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Smyth primed to split 'Rock and be king of the 'Castle

AFTER the year Anthony Cunningham is after having, it's a wonder he wasn't in the Garrycastle dug out last Sunday in Cusack Park.

This year's beaten All-Ireland club finalists continued the Galway hurling boss' natural affinity for drama in his absence, contriving to squander a nine-point lead and having to hang on for dear life in the final throes of an epic final and the second draw with Mullingar Shamrocks in two years.

Indeed, had the inspirational Lorcan Smyth extended his tally to 2-6 by converting an injury-time 35-metre free, the comeback of all comebacks would have been complete but alas, the chance was missed from in front of the posts and forced the clubs to do it all over again tomorrow back in Mullingar.


Hard then, to know where exactly the advantage lies, particularly after Dessie Dolan limped off for the four-in-a-row chasing Garrycastle with a dead leg, having been an 11th-hour call-up to the starting alignment and again, a doubt for tomorrow.

Conversely, perhaps the biggest propellant for Shamrocks' epic overhaul was their two previous county final defeats to the same opposition, but they should have Donal O'Donoghue back to full health after a virus limited his participation last week to just 36 minutes of action.

Still, fool Garrycastle once? Fair play to Shamrocks.

Fool them twice? Hardly.

ODDS: Shamrocks 8/15, Draw 7/1, Garrycastle 2/1

VERDICT: Garrycastle


ST PATRICK'S (Wicklow) v éIRE óG (Carlow)

(Aughrim, Tomorrow, 2.30)

ODDS: St Patrick's 11/10, Draw 13/2, éire óg EVS

VERDICT: St Patrick's

EMMET óG (Longford) v ST ANNE'S (Wexford)

Longford, Tomorrow, 2.30)

ODDS: Emmet óg 21/10, Draw 7/1, St Anne's 1/2

VERDICT: St Anne's

RHODE (Offaly) v ST PATRICK'S (Louth)

Tullamore, Tomorrow, 2.30

ODDS: Rhode 4/7, Draw 15/2, St Patrick's 7/4