Monday 22 January 2018

Mayo SHC final


Ballyhaunis v Westport, McHale Park, 3.0

Ballyhaunis' recent domination of hurling in Mayo to continue here.

Verdict: Ballyhaunis

Antrim SFC final

St Gall's v Lamh Dhearg,

Casement Park, 7.0

Lamh Dhearg's spirits are high after they annexed the county's IHC title, but they'll have to spring a major upset here against the 2010 All-Ireland club champions, who will look to Kevin Niblock and Aodhan Gallagher to secure their fifth title on the bounce.

Odds: St Gall's 1/14 Lamh Dhearg 15/2 Draw 16/1

Verdict: St Gall's


TG4 All-Ireland

Senior Ladies Fc Final

Cork v Monaghan, Croke Park, 4.0, J Niland (Sligo)

Cork, the aristocrats of the modern women's game, have never been beaten in a final.

Their first decider was in 2005, when their victory started a five-in-a-row -- which included a 4-13 to 0-11 defeat of Monaghan in the '08 final.

But Eamonn Ryan's brilliant team were ousted by Tyrone in last year's quarter-finals and are seeking redemption.

Briege Corkery is back from abroad, their half-forward and full-back lines are changed significantly and their full-forward line of Val Mulcahy, Rhona Ni Bhuachalla, Any O'Shea is lethal.

Cork's devotion to the team ethic is exemplified by Deirdre O'Reilly and Ann Marie Walsh, both former forwards and now at corner-back.

The Rebelettes didn't look too convincing when pipping defending champions Dublin by a point, but they scored four goals against Laois, who had beaten Tyrone in an epic quarter-final.

Monaghan, whose last title came in 1997, also lost the 2002 final but look the real deal now. They gave Cork their only defeat of the year (in the league) and only lost once themselves (to Laois in the league semi-final).

The teens of their '08 final (like the McAnespies and Cathriona McConnell) are now much more experienced, while youngsters like Caoimhe Mohan and Ellen McCarron have been big additions. However, breaking down Cork's experienced defence in a pressure situation may not be easy.

This could be a swansong for some Cork veterans and that, along with the hurt of 2010, should help them shade it. But win or lose, Monaghan are firmly back to stay.

Odds: Cork 2/7 Monaghan 3/1 Draw 10/1

Verdict: Cork

CORK -- E Harte; AM Walsh, A Walsh, D O'Reilly; B Corkery, B Stack, G O'Flynn; J Murphy, R Buckley; N Cleary, M Kelly, G Kearney; V Mulcahy, R Ní Bhuachalla, A O'Shea (capt).

MONAGHAN -- L Martin; G McNally, S Courtney (capt), C Reilly; A McAnespie, N Fahy, L Connolly; A Casey, C Courtney; T McNally, E McCarron, C McConnell; C McAnespie, N Kindlon, C Mohan.

TG4 All-Ireland

intermediate ladies fc Final

Cavan v Westmeath, Croke Park, 2.0, G Corrigan (Down)

CAVAN haven't been here since contesting two senior finals in a row in 1980 and 1981, and Westmeath's only previous appearance was the '87 final, so this is a huge day for both.

Westmeath won by four points (1-7 to 1-3) when the sides met in the group stages and both had nailbiting semi-finals.

Cavan, led by Bronagh Sheridan and Aisling Doonan, conceded two penalties and trailed by nine to Leitrim, but won in extra-time.

The Lake County girls, led by Maud-Anne Foley, Laura Walsh and Aileen Martin, have been one of 2011's success stories, winning a league title and knocking out the defending junior champions Limerick after trailing by five points in their semi-final.

But Cavan, semi-finalists last year also, may surprise them with their depth and experience.

Odds: Cavan 1/2 Westmeath 7/4 Draw 9/1

Verdict: Cavan.

CAVAN -- C McCutcheon; C O'Reilly, G McGlade, C Grey; R Murphy, P Crowe, D English; R Crowe, A Cornyn; R O'Keefe, B Sheridan, E Costin; B Boylan, C O'Reilly, A Doonan (capt).

