MAGILLIGAN booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Premier Electric Junior Championship on Thursday night when they defeated St. Mary's Ardmore 3-11 to 3-9 in an entertaining contest.
Doire Colmcille and Ballerin meet this evening (Friday) with Drum and Moneymore playing on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the big game of the weekend in the O'Neill's Senior Football Championship is the meeting of neighbours Magherafelt and Glen Maghera at Owenbeg on Saturday evening.
Here, Chronicle GAA correspondent Bernie Mullan previews all the weekend games in the senior football championship, beginning with the Friday night clash of Lavey and Claudy.
O’Neill Senior Football Championship
Lavey v Claudy at Banagher, Friday 24, at 7-30pm.
Lavey will be hot favourites to win this game after beating champions Slaughtneil in round two.
It is the toughest of the four groups and Lavey, under manager Jude Donnelly, look the better balanced team with top class forwards in Niall Toner and Enda Downey.
Claudy have slipped back from last season and are without a victory to date. In recent games they have suffered some awful hammerings and will be favourites for the drop when the relegation play off gnes are concluded.
Ballinascreen v Dungiven at Ballinascreen, Saturday, at 3-30pm
In a very tight group the winner of this game could possibly fill top spot depending on other results.
For Stephen O’Neill’s young Dungiven team it is another pointer as to what progress they have made in the light of their surprise victory over Loup. A good league campaign albeit in a lower division.
The outcome of this game will tell a lot about their progress. While Dungiven have two from two Ballinascreen have lost to Loup and beaten Foreglen. With the buzz of beating Loup Dungiven have the chance to take another big scalp.
Swatragh v Slaughtneil at Swatragh, Saturday, at 5pm
It is just a journey of less than three miles between there two club grounds who enjoy a keen but very sporting rivalry.
Champions Slaughtneil, who have lost a league game to Swatragh in the recent past, will travel as favourites despite that shock defeat to Lavey last Saturday.
Notably, under new manager Kevin Madden, Swatragh have improved in defence and they are adequate in attack.
The visitors have two deadly marksmen in Shane McGuigan and ‘Sammy’ Bradley who can tilt the result in favour of the champions.
Magherafelt v Glen at Owenbeg, 7-30pm Saturday
This is without doubt the clash of the weekend and a repeat of the 2019 final played out at Celtic Park in front of 10,000 spectators.
Magherafelt won by a point and reached the final last year only to lose to Slaughtneil. They scored just 1-4 in that game and their lack of scores could be their achilles heel this year again.
Glen have a very talented squad and can show why they are one of the leading contenders for the title. Both won in round two without bringing the house down with excitement.
Loup v Foreglen at Loup, 5pm Sunday
A well organised Loup team will be the hottest of favourites to get past a Foreglen side that simply does not have the personnel to compete against strong senior teams like the Loup.
In terms of spirit and effort the villagers will not be found wanting but with a small pool of players to pick from this is very difficult assignment. Paddy Bradley will be disappointed with how his Loup team performed against Dungiven and Foreglen could feel the backlash.
Newbridge v Banagher at Newbridge, 2pm Sunday
The promising Newbridge team should have too much for Banagher who have slipped down the pecking order in the last few years.
With players like Tiernan Moore, Mark Lynch, Brian Og McGilligan and Gavin O’Neill they cannot be discounted.
Newbridge had a better league campaign in a higher division that the Feeny men so that should tell its own story. Newbridge edged out Coleraine in round two.
Eoghan Rua v Ballinderry at Agherton 3.30 Sunday.
Ever since they beat Ballinderry in the 2010 county final Eoghan Rua have found the Shamrock’s something of a bogey team.
However, while both teams may have gone back a bit since then, they are still capable of pulling off championship results.
At the end of their forty mile trip Ballinderry have a difficult task. They have not had the population to replace some of their great players of the past.
With home advantage and a better looking attack Eoghan Rua can make their mark. The Eoghan Rua will be anxious to return to winning ways after that narrow defeat last Sunday against Newbridge who now top the group.
Bellaghy v Kilrea at Owenbeg, 5pm Sunday
Two teams who play good open football can strut their stuff on the big Owenbeg pitch so the entertainment value could be high.
Bellaghy, who have been showing improvement this year, will be firm favourites on the basis alone that they have a better forward line.
Both teams are of the youngish variety but Bellaghy may have a bigger pool that the Drumagarner men.
Kilrea put up stiff resistance against Magherafelt after a poor start. If they can get off the ground a bit earlier this time it can be an interesting affair.
They managed to score 3-8 against Glen in defeat last weekend while Bellaghy ran Magherafelt to a goal.
And, remember, we will have match reports and photos from all these games in next Tuesday's paper...