Saturday 25 October 2014

GAA previews

Published 22/02/2014 | 02:30

Allianz HL Division 1B

TODAY

Laois v Cork, Portlaoise, 7.0,

C Browne (Galway). * Setanta Ireland

Cork have made major changes to the side that failed to capitalise on their lead and drew with 14-man Limerick. Pa Cronin, Seamus Harnedy and Stephen McDonnell return, while Darren McCarthy starts in goal ahead of Anthony Nash. Football commitments remove Aidan Walsh and Eoin Cadogan.

Darren Maher and Willie Hyland now start for Laois, who scored an impressive victory over Offaly on their return to Division 1. It was their first win in Tullamore in over 50 years and was achieved without the work-tied Zane Keenan. Stephen Maher and Dwayne Palmer caught the eye, but last year's All-Ireland runners-up will be a major step-up in class.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Cork 1/33, Laois 10/1, Draw 28/1

Verdict: Cork

Sigerson Cup final

UCC v UUJ, Queens, 6.45,

P Hughes (Armagh).* LIVE TG4

IT'S a classic north versus south derby at The Dub this evening after Billy Morgan masterminded UCC to their fourth Sigerson Cup decider in five years with yesterday's shock defeat of title favourites NUI Maynooth.

Having lost last year's final to DIT and survived with 13 men yesterday the Cork college are one game away from their 21st title. However, they will be without Alan Cronin, who received a straight red card yesterday.

In the other semi-final, led by Armagh's Jamie Clarke, Tyrone's Mattie Donnelly and Connor McAliskey and Monaghan's Kieran Hughes, UUJ withstood everything that UCD and the weather could throw at them.

They lost this final to UCC by three points in 2011 and that, and 'home' support in Ulster, could stand to them now.

Verdict: UUJ.

munster colleges

Harty Cup Final

Ardscoil Rís v Scoil Na Troinoide Naofa Doon, Gaelic Grounds, 1.30

Ardscoil Ris go into today's final bidding for their third Harty Cup title in four years in what is the first ever all-Limerick decider. The city school are heavy favourites against Scoil Na Troinoide Naofa, who make their maiden appearance in the final. Ard Scoil midfielder Ronan Lynch was outstanding in the semi-final win, scoring 1-9 and he could well be the difference once again.

Verdict: Ardscoil Ris

Corn Uí Mhuirí Semi-Finals

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne v St Brendan's Killarney, Fitzgerald Stadium, 1.30

St Brendan's have been dealt a blow with the news that key defender Josh Flynn will miss the game after breaking a bone in his hand. Chorca Dhuibhne select from a full squad and they will be looking to their quarter-final hero Tom Ó Suilleabhain to continue his fine form in what should be an entertaining all Kerry semi-final.

Verdict: Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne

DLS Macroom v St Fachtna's Skibbereen, Balineen 1.30

Cork minor Michael Hurley's 1-2 helped Fachtna's on their way to setting up a semi-final clash with their Cork rivals DLS Macroom. Hurley has been impressive throughout the competition and will need to be again if his side are to advance to the final.

Verdict: St Fachtna's

Leinster colleges

Corn Uí Dhúill SH 'A' Semi-Final

St Kieran's College v Colaiste Eoin, Fenagh-Carlow, 2.0

These sides met at the same stage of the competition back in 2012, with

the Kilkenny school running out four-point winners.

A goal from Liam Blanchfield proved decisive against Castlecomer CS and, if last year's beaten finalists are to go one better this time out, they will have to be at their best to see off a strong Colaiste Eoin outfit.

Verdict: St Kieran's

Kilkenny CBS v Good Counsel College, Waterford IT 2.0

Defending champions Kilkenny CBS will be strong favourites to reach their third straight final when they take on Wexford's Good Counsel. Andrew Gaffney scored 1-13 in the holders' quarter-final win and he is a serious threat to Good Counsel, who will look to Stephen O'Gorman to provide the spark.

Verdict: Kilkenny CBS

ULSTER COLLEGES

MacRory Cup quarter-final

St Colman's Newry v Omagh CBS, Clones 2.0

Centre-forward Jack Haughey was Colman's stand-out performer against St Ciaran's in the previous round. The impressive Haughey scored 1-9 and if Omagh CBS are to have any hope of reaching the last four, they must quell his attacking threat.

Verdict: St Colman's

TOMORROW

(All 2.0 unless stated)

Inter-provincial SFC final

(Extra-time if necessary)

Connacht v Ulster, Tuam, 2.30,

D O'Mahoney (Tipperary)

Ulster scored 2-26 and Connacht 3-19 in last week's high-scoring semi-finals, with Ulster's players particularly vociferous in their support of the series.

