Wednesday 21 February 2018

Shinty International


First Test, Ireland v Scotland, Athy, 3.0

Michael Rice captains an Ireland team in which the leading lights from the likes of Kildare and Tyrone get the chance to line out alongside Tipperary's Eoin Kelly and Brendan Maher.

Verdict: Ireland

AIB Leinster Club JFC

Geraldine O'Hanrahans (Wexford) v St Paul's (Westmeath), Kennedy Park, 3.0. Verdict: St Paul's


Leinster Club IFC

O'Raghallaighs (Louth) v Moynalvey (Meath), Drogheda, 3.0. Verdict: Moynalvey

St Brigid's (Offaly) v Killeshin (Laois), Croghan, 3.0. Verdict: St Brigid's

Coralstown/Kinnegad (Westmeath) v St Brigid's (Longford), Kinnegad, 1.0. Verdict: Coralstown/Kinnegad

Leinster club JFC

Clonmore (Carlow) v Robertstown (Kil-dare), Dr Cullen Pk, 3.0. Verdict: Roberstown

Ballymore (Longford) v St Fechin's (Louth), Abbeylara, 3.0. Verdict: St Fechin's

Leinster Club IHC

Glenealy (Wicklow) v Celbridge (Kildare), Arklow, 3.0. Verdict: Glenealy

Kildalkey (Meath) v Danesfort (Kilkenny), Navan, 3.0. Verdict: Danesfort

Leinster Special Club JHC

Mattock Rangers (Louth) v Park Ratheniska (Laois), Collon, 3.0. Verdict: Park Ratheniska

Southern Gaels (Westmeath) v St Laurence's (Kildare), Athlone, 3.0. Verdict: Southern Gaels

Ulster Club SHC Final

Loughiel Shamrocks (Antrim) v Ballycran (Down), Casement Park, 3.0

Ballycran won this title back in 1993, but in the last 13 years, only Ballygalget (1998 and 2005) have broken the stranglehold that Antrim clubs have on this title. Holders Loughiel, the only Ulster side to win the All-Ireland club title, should retain their crown.

Odds: Loughiel 1/5, Ballycran 4/1, Draw 9/1.

Verdict: Loughiel

Ulster club IHC Final

Middletown Na Fianna (Armagh) v Castleblayney (Monaghan), Pairc Esler, 3.0 Verdict: Middletown Na Fianna

Ulster club JHC final

Burt (Donegal) v Na Magha (Derry), Celtic Park, 3.0. Verdict: Na Magha

Clare SHC Final

Sixmilebridge v Crusheen,

Cusack Park, 3.30

Hard to believe that 10-time winners 'The Bridge' are in their first final since 2002. Gerry O'Grady, Tony Carmody (and possibly Davy Fitz again) are still involved, but the Morey brothers (Declan and Danny) and cousin Caimin are among the younger crew.

Crusheen pipped them in last year's semis before going on to their first title and they feature Pat Vaughan, Gerry O'Grady and the Dillon brothers in a tight defence.

Odds: Sixmilebridge 1/1, Crusheen 1/1, Draw 15/2.

Verdict: Sixmilebridge

Kilkenny SHC Final

Ballyhale Shamrocks v James Stephens, Nowlan Park, 3.30

Record All Star Henry Shefflin, plus the Fennellys, the Reids and Cha Fitzpatrick are back chasing a 14th title, and first since winning their fifth All-Ireland in 2009. Facing them are 'The Village,' led by Jackie Tyrrell and Eoin Larkin and managed by ex-Laois star Niall Rigney, who last won in 2005. Managers often get their best results in the first year, but Ballyhale's absence last year will have made them hungry.

Odds: Ballyhale 2/7, James Stephens 3/1, Draw 10/1.

Verdict: Ballyhale

Leitrim SHC Final Replay

Gortletteragh v Glencar Manorhamilton, Carrick-on-Shannon, 3.45pm

David Poniard and goalkeeper Rossa O'Snodaigh saved favourites Manorhamilton's bacon in the low-scoring first game that went to extra-time.

Verdict: Glencar Manorhamilton

Kerry Club SFC Final

Rathmore v Laune Rangers,

Killarney, 3.30

Both of these sides will be hoping that Mid-Kerry beat Dr Crokes in the forthcoming championship final, because, in that case, whoever wins this club final would go on to represent Kerry in Munster.

Verdict: Rathmore.

Mayo SFC Final

Ballintubber v Castlebar Mitchels, McHale Park, 3.30

A big rematch here of last year's final in which Ballintubber kept Castlebar to just 0-5 when winning their first title. Both sides have had management changes since -- Anthony McGarry is now the Ballintubber boss, while Pat Holmes took over Mitchels from Peter Forde. Ballintubber have the likes of Cillian O'Connor and Alan Dillon, but Castlebar are on a revenge mission.

Odds: Ballintubber 5/6, Castlebar 5/4, Draw 6/1

Verdict: Draw

Tyrone SFC Final

Clonoe O'Rahilly's v Dromore St Dympna's, Healy Park, 4.0

Dromore have all the big names (Ryan McMenamin, Cathal McCarron, Colm McCullagh and Sean O'Neill) and are in their fourth final in five years. But Clonoe took a huge scalp when beating Carrickmore after extra-time in the quarter-finals and have big leaders in Emmett Teague, Shane O'Hagan, Stephen McNulty and Ryan T O'Neill. They beat Dromore in the 2008 final, but that could now come back to haunt them.

Odds: Dromore 1/1, Clonoe 11/10, Draw 6/1.

Verdict: Dromore

Waterford SFC Final

Stradbally v Ballinacourty,

Fraher Field, 3.30

Another big sequel. Local kingpins Stradbally are chasing a three in-a-row and beat The Nire to earn this re-match of last year's final -- when Shane Ahearne's winner just pipped Ballincourty. The 2007 champions include the Hurneys, Richie Foley and Mark Fives, while the reigning champions include Tony Grey, Eddie Rockett and dual star Michael 'Brick' Walsh.

Odds: Stradbally 10/11, Ballinacourty 6/5, Draw 6/1.

Verdict: Ballinacourty

Westmeath SFC Replay

Garrycastle v Mullingar Shamrocks, Mullingar, 3.30

James Dolan kept Garrycastle's three in-a-row hopes alive with a late equaliser last time out and they will be feeling the pressure for this rematch. Shamrocks are still chasing their first title since 2000 and had a great chance the last day thanks to Lorcan Smyth's early goal, but may find the going a little tougher on this occasion.

Odds: Garrycastle 4/9, Shamrocks 9/4, Draw 7/1.

Verdict: Garrycastle

Irish Independent

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