Thursday 17 August 2017

GAA Previews

Photo: SPORTSFILE
Photo: SPORTSFILE

Today: Munster SFC Quarter-Final, Clare v Limerick, Cusack Park

Munster SFC Quarter-Final

Clare v Limerick, Cusack Park, Ennis, 7.0, D O'Mahoney (Tipperary)

These sides finished their Division 3 campaigns with identical records. The double-scores win for Limerick when the sides met in Newcastlewest in the league is slightly misleading as the teams were level early in the second half.

That might give Limerick confidence going into this one but in the team released this week, John Brudair has handed out four debuts in a new-look side. Just seven of the team that lost to Tipperary in the Munster championship last year are named.

They will be sorely tested by Colm Collins' side, who 12 months ago gave Kerry a stern early-summer examination in Ennis. Another year into Collins' tenure, they should advance despite his touchline ban.

Last championship clash: 2012: Clare 1-13 Limerick 0-15 (Munster semi-final)

It's a fact: Clare's 2012 championship win against Limerick was their first in four attempts against the Treaty stretching back to 1988.

Odds: Clare 4/7, Limerick 15/8, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Clare

Munster JFC Quarter-Final

Clare v Limerick, Cusack Park, Ennis, 5.0, D Grogan (Tipperary)

Verdict: Limerick

Christy Ring Cup Quarter-Finals

(extra-time if necessary)

Meath v Kildare, Trim, 2.0, T Carroll (Offaly)

Meath pushed in-form Kerry all the way last time out and could make home advantage count.

Verdict: Meath

Down v London, Ballycran, 4.0, E Hassan (Derry)

London went down by the minimum to semi-finalists Derry but can go one better on their return to Ulster.

Verdict: London

Christy Ring Cup Relegation Play-Off (extra-time if necessary)

Wicklow v Mayo, Cusack Park, Mullingar, 1.0, D Hughes (Carlow)

Verdict: Mayo

Nicky Rackard Cup Semi-Finals (extra-time if necessary)

Tyrone v Roscommon, Carrickmore, 3.0, L McAuley (Antrim)

Verdict: Roscommon

Armagh v Donegal, Athletic Grounds, 4.0, C Cunning (Antrim)

Verdict: Armagh

Nicky Rackard Relegation Play-Off (extra-time if necessary)

Louth v Longford, Cusack Park, Mullingar, 3.0, J O'Brien (Tipperary)

Verdict: Louth

Lory Meagher Cup

Lancashire v Sligo, Páirc na hEireann, 3.0, G McGrath (Wexford)

Verdict: Sligo

Fermanagh v Leitrim, Brewster Park, 5.0, O Elliott (Antrim)

Verdict: Leitrim

Tomorrow

Ulster SFC Quarter-Final

Cavan v Monaghan, Kingspan Breffni Park, 2.0, P Hughes (Armagh) * Live, RTE

The sides' recent championship records points to a Monaghan win. The Farney have won five, lost one and drawn one of their last seven Ulster championship games, the sole defeat coming against Donegal in last year's final. Cavan have won just one of their opening-round Ulster games in the last five years.

Terry Hyland insists his side are still in the development phase and turning their successful underage ideas into winners at senior level is a challenge.

Monaghan are further ahead in that regard and have one of the best footballers around in Conor McManus. He's a game breaker and can produce the moments that break down defences and he can help Monaghan to a win.

Last championship clash: 2013: Monaghan 1-10 Cavan 0-12 (Ulster semi-final)

It's a fact: This is only the third championship meeting between the sides since the turn of the millennium.

Odds: Cavan 15/8, Monaghan 8/13, Draw 7/1

Verdict: Monaghan

Connacht SFC Quarter-Final

London v Roscommon, Ruislip, 3.0, E Kinsella (Laois)

It's only two years since London's historic run to the Connacht final but only a handful of that team are still available to Paul Coggins as they have had to deal with the usual turnover of players.

In last year's Connacht clash, London were out of contention before half-time against Galway and they'll need big performances from Mark Gottsche and Lorcan Mulvey to have any chance.

John Evans' talented Rossies should take their first step in what could be a long summer.

Last championship clash: 2010: Roscommon 0-14 London 0-6 (Connacht 1st round)

It's a fact: Roscommon have won all eight Championship meetings to date but London got to within a point in 2008.

Odds: London 10/1 Roscommon 1/25 Draw 25/1

Verdict: Roscommon

Leinster SHC Round-Robin

Carlow v Antrim, Netwatch Cullen Park, C McAllister (Cork)

Carlow need a win to have any chance of avoiding the drop to the Christy Ring Cup, while Antrim could go down if they lose here and Laois beat Westmeath.

Verdict: Antrim

Laois v Westmeath, Portlaoise, 2.0, A Kelly (Galway)

Unbeaten Westmeath look to have one foot in the Leinster quarter-final given their strong score difference while Laois will need a favour from Carlow.

Verdict: Westmeath

Munster SHC Quarter-Final

Clare v Limerick, Semple Stadium, Thurles, 4.0, C Lyons (Cork) RTE

The Limerick camp won't have been pleased that one of their selection issues became the subject of a much publicised tweet but there's no doubting the absence of regular netminder Nickie Quaid was a disruption in the build-up.

The Limerick team will be interesting and TJ Ryan could be tempted to cut young tyro Cian Lynch loose as they look to pick up from the levels of performance they produced in their last championship outing when they went down to Kilkenny in that epic All-Ireland semi-final.

The Clare panel hasn't had the smoothest run either with an internal spat played out in public, but Davy Fitzgerald has a serious array of talent at his disposal.

There has only been one draw in the 51 championship clashes between the sides to date, so another is well overdue but Clare might just edge it.

Last championship clash: 2013: Clare 1-22 Limerick 0-18 (All-Ireland semi-final)

It's a fact: Limerick lead 34-16 in their championship meetings to date.

Odds: Clare 11/10, Limerick 10/11, Draw 10/1

Verdict: Clare

Munster IHC Quarter-Final

Clare v Limerick, Semple Stadium, 2.0, J O'Brien (Tipperary)

Verdict: Clare

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