With most of the best players in each province on show, what's not to love?

Betting: Ulster 1/3, Connacht 11/4, Draw 9/1

Verdict: Ulster

Allianz FL Division 4

London v Clare, Ruislip, 1.0,

J Hickey (Clare)

Clare were disappointed to only draw with Leitrim at home in their last outing but will have Podge Collins this time despite his hurling commitments, and they should have enough for the Exiles, who are still massing their troops.

Last year: Clare 2-14 London 0-8 (Rd 3)

Betting: Clare 2/7, London 7/2, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Clare

Allianz HL Division 1A

Kilkenny v Tipperary, Nowlan Park, D Kirwan (Cork). * TG4 live

Paddy Stapleton returns, Conor O'Brien moves to midfield and John O'Dwyer is rested after college duty midweek as Tipp prepare for their latest trip to Kilkenny.

Given their experimental look against Clare, Kilkenny will not have been disappointed by that one-point opening loss to in Ennis, where Jackie Tyrrell, Tommy Walsh and Adrian Fogarty only came off the bench.

Memories of last summer's extraordinary All-Ireland qualifier and two cracking 2013 league clashes with remarkably similar scorelines underline how these two love to go toe to toe. Tipp currently have more first-choice men available. No cash will be taken at turnstiles, so pre-purchase your tickets and get there early.

Last year: Tipperary 2-17 Kilkenny 1-19 (Rd 2); Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 0-20 (Div 1 final)

Betting: Kilkenny 8/13, Tipperary 13/8, Draw 10/1

Verdict: Tipperary

Dublin v Clare, Parnell Park,

A Kelly (Galway). * TG4 deferred

Anthony Daly is right not to get freaked out by last week's 13-point defeat by Galway. When a similar thing happened in 2012, Dublin lost their next two games – to Cork and Kilkenny – by just a single point and racked up 2-17 and 6-12 respectively.

Losing Paul Ryan to injury mid-week and some flu in the camp don't help against the All-Ireland champions, who have rocketed out of the blocks.

The last time these two met was in a cracking All-Ireland qualifier in 2012, when a Clare goal edged it. It's difficult to see Dublin holding them now, but expect the Sky Blues to improve radically.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Clare 4/9, Dublin 9/4, Draw 10/1

Verdict: Clare

Waterford v Galway, Walsh Park, J Sexton (Cork)

Galway got off to a flying start last week with that 13-point defeat of Dublin, when debutants Ronan Burke, Jason Flynn and Cathal Mannion impressed and Padraig Brehony and Iarla Tannian looked good at midfield and centre-back.

Waterford's old failing – too many wasted chances – and one goalkeeping error cost them dearly in their one-goal defeat by Tipp. Home venue is always worth a few points to them, but losing Maurice Shanahan to injury is a worry, and Seamus Prendergast also has a hand injury.

Last year: Galway 0-15 Waterford 0-12 (Rd 5)

Betting: Waterford 5/6, Galway 5/4, Draw 17/2

Verdict: Galway

Allianz HL Division 1B

Wexford v Offaly, New Ross,

C McAllister (Cork)

Wexford have lost Keith Rossiter (injured) and Richie Kehoe (suspended) since their narrow defeat of Antrim, replacing them with Harry Kehoe and James Tonks, but beating the Saffrons on the road with 14 men should not be underestimated.

Offaly's first-round loss to Laois was a major setback for new boss Brian Whelahan. He is without a number of regulars at the moment, including Shane Dooley, David Kenny, David Morkan and Ciaran Slevin, but more worrying was his side's failure to come out fighting after Ger Loughnane's comments.

There is never much between these sides and Wexford could face a backlash here.

Last year: Offaly 0-16 Wexford 0-14 Betting: Wexford 1/2, Offaly 15/8, Draw 10/1

Verdict: Offaly

Limerick v Antrim, Gaelic Grounds, B Kelly (Westmeath)

Limerick are without the suspended Graeme Mulcahy on top of some other big-name injuries and absentees. they have made three changes since last week's well-fought draw against Cork, with Mark Carmody, Thomas O'Brien and Tommy Quaid now starting.

Antrim were pipped by Wexford last week and despite the Liam Watson sideshow, will plough on, with Chris McGuinness replacing Jackson McGreevy. There's usually very little between these two, but home advantage should swing it.

