Tuesday 12 December 2017

GAA previews

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

St Vincent's (Dublin) v Portlaoise (Laois), Tullamore, 2.0,

St Vincent's (Dublin) v Portlaoise (Laois), Tullamore, 2.0,

F Kelly (Longford) LIVE TG4

In the year that their most influential club member Kevin Heffernan died, St Vincent's have no shortage of motivation going into this Leinster final.

There has been a significant turnover in personnel since the sides last met in the 2007 campaign when the Dublin men came out on top but it's the familiar face of Mossy Quinn that has done most for the Marino men. He'll have more assistance as county duo Ger Brennan and Diarmuid Connolly return from suspension to bolster a team that have grinded out wins in Mullingar and Navan in recent weeks.

Portlaoise's run of success in Laois continued with a seventh successive county title but they have been quite open in stating that they feel they should have yielded more than one provincial title in the last six campaigns.

There's no doubting their quality. In Brian 'Bruno' McCormack they have a player capable of picking the lock while Cahir Healy's displays in defence must have put him top of Tomas O Flatharta's wanted list as he gathers the county's footballers together for 2014.

It should be significantly tighter than the odds suggest but Dublin clubs have a superb record and St Vincent's can become the fifth side from the capital in seven years to claim the Leinster title.

Odds: St Vincent's 4/9 Portlaoise 9/4 Draw 15/2

Verdict: St Vincent's

LEINSTER IFC FINAL REPLAY

Naomh Olaf (Dublin) v Geraldines (Louth), Parnell Park, 2.0, Ref TBC

A little bit of history repeated itself in the drawn game when Geraldines' Jim McEneaney landed a late free to secure a replay, just like his father and current club manager Eamonn did for Monaghan back in the 1985 All-Ireland semi-final. The Dublin men have a classy performer in former minor All-Ireland winning captain Davy Byrne and, having let a lead slip in the dying moments of regulation and extra-time last week, they can see the job done this time.

Odds: Naomh Olaf 8/11 Geraldines 11/8 Draw 7/1

Verdict: Naomh Olaf

MUNSTER JFC FINAL

Keel (Kerry) v Feohanagh/Castlemahon (Limerick), Mallow, 1.30

Keel have set the pace since emerging from Kerry as they have conceded just six points in their two games to date with just one of those scores coming from play. Aaron Cahillane is the rock on which their defence is based but the Limerick men had eight different scorers in their semi-final win with Jeff Reidy in inspired form. However, the Kerry side have enough quality to make sure the junior title stays in the Kingdom for a sixth successive season.

Odds: Keel 1/5 Feohanagh/Castlemahon 7/2 Draw 10/1

Verdict: Keel

MUNSTER JHC FINAL

Feenagh/Kilmeedy (Limerick) v Ballysaggart (Waterford),

Mallow, 3.15

Ballysaggart are only the second Waterford club to make this stage of the competition while Feenagh have been waging war on two fronts in recent weeks. Last weekend they added the county junior 'B' football title to their trophy cabinet but with their star turn Stephen Bennett in full flight, Ballysaggart can reap the rewards.

Odds: Feenagh/Kilmeedy 7/4 Ballysaggart 4/9 Draw 10/1

Verdict: Ballysaggart

(extra-time if necessary in all games)

donnchadh boyle

Irish Independent

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