Friday 27 April 2018

Leinster Club SFC Q/F


(All 2.30 unless stated)

Garrycastle (Westmeath) v Longford Slashers (Longford), Mullingar,

E Kinsella (Laois).

Garrycastle, managed by new Galway hurling boss Anthony Cunningham, made it a hat-trick in Westmeath this year and, like last season, when only a point separated the sides, they face the Longford champions. Slashers are led by Colin Smith, Paul Kelly, David Sheridan and Barry Gilleran, but they face a talented Garrycastle outfit who pushed Kilmacud hard last year and lost the 2009 final to Portlaoise.

Betting: Garrycastle 8/15, Longford Slashers 2/1, Draw 13/2.

Verdict: Garrycastle.

Leinster Club SFC 1st rd

(Extra-time if necessary)

Summerhill (Meath) v St Brigid's (Dublin), Navan, F Kelly (Longford).

Hard to believe that Summerhill hadn't won a county title in 26 years until this year's replay defeat of Dunshaughlin. They feature key men like Davy Dalton and Caolan Young in defence and Adrian Kenny up front. But Brigid's, who only won their second Dublin SFC title last weekend, have a lot of class in Sean Murray, the Cahill brothers and Peadar Andrews and great leadership in Ken Darcy.

Betting: St Brigid's 4/11, Summerhill 11/4, Draw 15/2.

Verdict: St Brigid's.

Portlaoise (Laois) v St Patrick's (Louth), Portlaoise, D Fahy (Longford).

St Pat's, featuring Paddy Keenan and the Finnegans, won their fourth Louth title since 2003 after a replay, but only managed to score five points when they met Portlaoise in '07. With a fifth Laois title in a row secured and home advantage, Portlaoise's star-studded side are expected to cruise through. They're not expected to have Zach Tuohy home from Oz for this one, but will surely bring him home if their bid for a record eighth Leinster title stays on course.

Betting: Portlaoise 1/10, St Pat's 13/2, Draw 14/1.

Verdict: Portlaoise.

Athy (Kildare) v Edenderry (Offaly), Newbridge, G McCormack (Dublin).

Both would probably admit they're now in bonus territory. Edenderry , who were relegated to intermediate in 2006, shocked everyone by winning their first Offaly SFC title since '01, while Athy, who've had so much underage success recently, probably came good a year earlier than they expected. The Kildare champions have a big hole at centre-back now that All Star Mick Foley has gone travelling for three months, but Paddy Dunne and Kevin Feely are strong in midfield and their young talent up front includes key man Cian Reynolds.

Betting: Athy1/2, Edenderry 9/4, Draw 6/1.

Verdict: Athy.

Leinster Club SHC S/f

(Extra-time if necessary)

Oulart-The Ballagh (Wexford) v Clough-Ballacolla (Laois), Wexford, D Hughes (Carlow).

Willie Hyland and John A Delaney lead the Laois champions, who won their second county title in three years this year and look very determined under the management of John O'Sullivan. But they've been inactive for a month, while Wexford kingpins Oulart finally took that big Kilkenny scalp that had eluded them for years last weekend. Memories of their tight tussle with Raharney last year should prevent complacency under new Wexford manager Liam Dunne.

Betting: Oulart-The Ballagh 1/12, Clough-Ballacolla 7/1, Draw 14/1.

Verdict: Oulart-The Ballagh.

Ballyboden St Enda's (Dublin) v Coolderry (Offaly), Parnell Park,

A Stapleton (Offaly).

'Boden boss Liam Hogan faces his native Coolderry, who are managed by Ken Hogan, so there are bright brains behind two talented teams here. The Dublin champions should really have won a Leinster title by now, but the loss of Conal Keaney and Stephen Hiney hasn't helped this year and they needed a few saves from Gary Maguire last week to stay safe against Clonkill. Coolderry have had a long lay-off, which is a worry, but they have an awful lot of players with Offaly senior experience, including Brian Carroll, Joe and Kevin Brady, Brendan O'Meara and Damien Murray, and if they can get their usual flying start and bag a few goals, they could cause a shock here. The odds on a draw also look generous.

Betting: Ballyboden' 8/13, Coolderry 6/4, Draw 9/1.

Verdict: Coolderry.

Munster Club SHC S/f

(Extra-time if necessary)

Ballygunner (Waterford) v Na Piarsaigh (Limerick), 2.0, Walsh Park, D Copps (Cork).

Na Piarsaigh have become the premier city club in Limerick and took out most of the county's big guns when winning their first SHC title this year with a team of talented youngsters, led by All Star nominee Kevin Downes. But they meet a Waterford club with a big history, whose young team belies their experience. The Mahony and O'Sullivan brothers, Wayne Hutchinson and Shane O'Sullivan all have senior inter-county experience, not to mention ex-Tipp player Andy Malone, and Ballygunner haven't lost a Munster home game since 1995.

Betting: Ballygunner 8/15, Na Piarsaigh 7/4, Draw 9/1.

Verdict: Ballygunner.

