Na­tional Cham­pi­onship pre­views

Irish Examiner - Sport - - GAA -

Kilkenny SHC quar­ter-fi­nal re­plays Bal­ly­hale Sham­rocks v Clara, Thomas­town (R Dowl­ing), 12.30pm. Ver­dict: Bal­ly­hale Sham­rocks.

Mul­li­na­vat v Dicks­boro, John Locke Park (C Ever­ard), 2.30pm. Ver­dict: Dicks­boro.

James Stephens v Car­rick­shock, John Locke Park (O Kenny), 4.15pm. Ver­dict: James Stephens.

Waterford SHC quar­ter-fi­nals. Bal­ly­gun­ner v Mount Sion, Walsh Park (T O’sul­li­van), 4pm.

Austin Gleeson car­ried an in­jury into Mount Sion’s fix­ture with Lis­more last week­end. He didn’t last the full hour but will fea­ture here. Bal­ly­gun­ner’s four-in-a-row bid won’t be halted this af­ter­noon.

Ver­dict: Bal­ly­gun­ner.

Abbey­side v Lis­more, Fra­her Field (A Fitzger­ald), 7.30pm.

The Shana­han brothers, Mau­rice and Dan, clipped 1-13 be­tween them last week­end for high-fly­ing Lis­more. Mau­rice is the cham­pi­onship’s top-scorer with 4-41. Dif­fi­cult to see Abbey­side con­tain­ing last year’s in­ter­me­di­ate win­ners.

Ver­dict: Lis­more.

Mayo SFC quar­ter-fi­nals. Knock­more v Castle­bar Mitchels, Bal­lina (K Con­nelly), 5pm.

Ver­dict: Castle­bar Mitchels. Breaffy v Clare­mor­ris, Machale Park, Castle­bar (R Gur­ren), 6pm. Ver­dict: Breaffy.

Ballintub­ber v Hol­ly­mount-car­ramore, Machale Park, Castle­bar (J Glavey), 7.30pm.

Ver­dict: Ballintub­ber.

All-ire­land Ladies JFC fi­nal re­play: Derry v Fer­managh, Clones (K Cor­co­ran), 1.30pm.

Derry were huge un­der­dogs head­ing into the drawn game and given they squan­dered a 2-9 to 1-3 sec­ond-half lead, they may have missed their shot at sil­ver­ware.

Ver­dict: Fer­managh.

Mayo SFC quar­ter-fi­nal Bal­lina Stephen­ites v Gar­ry­more, Charlestown (J Henry), 2pm.

Ver­dict: Bal­lina Stephen­ites.

Waterford SHC quar­ter-fi­nals.

De La Salle v Four­mile­wa­ter, Fra­her Field (A Kissane), 1.45pm.

De La Salle will know the per­for­mance churned out against Bal­ly­gun­ner last week­end - they were beaten by 0-23 to 0-15 won’t cut it here. Curb­ing the in­flu­ence of Conor Gleeson and Jamie Bar­ron must be among their chief pri­or­i­ties.

Ver­dict: De La Salle.

Dun­gar­van v Pas­sage, Fra­her Field (M O’brien), 3.30pm.

Pas­sage have won their last four cham­pi­onship out­ings. They emerged vic­to­ri­ous when these two sides met in the 2016 semi-fi­nal.

Ver­dict: Pas­sage.

Dublin SHC quar­ter-fi­nals.

Lu­can Sars­fields v Bally­bo­den St Enda’s, O’toole Park (A Keat­ing), 2.15pm.

Ver­dict: Bally­bo­den.

St Enda’s Cuala v St Brigid’s, O’toole Park (D Ryan), 4pm.

Ver­dict: Cuala.

Kil­macud Crokes v Na Fianna, Par­nell Park (D As­ton), 2.15pm.

Ver­dict: Kil­macud Crokes.

Craobh Chiarain v St Vin­cent’s, Par­nell Park (C Mooney), 4pm.

Ver­dict: St Vin­cent’s.

Ulster club SHC semi-fi­nals. Slaugh­t­neil (Derry) v Cuchul­lains-dun­loy (Antrim), Owen­beg (J Clarke), 2.30pm.

It has been a busy cou­ple of weeks for Slaugh­t­neil with the club suc­cess­fully de­fend­ing their county hurl­ing and foot­ball crowns. Chrissy Mck­aigue, Cormac O’do­herty and Brendan Rogers were their main for­wards en-route to the All-ire­land club semi-fi­nal last sea­son and this trio will again be looked upon to en­sure a suc­cess­ful Ulster ti­tle de­fence. Their op­po­nents are in buoy­ant form af­ter land­ing a first Antrim ti­tle in eight years.