WESTMEATH -- G Leahy; A Martin, G Kearney, T Durkan; K Boyce Jordan, J Rogers, M Malone; MA Foley, F Claffey; E Finn (Capt), R Kearney, L Brennan; L Walsh, K Somers, J Maher.

TG4 All-Ireland

Junior Ladies FC Final

Wicklow v New York, Croke Park, 12.0, Y Duffy (Cavan)

NEW YORK re-entered this year after a nine-year absence and retain Alison Leyden, Louise Lilly (nee McMahon) and Rosie O'Reilly (who got married in her native Cavan last Thursday) of the team who were beaten in the decider back in 1999 against Tyrone.

They beat Carlow and then shocked a fancied Wexford side to get to this stage and Emma Clarke, their star forward, is from Cavan.

Wicklow, led by captain Caitriona McKeon and attacking aces Caoilfhionn Deeney and Lucy Mulhall, beat Offaly, were pipped by Wexford and then beat Louth to reach their first final since defeating London in the 1990 decider.

Odds: Wicklow 8/11 New York 5/4 Draw 8/1

Verdict: Wicklow.

WICKLOW -- E Miley; J Miley, C Byrne, A Heffernan; L Fusciardi, C McKeon (Capt), N Kelly; J Kinch, L Gilbert; AM Doran, C Deeney, L Ahern; E Lenihan, L Mulhall, N Carroll.

NEW YORK -- A Leyden; L Lilly, T McCullagh, I Mullarkey; J Garcia, C Brady, J Monaghan; L McKeon, A O'Dwyer; M O'Rourke (Capt), K Roche, C Traynor; E Clarke, F O'Dwyer, M De Búrca.

Sligo SFC final

Coolera/Strandhill v Tourlestrane, Markievicz Park, 5.0, M Duffy

Tourlestrane have been the dominant force in Sligo football in recent years, but without the long-serving Eamonn O'Hara and David Durkin, Coolera/Strandhill could upset the odds here. Brian Egan (Tourlestrane) and Niall Murphy (Coolera) have been shooting the lights out for their sides, but with former county star Con O'Meara in good form, Coolera are well-placed to take only their second title.

Odds: Tourlestrane 4/6 Coolera/Strandhill 13/8 Draw 13/2

Verdict: Coolera.

Leitrim SFC final

Glencar/Manorhamilton v St Mary's, Carrick-on-Shannon, 3.30, F Flynn

It's the first time in 21 years that two sides have met in successive Leitrim SFC finals and the prize for Glencar/Manorhamilton is huge, as they could become only the second team in the county's history to win four successive titles. The Lowe brothers will have to be on top form for St Mary's if they are to prevent that little piece of history being made.

Odds: Glencar/Manorhamilton 1/3 St Mary's 3/1 Draw 7/1

Verdict: Glencar/Manorhamilton.

Antrim SHC final

Loughgiel Shamrocks v Ruairi Og Cushendall, Casement Park, 3.30

Loughgiel Shamrocks won their first title since 1989 when beating Ruairi Og Cushendall in the decider last year and tomorrow's clash will be the sixth final in seven years between the sides. County star Neil McManus is out through injury for Ruairi Og Cushendall and his absence could be crucial.

Odds: Loughgiel 8/13 Cushendall 6/4 Draw 9/1

Verdict: Loughgiel Shamrocks.

Louth SHC final

Knockbridge v Mattock Rangers, Dunleer, 2.0, B Brady

Mattock Rangers are making huge strides on the hurling front and tomorrow they are contesting their first final. However, Knockbridge are contesting their seventh final on the bounce and that experience will be key.

Verdict: Knockbridge.

Donegal SHC final

Burt v Setanta, Letterkenny, 3.0, E Hassett

Burt have been the dominant force in recent years, but last year's beaten finalists Setanta can go one better here.

Verdict: Setanta.

Irish Independent

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