Philip O’Brien (right) of the Tullamore Court Hotel, sponsors of the Offaly club football championships.

Same again in Offaly SFC last four

Familiarity breeds contempt according to the old proverb. But supporters of the current 'big four' in the Offaly SFC will probably see things differently after the draws for this year's semi-finals threw up the same pairings as last year.

Reigning champions Rhode will again face Ferbane in their semi-final, while last year's defeated finalists Tullamore will meet Edenderry in their last four showdown.

It required a penalty shoot-out for Rhode to overcome Ferbane in the penultimate round in 2022, with Tullamore getting the better of Edenderry by seven points.

In last weekend's quarter-finals, Ferbane claimed an emphatic win over Bracknagh on a scoreline of 3-15 to 0-7. It was a performance that should boost confidence levels among the men in green and white as they prepare to take on perennial contenders Rhode.

The other quarter-final was a very different affair, with Edenderry edging out Durrow by a single point (1-11 to 2-7). But they had to fight back from being nine points down at one stage, with Cian Farrell eventually scoring a late winning point.

Many observers expected another Rhode versus Tullamore final from the outset of the championship, but Ferbane and Edenderry will be hoping to tear up that script. Ferbane look more likely than Edenderry to mount a serious challenge, but the Reds will hope that their dramatic win over Durrow will drive them to new heights.

Meanwhile, the Senior 'B' championship has been shrouded in controversy as Gracefield launched appeals to the Leinster Council and the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) over of the way placings in their group were decided.

However, the fact that Gracefield defeated Ballycumber last Saturday would appear to draw a line under the affair as the Blackthorns are now in the semi-finals anyway.

Although the DRA did rule against Gracefield, it stated that they are entitled to a full hearing on the matter, but it remains to be seen if the club decides to pursue the issue further.

As things stand, Gracefield are set to face Clonbullogue in one semi-final with neighbours Cappincur and Ballycommon meeting in the other.

The draws for the various Offaly club football championship semi-finals are listed below, with the games due to be played on the weekend after next.

Senior 'A' Football Championship semi-finals

Rhode v Ferbane

Tullamore v Edenderry

Senior 'B' FC semi-finals

Clonbullogue v Gracefield

Cappincur v Ballycommon

Intermediate FC semi-finals

Daingean v Tullamore

St Brigid’s v Erin Rovers

Junior 'A' FC semi-finals

Doon v Edenderry

Clodiagh Gaels v Kilcormac-Killoughey

Junior 'C' FC semi-finals

Bracknagh v Ballyskenach/Killavilla

Ballycommon v Shamrocks