Tuesday 20 February 2018

Derry SHC final


Kevin Lynchs v Lavey, Celtic Park, 3.0, E Hassan

Over a period that spanned the '80s and '90s, these two clubs won 18 of the 20 county titles on offer and this is the second successive final the clubs will contest. Lavey emerged on top 12 months ago when Paddy Henry was in great form from placed balls but, as six-times champions in eight years, Kevin Lynchs have the experience.

Verdict: Kevin Lynchs


Meath SFC final

Dunshaughlin v Summerhill, Navan, 3.30, C Reilly

An unlikely final pairing which sees Summerhill back in the decider for the first time since 2008. Stephen Kennedy has been doing the damage for them up front, though Paul Rispin and Adrian Kenny are also key performers. Dunshaughlin upset the odds to beat a fancied Donaghmore/Ashbourne team in their semi-final and will have to repeat the dose to win the Keegan Cup for the first time since they completed three-in-a-row in 2002.

Odds: Summerhill 1/2 Dunshaughlin 2/1 Draw 7/1

Verdict: Summerhill

Westmeath SFC final

Garrycastle v Mullingar Shamrocks, Cusack Park, 3.45,

P Fox

Garrycastle emerged comfortable winners when these sides met earlier in the championship and they are favourites to win a second successive title under the guidance of Anthony Cunningham, who won the All-Ireland U-21 hurling title with Galway a few weeks ago. Mullingar Shamrocks have some experienced players, including Donal O'Donoghue and Anthony Clinton, and while they could be a lot closer than the odds suggest, they face an uphill battle.

Odds: Garrycastle 1/3 Shamrocks 11/4 Draw 8/1

Verdict: Garrycastle

Cavan SFC final

Castlerahan v Cavan Gaels, Kingspan Breffni Park, 4.0,

B Sweeney

Oisin O'Connell's late strike sealed a final spot for Castlerahan, but they'll need Cian Mackey and Ronan Flanagan in top form to upset Cavan Gaels, who have been the dominant force over the past decade. The Gaels were turned over by Kingscourt in last year's final and they'll be wary of suffering a repeat dose here.

Odds: Castlerahan 5/1 Gaels 1/7 Draw 12/1

Verdict: Cavan Gaels

Fermanagh SFC final

Roslea v Teemore, Brewster Park, 3.30, F Cleary

Roslea go in search of back-to-back 'New York' Cups against Teemore, who have belied their status as a Division 2 team to reach the decider. Double All Star full-back Barry Owens has been deployed at full- forward on occasion and he has proved a handful, while Peter and James Sherry and Peter Lynch will be key for Roslea, who have the edge here.

Odds: Roslea 1/4 Teemore 7/2 Draw 8/1

Verdict: Roslea

Donegal SFC final

Glenswilly v St Michael's, Ballybofey, 4.0, J White

New territory for Donegal football as neither side have managed to win a senior championship before. The final will feature a number of county players, including Michael Murphy (Glenswilly) and Colm McFadden (St Michael's). Glenswilly are likely to get plenty of men behind the ball but in McFadden and Christy Toye, St Michael's have the forwards to prise open that lock.

Odds: St Michael's 5/6 Glenswilly 5/4 Draw 13/2

Verdict: Glenswilly

Cork SHC final

CIT v Carrigtwohill, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 3.45, C Lyons

CIT star Colin Fennelly misses out for the students due to club commitments with Ballyhale Shamrocks in Kilkenny, but even in his absence they have to be clear favourites considering the manner of their win over former All-Ireland champions Newtownshandrum. Niall McCarthy steered Carrigtwohill to their first final since 1937 with a win over Midleton, but this seems a bridge too far.

Odds: CIT 1/3 Carrigtwohill 5/2 Draw 11/1

Verdict: CIT

Limerick SHC final

Ahane v Na Piarsaigh, Gaelic Grounds, 3.30, Live TG4

Ollie and Niall Moran are still Ahane's main performers, as they proved in the semi-final replay win over divisional side Emmets. Na Piarsaigh had five points to spare over Patrickswell in their semi-final and are clear favourites, despite going in search of their first title. However, that inexperience could well prove costly.

Odds: Na Piarsaigh 1/2 Ahane 7/4 Draw 10/1

Verdict: Ahane

Wicklow SHC final

Glenealy v Carnew, Aughrim, 3.30, D Peppard

Don Hyland still holds the key for Carnew and if Glenealy can stifle his influence they can prevail.

Verdict: Glenealy

Kildare SHC final

Celbridge v Confey,

St Conleth's Park, 4.0

Celbridge go in search of their third county title in a row and that experience will be vital.

Verdict: Celbridge

Carlow SHC final

Naomh Eoin v Mount Leinster Rangers, Dr Cullen Park, 3.45,

D Hughes

Paul Coady and Eddie Byrne are among the key men for Rangers, who have been the dominant side in Carlow hurling in recent years. Naomh Eoin will look to Brian Murphy and Ross Smithers for scores. Rangers are contesting their seventh consecutive final and that can be decisive.

Verdict: Mount Leinster Rangers

The Louth SFC final between Newtown Blues and St Patrick's Drogheda has been postponed due to a bereavement in the St Patrick's club.

Irish Independent

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