Tuesday 6 December 2016

Eirgrid U-21 Football Championships

Published 09/03/2016 | 02:30

Cork have made this competition their own in recent years as they have won four of the last five and nine of the last 12 provincial titles as they have rode roughshod over the rest in the province (Stock photo)
Cork have made this competition their own in recent years as they have won four of the last five and nine of the last 12 provincial titles as they have rode roughshod over the rest in the province (Stock photo)

Laois v Wicklow, O'Moore Park, C Dwyer (Offaly) (all 7.30 unless stated)

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This game was postponed last week due to the weather but Wicklow will be buoyed by the 5-12 they hit against Carlow with Sean McGraynor grabbing the decisive goal.

There is however a concern at the 3-13 they conceded in that game and they will have to tighten up significantly for tonight's trip to Portlaoise.

Laois, captained by UCD Sigerson winner Eoin Lowry, saw off Louth in their opening game. They looked to be a powerful attacking force as they hit 3-15 in that game and that should see them through to the last four.

Odds: Laois 1/20 Wicklow 15/2 Draw 18/1

Verdict: Laois

Clare v Cork

Coorclare, S Lonergan (Tipperary)

Cork have made this competition their own in recent years as they have won four of the last five and nine of the last 12 provincial titles as they have rode roughshod over the rest in the province.

Football in the county could do with a shot in the arm and they'll look to Peter Kelleher, who has fared well for the seniors recently, for leadership in the forwards.

The Clare seniors have enjoyed a good run in the league this year but it would be a significant shock should Cork not prevail.

Odds: Kildare 2/7 Offaly 10/3 Draw 9/1

Verdict: Kildare

Kerry v Tipperary

Austin Stack Park, K Murphy (Cork)

Much will be expected from this Kerry side who have won the last two All-Ireland minor titles though Jack O'Connor pointed out that they are missing a handful of important players through injury.

Tipperary have had a happy knack of beating Kerry teams in underage competitions in recent years and Tommy Toomey's side are the reigning Munster champions and were pipped in last year's All-Ireland finals in the grade. While that experience will be a significant asset, it's a big ask to turn over Kerry in their own back yard.

Odds: Kerry 1/6 Tipperary 9/2 Draw 10/1

Verdict: Kerry

Antrim v Derry

Owenbeg, 8.00pm

The Antrim seniors have made the perfect start to life in Division 4 of the Allianz Football League with four wins from four but this is a competition Conor McCann's side haven't won since their last final appearance in 1989.

Derry's record is better but they still have to go back to 1997 for their last title in this grade.

Fergal McCusker's side will look to seniors Niall Loughlin and Niall Toner to lead from the full forward line and deliver the scores.

The winners play Donegal in the next round.

Odds: Derry 1/12 Antrim 6/1 Draw 14/1

Verdict: Derry.

Irish Independent

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