Last year: Limerick 1-19 Antrim 0-19 (Rd 1)

Betting: Limerick 1/20, Antrim 8/1, Draw 25/1

Verdict: Limerick

Allianz HL Division 2A

Kerry v Kildare, Abbeydorney,

J O'Brien (Tipperary)

Darragh O'Connell's 0-7 from play and Shane Nolan's 1-11 (10fs) gave the Kingdom a flying start against Derry last week, when Kildare suffered a drubbing by Carlow, who were without their Mt Leinster Rangers stars.

Last year: Kerry 2-16 Kildare 1-16 Verdict: Kerry

Carlow v London, Dr Cullen Park, 1.0, F Horgan (Tipperary)

They may be without their Mt Leinster Rangers stars, but young Marty Kavanagh did the business again last week and it's hard to see Carlow, relegated from Division 1B last year, losing to London at home, even if the Exiles did snatch a good home draw against an understrength Westmeath first time out.

Last year: Did not meet

Verdict: Carlow

Westmeath v Derry, Mullingar,

S Cleere (Kilkenny)

After losing a five-point lead to share the points with London, Westmeath, albeit hit by injuries, are going to have to improve radically as Derry may have lost heavily to Kerry, but still scored 3-9.

Last year: Westmeath 2-13 Derry 0-9

Verdict: Westmeath

Allianz HL Division 2B

Fingal v Armagh, Swords,

P Murphy (Carlow).

Only an injury-time point deprived last year's 3A champions Fingal of victory down in Mayo last week, so Armagh, who suffered a 16-point drubbing by Down, could find this tough.

Last year: did not meet

Verdict: Fingal

Down v Wicklow, Ballycran,

E Hasson (Derry)

Wicklow bounced back from last year's relegation by giving Meath a right trimming last week, but Down did something similar to Armagh and these two should be vying for league honours.

Last year: Did not meet

Verdict: Wicklow

Meath v Mayo, Trim, P O'Dwyer (Carlow)

Dual player Mickey Burke starts for Meath's hurlers this week. Last year's 2B runners-up suffered a heavy opening-round defeat by Wicklow, while Stephen Hoban's late heroics stole victory for Mayo over Fingal.

Last year: Meath 1-19 Mayo 1-11 Verdict: Meath

Allianz HL Division 3A Fermanagh v Louth, Enniskillen, C Cunning (Antrim)

Last year: Louth 0-13 Fermanagh 0-12

Verdict: Fermanagh

Roscommon v Monaghan, Woodmount, J Keane (Galway)

Last year: Did not meet

Verdict: Roscommon

Longford v Donegal, Pearse Park, O Elliot (Antrim)

Last year: Did not meet

Verdict: Donegal

CAMOGIE

National League Div 1 GROUP1

Clare v Derry, Bray Emmets, 2.0,

M Sheehan. Verdict: Derry

Galway v Kilkenny, Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, 2.30, A Lagrue. Verdict: Galway

Offaly v Tipperary, Birr, K O'Brien. Verdict: Offaly

Cork v Dublin, Cork, 3.30, A O'Brien. Verdict: Cork

National League Div 2 GROUP 1

Antrim v Down, Armoy 1.0, E Cassidy. Verdict: Antrim

Galway v Kilkenny, Ballinasloe, 1.0, P Dowd. Verdict: Galway

Laois v Wexford, Crettyard, 3.0, C Egan. Verdict: Wexford

National League Div 2 GROUP 2

Kildare v Cork, Hawkfield, Newbridge, 11.0, D Ryan. Verdict: Cork

Meath v Tipperary, Rathmolyon, 2.30, J Byrne. Verdict: Tipperary

National League Div 3

Armagh v Roscommon, Armagh, 2.0, M McToal. Verdict: Armagh

Carlow v Westmeath, O'Hanrahan's GAA, 2.0, G McGough. Verdict: Carlow

National League Div 4

Kerry v Meath, Caherslee, 2.30, J O'Leary. Verdict: Kerry

Tyrone v Limerick, Garvaghey Centre, 2.0, L Smith. Verdict: Limerick

LADIES FOOTBALL

(all 2.0)

National League Division 1

Monaghan v Dublin, Inniskeen,

M Farrelly. Verdict: Dublin

National League DIVISION 2

Kildare v Galway, Sarsfields, M Doherty. Verdict: Galway

National League DIVISION 3

Armagh v Longford, Abbey GS,

B Rice. Verdict: Armagh

Offaly v Leitrim, Cloghan,

C McManus. Verdict: Offaly

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