Red-hot Arthur McConville fires title warning to Kilcoo
The race to land the Down Senior Football Championship title is already beginning to hot up.
Champions Kilcoo, who have won the crown on five occasions since 2009, and former Mourne kingpins Mayobridge are already through to the next phase but it would now seem that other sides have their sights firmly set on the silverware.
And few players have availed of the opportunity to step up to the plate better than Clonduff's Arthur McConville.
With his side trailing Ballyholland by two points, McConville was pitched into the fray by manager Ross Carr and immediately responded by bagging the three goals that gave the Hilltown side a handsome 3-10 to 1-7 win after they had looked to be in serious trouble earlier in the game.
Warrenpoint, meanwhile, made life difficult for themselves against Annacline before they managed to squeeze into the next round by just two points with a 1-10 to 1-8 success.
Ross McGarry and Ryan Boyle were to the fore for the winners but they will require better cohesion if they are to make further progress.
Castlewellan were comfortable winners over Loughinisland in a match that was never in doubt. They were well served by Kevin Duffin and David Gilmore as they gave a hint that they could enter the title frame.
Tonight, Burren, who will be backboned by Kevin McKernan, Declan Rooney, Donal O'Hare and Gerard McGovern, are expected to hurdle Ballymartin and thrust themselves into the title reckoning.
Meanwhile, Fermanagh suffered a heavy defeat in the All-Ireland Ladies Intermediate Football Championship at the hands of Leitrim.
The Ernesiders lost by 7-24 to 1-1 in a hopelessly one-sided match that did little for the image of the competition.
Leitrim had assured themselves of victory by the half-time interval when they led by 3-12 to 0-1 with Aishling Moane scoring Fermanagh's solitary point from play.
Mid-way through the second-half, Lynne Frederick struck the Ulster side's goal but Leitrim's supremacy was such that it was virtually the only scoring opportunity their opponents created.
Tipperary hurler Brendan Cummins was thwarted in his bid to win the All-Ireland Poc Fada competition for the 10th time.
Clare's James McInerney proved supreme over a demanding course in the Cooley Mountains.