaign is not over yet.
Remaining Fixtures for the Group
• Round 3
ATH NA FUINSEOIGE V AN TÓCHAR
RATHNEW V BALTINGLASS
STRATFORD-GRANGECON V BALLYMANUS
(provisionally scheduled for 7:30pm Fri 24th July in Baltinglass)
• Round 5
RATHNEW V STRATFORD-GRANGECON
ATH NA FUINSEOIGE V BALLYMANUS
AN TÓCHAR V BALTINGLASS