Monday 23 October 2017

This weekend's GAA previews

Fixtures for Sunday, 16 December

AIB All-Ireland Club SFC quarter-final

(extra-time if necessary)

Tir Chonaill Gaels (London) v Dr Crokes (Kerry), Ruislip, 1.30, D Fahy (Longford).

Munster's two in-a-row champions, with a relatively clean bill of health apart from Eoin Brosnan, are big favourites here.

Their defeat of Castlehaven confirmed just how much depth they have in a squad that includes Colm Cooper (right), Kieran O'Leary, Johnny Buckley, Daithi Casey, Brian Looney and centre-back Mike Moloney, who is familiar with their opponents after his time in London.

The big problem for the 14-time London kingpins is their lack of competition. They haven't had a competitive game since a Division 1 league final at the end of October, while Crokes have been going non-stop both inside and outside Kerry.

No London club has ever won a quarter-final and Tir Chonaill's 13th appearance at this stage was a four-point loss to Kilmurry-Ibrickane in 2010. They'll do well to keep it that close this time.

Verdict: Dr Crokes.

Odds: Dr Crokes 1/16, Tir Chonaill Gaels 15/2, Draw 16/1.

All-Ireland Club JFC quarter-final

(extra-time if necessary)

St Peter's (Lancashire) v Castleknock (Dublin), Old Bedians Sports Ground, 1.0, M Meade (Limerick).

The Manchester men caused a huge shock by beating Mayo's Connacht champions Parke at this stage two years ago with a side that featured a lot of Mayo men, and Dessie O'Malley and Stephen Hughes lead their charge this time.

But Castleknock have scored 12-51 and conceded just 2-20 en route to their romp through Leinster.

And it is rumoured that Dublin minor dual star Ciaran Kilkenny, whom they lost to the AFL midway through their campaign, may be back for this encounter, which would be a huge boost.

Verdict: Castleknock.

Irish Independent

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