Tuesday 16 January 2018

Weekend GAA previews

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

QUALIFIERS ROUND 3, CONNACHT MFC FINAL,ULSTER MFC FINAL

TODAY

QUALIFIERS ROUND 3

(extra-time if necessary)

Galway v Armagh, Pearse Stadium, 5.0,

R Hickey (Clare)

High-flying Armagh wrote themselves into the record books last time with their eight-goal haul against Leitrim.

It's a remarkable about-turn since the Cavan game in which they looked well off the pace.

Galway had their own bad start to the championship but still look to be finding their feet. They edged past unfancied Waterford last time out and, while Armagh's open approach might suit Galway, the Orchard men are in a rich vein of form.

Odds: Galway 21/10, Armagh 1/2, Draw 9/1

Verdict: Armagh

Galway – M Breathnach; D O'Neill, F Hanley, K Kelly; J Duane, G O'Donnell, G Sice; P Conroy, T Flynn; J O'Brien, S Armstrong, C Doherty; M Martin, M Meehan, D Cummins.

Armagh – P McEvoy, P McKeown, B Donaghy, J Morgan, A Kernan, C McKeever, M Shields, J Lavery, S Harold, C Rafferty, K Dyas, E Rafferty; J Clarke, T Kernan, E McVerry.

 

Derry v Cavan, Celtic Park, 5.0, M Deegan (Laois)

The road ahead opened up for both of these sides last Monday after the winners of this game were handed a likely tie with London for a place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Terry Hyland has quietly transformed Cavan, starting with their underage sides, but he'll have to steer his side to a first championship win over Derry since the 1997 Ulster final to progress.

Brian McIver is another who seems to have had an impact on his side, with Derry reversing an Ulster championship defeat against Down to extend their season. Cavan will make life difficult for Derry's attack and if Cian Mackey can provide Eugene Keating and Martin Dunne with enough possession, the Breffni men look a decent price.

Odds: Derry 4/7, Cavan 7/4, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Cavan

Derry – E McNicholl; A McAlynn, C McKaigue, D McBride; C Kielt, M Lynch, SL McGoldrick; Patsy Bradley, C McAtamney; B Heron, J Kielt, E Lynn; R Bell, E Bradley, E McGuckin.

CAVAN – A O'Mara; J McLoughlin, R Dunne, K Clarke; J McEnroe, A Clarke, R Flanagan; D O'Reilly, D Givney; C Mackey, J Brady, F Flanagan; N McDermott, M Dunne, E Keating.

 

Wexford v Laois, Wexford Park, 7.0,

C Branagan (Down)

Laois won the league clash between these sides in April that saw Wexford relegated to Division 3, a game when Justin McNulty's side opened up a nine point half-time lead.

However, their facile win over Clare last time out might not have been ideal preparation for Wexford. The Model County got a good test against Longford and their midfield pairing of Rory Quinlivan and Daithi Waters can provide the platform for a Wexford win.

Odds: Wexford evs, Laois evs, draw 15/2

Verdict: Laois

Wexford – A Masterson; M Furlong, G Molloy, R Tierney; B Malone, D Murphy, A Flynn; D Waters, R Quinlivan; J Holmes, R Barry, A Doyle; C Lyng, P Byrne, PJ Banville.

LAOIS – E Culliton; P Begley, M Timmons, P O'Leary; D Strong, K Lillis, P McMahon; P Clancy, J O'Loughlin; R Munnelly, D Kingston, C Begley; B Sheehan, C Meredith, D Conway.

 

Kildare v Tyrone, Newbridge, 7.0,

J McQuillan (Cavan) *Live RTE 2

Stephen O'Neill is available for Tyrone but after taking an injection in a troublesome Achilles, it remains to be seen just how fit he is.

Tyrone beat Kildare twice in the league this year, and they have also won the only championship clash between the sides.

Kildare have fought hard to maintain home advantage for this tie, while Tyrone made hard work of Roscommon. The Lilies are in line to maintain their 100pc record in the qualifiers under Kieran McGeeney.

Odds: Kildare 7/4, Tyrone 4/7, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Kildare

Kildare – S Connolly; D Hyland, P Kelly, H McGrillen; E Callaghan, M O'Flaherty, E Bolton; D Flynn, P O'Neill; D Flynn, N Kelly, E O'Flaherty; J Doyle, T O'Connor, P Brophy.

TYRONE – P McConnell; A McCrory, C Clarke, C McCarron; R McKenna, P Harte, C Gormley; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh; Matthew Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, J McMahon; D McCurry, S O'Neill, M Penrose.

 

TOMORROW

CONNACHT MFC FINAL

Roscommon v Mayo, Castlebar, 12.0,

R McBrien (Leitrim)

Mayo came through an epic semi-final with a strong Galway side to set up this clash and they can deny the Rossies' bid for a third title in a row at this grade.

Odds: Mayo 8/13, Roscommon 13/8, Draw 7/1

Verdict: Mayo

 

ULSTER MFC FINAL

Tyrone v Monaghan, Clones, 2.0

A strong first-half display saw Monaghan past Cavan in the semi-final while Stephen McGrath's cameo off the bench saw Tyrone dispatch Down.

Odds: Tyrone 10/11, Mon'han 11/10, Draw 7/1

Verdict: Tyrone

 

Camogie

SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Galway v Derry, Naomh Mearnog, 3.15,

J Dolan

Derry have had a tough maiden season in senior championship and it won't be any easier for them against a Galway team, led by the inspirational Therese Maher, hoping to clinch a place in the quarter-finals.

 

Wexford v Clare, Wexford Park, 5.0

C Egan

The key game of the weekend, as three-time champions Wexford face an early exit if they lose to Clare, who also need a victory to avoid a long hot summer on the sidelines. With Fiona Lafferty missing for Clare, Wexford should deliver at home.

INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP

Kilkenny v Cork, Urlingford, 8.0, R Kelly

Waterford v Antrim, Naomh Mearnog, 1.30, R McNicholas

Meath v Wexford, Ratoath, 2.30, D Ryan

Ladies Football

TODAY

Junior All-Ireland C'ship

Wexford v Derry, Pairc Ui Shiochain, 7.0,

J Murphy

MINOR 'A' CHAMPIONSHIP

Donegal v Dublin, Breffni Park, 2.0, Y Duffy

MINOR 'B' Championship

Clare v Roscommon, Ballinasloe, 2.0,

PJ Rabbitte

Laois v Monaghan, Donaghmore,2.0,

M Farrelly

 

TOMORROW

Junior All-Ireland C'ship

Offaly v Louth, O'Connor Park, Tullamore,

2.0, K Phelan

Irish Independent

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