Champions Roslea , especially with the exit of Derrygonnelly and Tempo, have seen their position as championship favourites strengthened.
And their confident win over Lisnaskea in the preliminary round has further underlined that opinion.
Opponents Belcoo have been a mixed bag this season but will come into the game with belief that if they can hit one of their better days they can pose a problem for the favourites.
Paul McGrath who has been one of their more consistent forwards this year believes that, “ if we can find our best form on the day then we can win.
We certainly aren’t going into the game fearing Roslea. Obviously they will be going into the game as the favourites. However we played a draw with them recently in the league with both squads more or less at full strength so we would take encouragement from that.”
Belcoo expect to have everyone on board for the tie, the only slight doubt is that of Ciaran Flaherty.
Belcoo have a forward line of particular potential, Flaherty, Feely and McGrath combining to present an attack which can deliver while further back in their lineout Brian Cox, Niall and Chris Leonard form the mainstay.
Roslea however just have to be viewed as the likelier side.
Key to their power is the Quigley brothers spearhead in the attack and they inevitably contribute a handsome tally of scores. But the foundations of side are most firmly laid down in defence and midfield.
In defence Niall Cassidy, Conor Quigley, Peter Sherry and James McMahon have been completely dependable while Kevin Cosgrove and James Sherry hold down the midfield with assured ease.
Belcoo can cause an upset but it will take a five star performance on their part and that looks to be beyond a side who have been much too erratic.
Ederney look dangerous
Ederney are the current league holders, a breakthrough victory last autumn which from their point of view will hopefully be the launch pad for a championship triumph this season.
In mid season Ederney looked to have lost their way to some extent as they suffered a spell of poor displays which found them slipping down the league ladder into mid table.
But things have begun to pick up for them and of late they have been more like their old selves. Last Sunday they put in an enterprising sixty minutes to dispatch visiting Tempo by five points.
This was a fine all round team performance from them. Defensively they were well organised with Peter Gormley, John Irvine, Finnbarr Gillen and Aaron Dennison all knitting well together.
Martin McGrath provides the physical presence in the middle of the park and up front the McCusker brothers trio, Declan , Darren and Paul are a handful for any opposing regard.
St Patricks who had a surprise runaway win over a limited Roslea side will have to be at their very best here.
Team manager Fergal Wray accepts that , “ this is a tough game for us against the current league holders. I would take it that they have their sights set on the championship.
They are a mobile side with a particularly solid half back line and we will need to be at our best if we are to handle them.”
Big players for St Patricks include Paul Cosgrove in the middle of the park and his duel with Martin McGrath will be pivotal in shaping the outcome of the game. Support here essential from Fergal Reilly while up front the main momentum will come from the in form Eamon Maguire.
Maguire has been in tremendous form of late and Ederney will certainly want to curtail his contribution.
A well balanced tie here with Ederney looking to be that shade better all round and their cohesive work ethic and general balance could be the decisive factor.