National Championship previews
Mayo SHC final.
Tooreen v Ballyhaunis, Tooreen 4pm. Home advantage regardless, Tooreen will find it difficult to live with Keith Higgins and his team.
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.
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.
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.
Kilmaley (Clare) v Murroe-boher (Limerick), Cusack Park (J. Mccormack, Tipperary).
The extra game against Garryspillane could damage Murroe-boher’s prospects of advancing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Words: John Fogarty