Friday 18 August 2017

The intriguing bet of the weekend nestled in the GAA qualifiers

Conor Phelan of Waterford in action against Darren O'Regan of Cork
Conor Phelan of Waterford in action against Darren O'Regan of Cork

Conor Neville

The headline games in the championship this weekend are the Munster hurling match-up between Waterford and Cork, the heavyweight slugfest in Ulster between Tyrone and Donegal, and Meath and Kildare's tussle in Tullamore, easily the most interesting Leinster championship meeting since about 2012.

But one of the most intriguing bets of the week is to be found nestled in the All-Ireland football qualifiers which kick off these weekend. A number of counties will formally take their leave of the championship, he first set of teams to do so aside from New York.

Sligo host Antrim, Laois travel to Aughrim to play Wicklow, Louth and Longford meet in Drogheda, and Damian Barton's depressed Derry side descend on the scenic surrounds of Fraher Field to dance with Waterford.

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It is this last game which interests the Sunday World's John Brennan. Speaking on Independent.ie's Punter's Platform in association with Ladbrokes, he said that 9/2 for Waterford.

Four years ago, Waterford gave a vulnerable Galway an enormous fright in Salthill. This year they gave Cork the scare of their life in Fraher Field.The time has come, our punters feel, for them to take a medium sized scalp.

"It's a fantastic price. They ran Cork close. Now Cork were awful but I think Waterford can just about do this. It's in Waterford which is huge. Derry have to get in a bus and sit the length of Ireland.

"Waterford have decent players. If it was in Celtic Park in Derry, I wouldn't be talking about it. Derry's morale must be poor. Lots of the best footballers in the county are not committing to the county. They took a thumping off Tyrone and morale must be down around their ankles. If any game is going to turn up with a shock."

If punters don't fancy an outright Waterford win, the handicap is +5 at 10/11. Elsewhere there is general unanimity that Louth are a strong tip in Drogheda, though their opponents Longford have won their Round 1 qualifier match every year since 2009.

Our tipsters are leaning heavily towards Donegal as opposed to the "overrated" Tyrone in the Ulster championship meet-up. They're generous underdogs at 11/8 with a promising corps of young players emerging.

GAA Bets:

Double: Waterford hurlers (8/13) and Donegal to win (11/8)  

Waterford: footballers (9/2)

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