SHAMROCKS and St Brigid's have prolonged their 2018 season by reaching their respective Leinster Club Intermediate and Junior Football Championship finals with both recording huge semi-final wins last Saturday.
Shamrocks had a fantastic 2-17 to 0-8 win over Wexford visitors, Horeswood in the intermediate semi-final in Bord na Mona O'Connor Park while St Brigid's showed great character to edge out Milltown, 1-11 to 1-7 in the junior at Kildare GAA Centre of Excellence at Hawkfield.
With Rhode having bowed out of the senior football and all the hurling clubs gone, Shamrocks and St Brigid's are the only Offaly clubs left standing in the provincial competitions.
Shamrocks will have a great chance against Two Mile House of Kildare in their intermediate final on Saturday, December 8 in Bord na Mona O'Connor Park. They were fierce impressive as they destroyed Horeswood on Saturday with Nigel Dunne, David O'Toole-Greene and Paddy Dunican turning in sensational individual displays in a super team performance.
Two Mile House are highly rated but Shamrocks' form augurs well for their prospects in the final, though they have some serious injury concerns. Scott Delaney was stretchered off on Saturday while inform forward Alan Heffernan limped off during the first half with a hamstring injury. Delaney has ligament damage in his ankle that is expected to rule him out for eight weeks while Heffernan is also very doubtful for the final.
They will also be without midfield power-house Johnny O'Toole-Greene who sat out Saturday's game because of suspension and is now getting a knee operation. His brother David replaced him at midfield and was superb but Shamrocks have options to cope with injuries – Cathal O'Brien also returned to their defence when he was introduced after 23 minutes, having been left off for the previous game against Carlow's Ballinabranna and he will be an automatic option for a starting place in Delaney's absence.
For St Brigid's, the Leinster Club Junior Football Championship has given them a great chance of redemption after a traumatic year. They were warm favourites to win the Offaly intermediate title but were ambushed by Ferbane in a replayed final. The second team of clubs in a higher grade are not allowed compete at provincial level and this has enabled St Brigid's to rescue their year.
The Croghan club have showed a great appetite for his competition and they travel to Drogheda to play Dundalk Young Irelands on Saturday, December 8.
See inside for match reports on last Saturday's big wins.