Na­tional Cham­pi­onship previews

Irish Examiner - Sport - - GAA -

Mayo SHC fi­nal.

Tooreen v Bal­ly­hau­nis, Tooreen 4pm. Home ad­van­tage re­gard­less, Tooreen will find it dif­fi­cult to live with Keith Hig­gins and his team.

Ver­dict: Bal­ly­hau­nis.

Hurl­ing/shinty In­ter­na­tional test. Scot­land v Ire­land, Bught Park, In­ver­ness 2pm (Live TG4). Hurl­ing/shinty U21 In­ter­na­tional test Scot­land v Ire­land, Bught Park, In­ver­ness, 11.50am.

Clare SHC fi­nal re­play. Clooney-quin v Sixmile­bridge, Cu­sack Park 3.30pm.

Clooney-quin de­fied their big odds with a splen­did show in last Sun­day’s drawn game but Sixmile­bridge won’t be in any mood to take them lightly here.

Ver­dict: Sixmile­bridge.

Water­ford SHC fi­nal: Bal­ly­gun­ner v De La Salle, Walsh Park 3pm.

The scare Bal­ly­gun­ner re­ceived against Lis­more should en­sure that any com­pla­cency had been erad­i­cated from their sys­tem. They are the bet­ter team on pa­per and have in­ter-county qual­ity all over the field while Kevin Mo­ran’s knee dif­fi­cul­ties in the semi-fi­nal win over Pas­sage last week­end could dent De La Salle’s hopes. Jake Dil­lon and the ev­er­green John Mul­lane must be minded but the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons can se­cure a Mun­ster date with Thurles Sars­fields pro­vid­ing they dic­tate the terms from the start. Ver­dict: Bal­ly­gun­ner.

Wex­ford SHC fi­nal. Ou­lart-the-bal­lagh v St Martin’s, In­no­vate Wex­ford Park 3.30pm.

Two years ago, Ou­lart ran out eight-point win­ners against St Martin’s at this stage and another win, if not by the same hand­some mar­gin, is quite pos­si­ble here es­pe­cially if St Martin’s have to do with­out young star for­ward Rory O’con­nor (knee in­jury). It’s a great time for St Martin’s as they also pre­pare for a foot­ball fi­nal but de­feat should visit them here.

Ver­dict: Ou­lart-the-bal­lagh.

AIB Mun­ster IHC quar­ter-fi­nals. Kan­turk (Cork) v St Mary’s (Tip­per­ary), Mal­low 1pm (T. Walsh, Water­ford). Plenty of in­ter-county on show here and it’s the north Cork men who look best placed to progress to the last four.

Ver­dict: Kan­turk.

Kil­ma­ley (Clare) v Mur­roe-bo­her (Lim­er­ick), Cu­sack Park (J. Mc­cor­mack, Tip­per­ary).

The ex­tra game against Gar­ryspillane could dam­age Mur­roe-bo­her’s prospects of ad­vanc­ing.

Ver­dict: Kil­ma­ley.

Sligo SHC fi­nal. Calry-st Joseph’s v Western Gaels, Markievicz Park 2pm.

A seventh con­sec­u­tive ti­tle looks to be head­ing Calry-st Joseph’s way.

Ver­dict: Calry-st Joseph’s.

Dublin SHC semi-fi­nals. Kil­macud Crokes v Lu­can Sars­fields, Par­nell Park 2pm.

Last year’s beaten fi­nal­ists should have enough to spare against the Lu­can men. Ver­dict: Kil­macud Crokes.

Cuala v St Vin­cent’s, Par­nell Park 3.45pm.

Cuala were spooked the last day by St Brigid’s but they are primed to make a third straight fi­nal.

Ver­dict: Cuala.

AIB Ul­ster club SHC fi­nal. Bal­ly­gal­get (Down) v Slaugh­t­neil (Derry), Ath­letic Grounds 4pm.

Af­ter their foot­ballers’ win over Kil­coo last week­end, there’s an ir­re­sistible feel about the Derry cham­pi­ons again.

Ver­dict: Slaugh­t­neil.

AIB Ul­ster club IHC fi­nal.

Lavey (Derry) v Mid­dle­town Na Fianna (Ar­magh), Cor­ri­gan Park 1pm. Ver­dict: Mid­dle­town Na Fianna.

Car­low SFC fi­nal re­play.

Éire Óg v Rathvilly, Net­watch Cullen Park 3.30pm.

The two-week break will en­sure both teams are fresh for this re-match and it’s Bren­dan Mur­phy and com­pany that can learn most from the drawn game. Ver­dict: Rathvilly.

Lim­er­ick SFC fi­nal.

Adare v New­cas­tle West, Gaelic Grounds 4pm.

A first de­cider in seven years for Adare and since then their op­po­si­tion to­mor­row have played in five fi­nals. Un­der­stand­ably, New­cas­tle West are strong favourites and they will be aim­ing to add the cham­pi­onship crown to the league ti­tle they claimed last month. The likes of Iain Cor­bett and Stephen Kelly have been around long enough to en­sure Adare don’t get a stran­gle­hold.

Ver­dict: New­cas­tle West.

London SFC fi­nal.

Ful­ham Ir­ish v Tir Chonaill Gaels, Ruis­lip 2.30pm.

At this stage, it’s dif­fi­cult to re­mem­ber the last London fi­nal when Tir Chonaill Gaels haven’t fea­tured.

It was ac­tu­ally 2011 when Ful­ham took the hon­ours and now they are bol­stered by ex­pe­ri­ence and craft in Owen Mul­li­gan and are fan­cied to come through but they may need another date to do it.

Ver­dict: Draw.

Mayo SFC fi­nal.

Ballintub­ber v Castle­bar Mitchels, Elverys Mchale Park 3.30pm.

Both teams have had to play mid­week re­plays in the past cou­ple of weeks as the county board have faced a race against time to get the com­pe­ti­tion con­cluded to en­sure rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship. Ballintub­ber have at least had a clear week to ready them­selves whereas Mitchels had to line out for a third time in 10 days dur­ing the week and that could up­set them slightly. All the same and even con­sid­er­ing the O’con­nor broth­ers and Alan Dil­lon, Castle­bar can edge it.

Ver­dict: Castle­bar Mitchels.

Roscom­mon SFC fi­nal. Roscom­mon Gaels v St Brigid’s, Hyde Park 4pm.

It’s the Gaels’ first fi­nal ap­pear­ance since 2004 when they were nar­row win­ners over Kil­bride and if they are to shock most pre­dic­tions another slight vic­tory will be on the cards.

There is no doubt the town side are an im­prov­ing out­fit but they are com­ing up against a side that will have pro­vin­cial hon­ours in the back of their minds as much as get­ting the job done to­mor­row. Ver­dict: St Brigid’s.

Sligo SFC fi­nal.

Eastern Harps v Tourlestrane, Markievicz Park 4pm.

A re­peat of the 2010 fi­nal when the Harps came out on top but times have changed since then and while this is their first de­cider ap­pear­ance since then Tourlestrane have been cham­pi­ons on three oc­ca­sions in the mean­time. Tourlestrane will be dif­fi­cult to budge off the top.

Ver­dict: Tourlestrane.

Words: John Fog­a­rty

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