IT should be a night of top-class football at the Mardyke this evening as the semi-finals of the Rebel Og Premier 1 MFC take place.
First up is the clash of near-neighbours and arch-rivals Nemo Rangers and Douglas as they take to the pitch at 6.45pm and that will be followed by Valley Rovers and Bishopstown at 8.15pm.
Nemo and Bishopstown were in the same group in the round-robin series and the Trabeg side had two wins in their three games.
They started with what many considered a surprise win over Bishopstown, with the latter having won the league title a few weeks previously. This put them in a strong position to advance, but in round two they were beaten by Ballincollig.
That meant they went into their last game having to win and were also depending on the result of the Bishopstown and Ballincollig game to go in their favour as well.
In the end, it came down to points difference and they went qualified for the knock-out stages as Ballincollig lost out in this way for the second time in three years.
Nemo won’t have any fear facing Douglas tonight and over the years have a good record against Douglas and will be determined to keep that going.
Full of talented players they will look to the likes of Neville O Se, Daniel Quinn, Artjoms Petrov, Colin Molloy and Bryan Hayes tonight in what should be a top-class encounter.
Douglas will be giving late fitness tests to a number of players who picked up knocks in their win over Valley Rovers in the hurling semi-final last Friday night.
They are now the only side that potentially can do the double, but that will be far from their minds as they know Nemo will be determined to put a halt to any thoughts of that.
Provided they are fit they will be looking to the likes of James O’Callaghan Meagher, Mikey O’Connell, Joe Hartnett and Chris O’Keeffe this evening.
Valley Rovers will be looking to bounce back from their hurling semi-final loss last Friday as they take on the Town. The Innishannon side were in both U16 finals last year and will be slight favourites tonight but the fact they are switching codes may go against them.
But when you have a team packed with quality players like Matthew Woods, Eoin Guinane, Kevin Dart O’Flynn, David Carthew and Sean Mac an tSaoi you are always in with a great chance of winning.
But they are up against a quality Bishopstown side who recovered well from their loss to Nemo to top their group. With experienced mentors like Larry Tompkins on the sideline, the Town won’t be found wanting tonight and will look to the likes of Darragh O’Donovan, Gary Holland, Sam Sheridan, Daire Cuthbert and Patrick Casey to reach the decider on September 26.
Calling either game is almost impossible but due to the dual involvement of Douglas and Valley Rovers might swing it Bishopstown and Nemo’s way.
Rebel Óg Premier 1 MFC semi-finals: Nemo Rangers v Douglas, 6.45pm; Bishopstown v Valley Rovers, 8.15pm, both at the Mardyke.
Rebel Óg Premier 1 MFC Challenge Cup semi-finals: Ballincollig v Bantry Blues, 6.30pm at Ballincollig; Mallow v Glanmire, Mallow at 6.30pm.
Rebel Óg Premier 2 MFC quarter-final: Aghada v St Michael’s. Rostellan at 7.30pm.
Rebel Óg Mid-Region Division 1 HC: Blarney v Eire Og, at Blarney; Cloughduv v Carrigaline, at Cloughduv, both at 7pm.
Rebel Óg Mid-Region Division 3 HC: Castlelyons v Diarmuid O Murchu, at Castlelyons; Tracton v St Vincent’s, at Minane Bridge, both at 6.45pm.
Rebel Óg North Region Division 1 HC: Clyda Rovers v Dromtarriffe, at Mourneabbey, 6.30pm.
Rebel Óg North Region Division 2 HC Shield final: Kilshannig v St Marks, 6.45pm.
Rebel Óg North Region Division 3 HC: Doneraile v Ballycastle Gaels, 6.45pm at Doneraile; Kildorrery v St Dominics, 6.45pm at Kildorrery.
Rebel Óg East Region Division 2 FC Cup playoff: Kiltha Og v Bride Rovers, 7pm at Castlemartyr.
Rebel Óg West Region Division 2 FC semi-final: Naomh Aban v Owen Gaels, 6.45pm.
Rebel Óg West Region Division 3 FC Shield semi-final: Ivyleary v Ballingeary, 6.30pm.
Rebel Óg Division 4 FC final: Valley Rovers v Douglas, 4.45pm at Bishopstown.
Rebel Óg Division 5 FC final: Nemo Rangers v Erins Own, Pairc Ui Chaoimh 4G pitch.