Carrigtwohill (Cork) v Crusheen (Clare), 2.0, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, J Ryan (Tipperary).

Clare's two in-a-row winners have to travel to face the new Rebel champs -- led by Niall McCarthy, Robert White and Daniel O'Mahony -- who pipped CIT by a point to win their first county title in 93 years. The problem for Carrigtwohill is that they haven't had a game in six weeks. Crusheen have come through a county final mud-fest, have an excellent defence, and have a better spread of forwards this year. Pat Vaughan could be a key man in midfield.

Betting: Crusheen 5/6, Carrigtwohill 6/5, Draw 15/2.

Verdict: Crusheen.

Ulster Club SFC S/F

(Extra-time if necessary).

Ballinderry (Derry) v Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh), M Sludden (Tyrone).

Defending and five-time All-Ireland champions Crossmaglen take on 2002 winners Ballinderry and with so much history and acrimony in their previous meetings, this could be a barnstormer. Even with a new team of 'young guns' Cross' need no introduction and they knocked out Ballinderry in '06 (Ulster final) and '08 (after a replay). But the Derry champions have plenty of big names too -- Enda Muldoon, Conleith Gilligan, Kevin McGuckin and Raymond Wilkinson -- and have already taken out Tyrone champions Dromore. Cross' achievements make them favourites, but given their history, Ballinderry should give them a scare and will be much better value with the bookies.

Betting: Crossmaglen 1/3, Ballinderry 3/1, Draw 15/2.

Verdict: Crossmaglen.

Ulster Club SFC Q/F

(Extra-time if necessary)

Roslea (Fermanagh) v Burren (Down), Enniskillen, P Hughes (Armagh).

Two sides with plenty of goalscoring ability here, but the Down champions are favourites, not least because Roslea, managed by Peter McGinnity, lost key man James Sherry to a broken jaw last weekend. Burren will have county star Kevin McKernan just back from international duty and also feature Declan Rooney, the McCartans and in-form James McGovern.

Betting: Burren 1/10, Roslea 13/2, Draw 12/1.

Verdict: Burren.

Glenswilly (Donegal) v Latton (Monaghan), Ballybofey, B Cassidy (Derry).

Latton, who pipped Scotstown in the Monaghan final and are led by Eoin Lennon, Hugh McElroy and Owen Duffy, have a tough trip to Donegal and are seeking their first win in their third Ulster campaign. Michael Murphy is immediately name-checked when Glenswilly are mentioned, but he'll likely be treble-marked and it'll be Ciaran Bonner and Liam Kelly they will look to. They've already got Cavan Gaels' scalp on their belts and 'home' advantage should help them.

Betting: Glenswilly 1/3, Latton 10/3, Draw 13/2.

Verdict: Glenswilly.

Leinster Club JHC S/F

(Extra-time if necessary)

Ballyfin (Laois) v Horeswood (Wexford), 1.0, Portlaoise, S Cleere (Kilkenny).

St Patrick's (Kilkenny) v Brosna Gaels (Offaly), Ballyragget.

Leinster Special JHC S/F

(Extra-time if necessary)

Park-Ratheniska (Laois) v St Laurence's (Kildare), Ratheniska.

Leinster Club IFC Q/F

(Extra-time if necessary)

Muckalee (Kilkenny) v Skerries Harps (Dublin), Castlecomer.

Coralstown Kinnegad (Westmeath) v Confey (Kildare), Kinnegad.

Munster Club IFC Q/F

(Extra-time if necessary).

Miltown/Castlemaine (Kerry) v Clondegad (Clare), 2.0, Miltown.

Mullinahone (Tipperary) v Mountcollins (Limerick), 2.0, Clonmel.

Munster JFC S/F

(Extra-time if necessary).

Kildangan (Tipperary) v Sliabh gCua (Waterford), 2.0, Puckane.

Dromid Pearses (Kerry) v Kanturk or Mitchelstown (Cork), 2.0, Waterville.

Ulster Club IFC S/F

(Extra-time if necessary).

Culloville (Armagh) v Ballymena (Antrim), 12.45, Omagh.

Carrickmacross Emmets (Monaghan) v Craigbane (Derry), Omagh.

Ulster Club JFC S/F

(Extra-time if necessary).

Cremartin (Monaghan) v Burt (Donegal), 12.45, Enniskillen.

Eire Og (Armagh) v Derrytresk (Tyrone), 12.45, Casement Park.

Connacht Club IHC Final

Moycullen (Galway) v Four Roads (Roscommon), Athleague.

Verdict: Moycullen.

Wicklow SFC Final

Rathnew v St Mary's, 2.0,

Aughrim, K Kenny.

Worth the admission alone to see dual star Leighton 'Duracell' Glynn rush back from Australia to line out for Rathnew, managed by new county boss Harry Murphy, who chase their latest three in-a-row against group side St Mary's, led by Don Jackman and Paddy Byrne.

Betting: Rathnew 1/3, St Mary's 3/1, Draw 15/2.

Verdict: Rathnew.

Irish Independent

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