Monday 18 December 2017

This weekends county finals


Donegal SFC final

Killybegs v Naomh Conaill, 4.0, Ballybofey

Killybegs have risen from the ashes to reach this decider, having not won a first-round match for eight years before this season. However, they picked up serious injuries to a two first-choice players when forced to play a league match last weekend and that has hit them hard. They are likely to call on the experience of 1992 All-Ireland winner Manus Boyle at some stage.

Naomh Conaill are looking to go one better than last year and they have the talent in Leo McLoone, the Thompson brothers and Dermot 'Brick' Molloy. They pulled victory from the jaws of defeat in inspirational fashion in the semi-final and they are unlikely to leave any room for sentiment here.

Odds: Killybegs 11/4 Naomh Conaill 2/7 Draw 10/1

Verdict: Naomh Conaill

Derry SFC final

Ballinderry v Coleraine, 3.45, Celtic Park

The Coleraine fairytale continues as they play in their first county final after only three years in the senior grade, but Enda Muldoon's availability (he had his red card rescinded by the county's hearings committee during the week) is a serious lift for Ballinderry. This is their seventh final in 12 years and that experience will be key.

Odds: Ballinderry 2/5 Coleraine 9/4 Draw 15/2

Verdict: Ballinderry

Fermanagh SFC Final

St Patrick's v Roslea, 3.30, Enniskillen

Roslea, led by the Sherry brothers, have long been tipped for the title after losing out in last year's decider and their season so far has gone to plan. Enniskillen offered the sternest test of their credentials so far in the semi-final.

St Pat's are something of a surprise package and showed great character to win their semi-final after finding themselves five points down at one stage. They have quality in former county captain Shane McDermott and Eamon Maguire, but Roslea look stronger.

Odds: St Patrick's 2/1 Roslea 2/5 Draw 9/1

Verdict: Roslea

Limerick SHC Final

Emmets v Kilmallock, 3.30,

Gaelic Grounds

Donal O'Grady will be an interested spectator for the county final that pits divisional side Emmets against Kilmallock, who are managed by Tony Considine (right). Without a senior championship since 1994, they are due another success and their win over Emmets in the group stages by a goal bodes well for them.

Odds: Emmets 7/4 Kilmallock 2/5 Draw 10/1

Verdict: Kilmallock

Westmeath SFC Final

Garrycastle v Mullingar Shamrocks, 3.30, Cusack Park

These sides have already met in the championship this year, with Shamrocks running out winners but the Athlone side were without a number of key performers in that encounter, including Dessie Dolan.

He'll play tomorrow and can exert a huge influence, but Mullingar have their own leaders in the dynamic duo of Donal O'Donoghue and Anthony Clinton. At 5/2, Shamrocks represent some value as this will be a very tight affair.

Odds: Garrycastle 1/3 Mullingar Shamrocks 5/2 Draw 9/1

Verdict: Garrycastle

Wexford SFC final

Castletown v Kilanerin, 3.30, Wexford

Not too many in Wexford Park tomorrow will be expecting a classic as these sides met earlier in the year, with Castleton winning by 0-5 to 0-4, albeit in very difficult conditions. However, the talents of Matty Forde can be worth the entry fee when he's on his game and his class could prove to be the difference.

Odds: Castletown 6/4 Kilanerin 8/13 Draw 15/2

Verdict: Kilanerin

Wicklow SFC Final

Rathnew v Baltinglass, 3.45, Aughrim

There could be fireworks between the two kingpins of Wicklow football, who have effectively divided the county title between them for much of the last three decades. Both teams have managed to win eight-in-a- row in living memory and Rathnew are defending champions. The bookies have Baltinglass at over 2/1, but that seems generous and they could be in line for an upset.

Odds: Rathnew 4/9 Baltinglass 21/10 Draw 15/2

Verdict: Baltinglass

London SFC final

Neasden Gaels v Parnells, 3.15, Ruislip

The boot of David O'Sullivan sealed the shock of the London championship when Parnells beat Tir Chonaill Gaels in the semi-final thanks to a last minute free. That ended Tir Chonaill's hopes of four-in-a-row, with Neasden Gaels on the receiving end in the last two deciders. it seems like their time has come.

Verdict: Neasden Gaels.

Compiled by

Donnchadh Boyle

Irish Independent

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