Ver­dict: Slaugh­t­neil.

Bal­ly­gal­get (Down) v Lis­bellaw (Fer­managh), Cor­ri­gan Park (B Win­ters), 2.30pm.

Gareth John­ston and Cormac Coul­ter hit 2-9 be­tween them in the Down fi­nal. Hard to see Lis­bellaw keep­ing them un­der wraps.

Ver­dict: Bal­ly­gal­get.

Roscom­mon SHC fi­nal: Padraig Pearses v Four Road, Ath­league, 3pm.

Young Daniel Glynn has been in out­stand­ing form for a Padraig Pearses side at­tempt­ing to end the club’s 30-year ti­tle famine. Ei­ther Michéal or Padraig Kelly will be tasked with shad­ow­ing him. Hav­ing se­cured an eight-in-a-row be­tween 2008 and ‘15, Four Roads are aim­ing for a quick re­turn to the throne hav­ing lost last year’s fi­nal.

Ver­dict: Four Roads.

Ca­van SFC fi­nal: Castler­a­han v Ca­van Gaels, Kingspan Br­effni Park, 3.30pm. Castler­a­han, hav­ing lost the 2015 and ’16 fi­nals, the lat­ter af­ter a re­play, again stand one hour from a his­toric first Ca­van ti­tle. As ever, Cian Mackey will be ex­pected to con­duct their at­tack.

Ver­dict: Castler­a­han.

Tip­per­ary SHC fi­nal: Bor­ris-ileigh v Thurles Sars­fields, Sem­ple Sta­dium (F Hor­gan), 3.30pm.

Bor­ris-ileigh can’t al­low them­selves be weighed down by the ex­pec­ta­tions of a club which hasn’t tasted suc­cess in 31years. In Johnny Kelly, at the helm in Por­tumna when the Gal­way club were in their pomp, they have a man­ager who knows what is re­quired to get across the line on county fi­nal day. Thurles reg­u­larly sur­passed the 20-point mark en-route to to­mor­row’s de­cider. The task for the un­der­dogs is to keep dan­ger­men Pa Bourke and Ai­dan Mccor­mack quite while, at the other end, find a way to by­pass Michael Cahill and the two Ma­hers, Padraic and Ro­nan. Quite the task.

Ver­dict: Thurles Sars­fields.

Leitrim SFC fi­nal: Glen­car-manorhamil­ton v Mo­hill, Páirc Seán Mac Diar­mada (B Sam­mon), 3.30pm.

A re­peat of the 2015 de­cider which Mo­hill won. Their op­po­nents have been the brides­maids in three of the last five fi­nals.

Ver­dict: Mo­hill.

Wick­low SFC semi-fi­nal: Balt­in­glass v Rath­new, Joule Park, Aughrim (D Pep­pard), 3.30pm.

It fin­ished all square (3-10 to 4-7) when these two teams clashed in the group stages back in early Au­gust.

Ver­dict: Balt­in­glass.

Car­low SFC fi­nal: Rathvilly v Éire Óg, Net­watch Cullen Park (D Hughes), 3.45pm.

You can’t men­tion Rathvilly with­out re­fer­ring to Brendan Mur­phy. It is ex­pected that Mur­phy’s Car­low team-mate Sean Gannon will be asked to mar­shal the Rathvilly mid­fielder. Éire Óg were last crowned cham­pi­ons in 2012, Rathvilly in 2014.

Ver­dict: Éire Óg.

Sligo SFC semi-fi­nal: Tub­ber­curry v Tourlestrane, Markievicz Park (M Duffy), 4pm.

Tourlestrane, led by Cathal Henry and Brian Egan, are chas­ing back-to-back county ti­tles and a third in five years.

Ver­dict: Tourlestrane.

Antrim SFC semi-fi­nal re­play: St John’s v Erin’s Own, Car­gin, Gle­navy (S Laverty), 4pm.

St John’s must put the brakes on To­mas Mccann and Ryan Mcker­nan if they’re to stop Erin’s Own reach­ing a fifth con­sec­u­tive de­cider.

Ver­dict: Erin’s Own, Car­gin.

Long­ford SFC fi­nal: Mul­li­nalaghta St Columba’s v Abbey­lara, Glen­non Brothers Pearse Park (A Dowler), 4pm. A re­peat of the 2016 de­cider which Mul­li­nalaghta won by 1-8 to 0-8. Abbey­lara, for whom Rob­bie Smyth has kicked 1-33 this year, have lost the last two fi­nals. Third time lucky?

Ver­dict: Abbey­lara.

Words: Eoghan Cormi­can.

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