Tang's Colm Conlon passes the ball as Ballynacargy's Owen Burke closes in. Tang face Rosemount in the Westmeath IFC quarter-finals this Saturday, with Tubberclair meeting Ballymore in the other quarter-final.
Kieran Galvin looks forward to this weekend's Westmeath SFC and IFC quarter-finals at Cusack Park, Mullingar.
SFC : Castledaly v Maryland
The prize on offer is a semi-final tilt against reigning champions Garrycastle and both sides have just cause to fancy their chances.
Maryland won their first four games including an eye-catching victory over 2011 finalists Mullingar Shamrocks. They lost out on an automatic semi-final place when they were defeated by St Loman's, but they were due a lapse in form after such a positive run.
Having lost their third group game to Tyrrellspass, Castledaly had to win their last two games to qualify. And Derek Heavin's charges reacted impressively to this challenge with convincing wins over Bunbrosna and an undisciplined Coralstown/Kinnegad outfit.
Speaking to the Westmeath Independent earlier this week, Maryland manager Finbar Egan was keen to talk down his side's chances. But given the excellent form Kieran Martin and Callum McCormack have shown at club and county this year, the Drumraney men will have serious designs on reaching their first SFC semi-final in many a long year.
The emergence of young players like James Ganley and Brian O'Donohoe (a Westmeath minor player his year) has added to Maryland's options. The experience of players such as David Reynolds and David Martin could also be crucial.
However, the injury to John Reilly is a blow for Maryland, who can be quite dependent on Callum McCormack for scores. On the other hand, Castledaly have numerous sources of scoring power such as Paul and Brendan Kelly, Alan Stone, Lorcan Dolan and the creative MJ McLoughlin.
Castledaly may have also have an edge in midfield, where Gordon Duffy and Patrick Holloway can be aided by Niall Duffy and Alan Stone if necessary.
It's possible Maryland could opt for a defensive approach in a bid to curb the threat of Castledaly. But the men in gold and green look the more balanced team and they should be equipped to advance to the quarter-finals.
SFC: Tyrrellspass v Mullingar Shamrocks
There has been plenty of history between these two teams in recent years. Back in 2008, a last-gasp Martin Flanagan goal for Tyrrellspass eliminated Shamrocks from the championship, in a match which finished amid huge controversy. Flanagan's strike saw Castledaly qualify for the knockout stages at Shamrocks' expense and, ironically, it was Castledaly who subsequently knocked out Tyrrellspass at the semi-final stage.
When Tyrrellspass won their last county title in 2007, they defeated a youthful Shamrocks side in the final. The Mullingar side put it up to the sky blues for long spells but a Keith Scally goal clinched victory.
Interestingly, Shamrocks' last senior county final victory came against Tyrrellspass back in 2000, a match which probably shouldn't have been played at all due to the dreadfully wet conditions.
The absence of some key players has led to some difficulties for Shamrocks this year. But they found their form in the last group outing, scoring 4-12 in their emphatic win over Athlone. Ciaran Curley and Paddy Joyce were highly impressive in that game which saw players such as Micheal Curley, Anthony Clinton and Cian O'Leary introduced from the bench - an indication of the quality in the Shamrocks panel. And Shamrocks' strength in depth could give them the edge on Sunday.
Tyrrellspass possess exciting firepower in their attack; the Glennon brothers (Denis and David) and Martin Flanagan are capable of winning any game if given enough ball.
But even without long-term injury victim Darragh Daly, Shamrocks possess an edge at midfield - an area in which the sky blues have struggled in recent years.
Shamrocks are probably still haunted by their failure to win the county title last year and, if they still have the hunger for battle, they have the capabilities to progress to a semi-final meeting with neighbours St Loman's.
Verdict: Mullingar Shamrocks
IFC: Ballymore v Tubberclair
This clash is made all the more intriguing by the fact that Ballymore are managed by Gerry Walker - who gave sterling service to Tubberclair for several years, winning a SFC medal with the club in 1985.
Indeed, Gerry's sons Niall and Ronan are Tubberclair players and such divided loyalties provide a fascinating backdrop to the this quarter-final.
Tubberclair were relegated from the senior ranks last year and many observers would have tipped them for an immediate return to the top flight. However, the continuing absence of some key players - a major factor in last year's demotion - has made things more problematic for them.
They only managed to make it to the knockout stages on scoring difference (thanks to an handsome win over Garrycastle's second string), having previously lost to Caulry and Ballynacargy.
Ballymore showed their battling qualities in the group stages with a narrow win over neighbours Rosemount (a team they always seem to raise their game against). At midfield, Ballymore have an excellent partnership in high fielding veteran Paddy Martin and Derek Molloy, one of the most underrated players in the county. And centre-back Denis Eivers is often a rallying presence.
But with Tubberclair having players like James Martin and Simon Lawless in defence, and the scoring power of Fergal Wilson, Alan Coffey, Francis Spollen and Conor Elliott, one suspects Martin McCabe's men will have too much for Ballymore.
IFC: Rosemount v Tang
(Cusack Park, 6.45pm)
Rosemount made many observers sit up and take notice by winning their first three games in this year's intermediate championship. Their form was all the more commendable given the presence of so many young guns, with several players from last year's team unavailable for various reasons.
Tang have been very close to making a breakthrough in the IFC over recent years, and the men from close to Longford border have suffered a number of narrow defeats. Last year, they were decisively beaten by Coralstown/Kinnegad in the semi-finals but, given that the reds won three games in this year's senior championship, Tang have every reason to feel they are close to a breakthrough.
Tang have players returning from injury at just the right time and Aidan Burke's fine scoring form is a further source of confidence.
For Rosemount, the fact that key player David 'Dude' McCormack is highly doubtful due to injury is a major concern.
Tang's edge in experience and physical strength points to a victory for Paul Conway's charges.
*See this week's Westmeath Independent for more on this weekend's club championship games.