Week­end pre­views

Irish Examiner - Sport - - GAA -

TO­DAY.

AIB All-ire­land quar­ter-fi­nal.

Kil­burn Gaels (Lon­don) v Kan­turk (Cork), Mcgovern Park, Ruis­lip 1.30pm (J. O’brien, Tip­per­ary).

For all their tal­ent, Kan­turk must be so care­ful here – trips like these have been one of the rea­sons why a Mun­ster team has not made the fi­nal since Bal­ly­mar­tle claimed the top hon­our in 2011. It’s a step into the un­known for the north Cork out­fit but once they keep to what they’ve been do­ing best and a semi-fi­nal berth is theirs.

Ver­dict: Kan­turk. club IHC

AIB Le­in­ster club IHC fi­nal. St Pa­trick’s, Bal­lyragget (Kilkenny) v Gle­nealy (Wick­low), Nowlan Park 2pm (S. Stack. Dublin). St Pa­trick’s have made head­lines for the wrong rea­sons in recent times but they should have an­other rea­son to cel­e­brate fol­low­ing this clash as much as Leighton Glynn will have to be minded.

Ver­dict: St Pa­trick’s Bal­lyragget.

All-ire­land Ladies club JFC fi­nal. Cor­duff (Mon­aghan) v Aghada (Cork), Crett­yard, 2pm.

Aghada fly the flag first for Cork to­day as clubs from the Rebel County bid for an All-ire­land clean sweep across the ju­nior, in­ter­me­di­ate and se­nior grades, a feat last achieved in 2003. But Aghada, cap­tained by county player Emma Farmer, will get noth­ing easy from a Cor­duff side led by Mon­aghan’s Laura Mce­naney. Aghada, who won county and pro­vin­cial ti­tles for the first time this year, de­feated Gal­way’s Tuam-cor­toon in the Al­lire­land semi-fi­nal. Róisín Phe­lan and Han­nah Looney are other key play­ers for Aghada, while Elena Mce­naney was the star for Cor­duff in the Ul­ster fi­nal, be­fore notch­ing 1-3 against Dublin out­fit Cuala last time out. Eva Woods and Bar­bara Ward are other dan­ger­ous for­wards in the Cor­duff ranks. This one could go right down to the wire.

Ver­dict: Aghada.

TO­MOR­ROW. Water­ford SFC fi­nal. Strad­bally v The Nire, Fra­her Field 2pm (A. Fitzger­ald).

At last. This is so long de­layed that even the Mun­ster fi­nal was played be­fore it. All the same, there are some in­trigu­ing bat­tles in store here and Strad­bally, win­ners in 2015, will be keen to stop The Nire em­u­lat­ing their back-to-back achieve­ment of 2009 and ’10. Both came through some tough scrapes in the semi-fi­nals while The Nire have the scalp of Bal­li­na­courty. The de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons can sneak it but don’t rule out a re­play.

Ver­dict: The Nire.

Gal­way SHC fi­nal.

Gort v Liam Mel­lows, Pearse Sta­dium 2pm (C. Browne).

The likes of David Collins and Aonghus Cal­lanan may have thought this day would never come for Liam Mel­lows but it’s es­sen­tial that their ex­pe­ri­ence rubs off on their younger col­leagues. Gort, win­ners in 2011 and ’14, have the knack and the craft to deal with most of what the Gal­way city side throw at them but then Liam Mel­lows have looked the part from al­most the word ‘go’ this sea­son. They showed their steel in the quar­ter-fi­nal to force a re­play and the tight bat­tles they’ve been in should serve them well. All the same, Gort have the know-how to cap­ture the ti­tle.

Ver­dict: Gort.

AIB Le­in­ster club SHC fi­nal. Cuala (Dublin) v Kil­cor­mac-kil­loughey (Of­faly), O’moore Park 2pm (S. Cleere, Kilkenny).

It might have been ex­pected that Cuala would cool their jets af­ter such a fan­tas­tic 2016-17 sea­son but they have found their feet again and look a more re­laxed, as­sured side since see­ing off Kil­macud Crokes nar­rowly in the county fi­nal. Kil­cor­mac-kil­loughey have wily enough op­er­a­tors to make sure Cuala don’t have things too easy but the strength of the Dublin side’s half-back line and the pres­ence of some su­perb for­wards can guide them to a second suc­ces­sive pro­vin­cial ti­tle.

Ver­dict: Cuala.

AIB Mun­ster club JHC fi­nal. Ardmore (Water­ford) v Bally­ba­con-grange (Tip­per­ary), Mal­low 1.30pm (N. Wall, Cork).

Given that both teams have en­joyed em­phatic wins on their way to this day, it’s dif­fi­cult to gauge form although the sheer will of the Pren­der­gast broth­ers will take some de­feat­ing even if the Tip­per­ary men are led by no other than Bren­dan Cum­mins.

Ver­dict: Ardmore.

AIB Mun­ster club JFC fi­nal. Dro­mid Pearses (Kerry) v Knock­na­gree (Cork), Mal­low 3.15pm (A. Kis­sane, Water­ford).

Those an­tic­i­pat­ing yet an­other Kerry ju­nior suc­cess may be proven wrong here as this Knock­na­gree side have steam­rolled their way to the fi­nal. That ex­tra game on Dro­mid Pearses might just stand to them too but then De­clan O’sul­li­van and com­pany will have gleaned a lot from be­ing pushed by Gal­tee Gaels. Knock­na­gree by the min­i­mum.

Ver­dict: Knock­na­gree

All-ire­land Ladies IFC club fi­nal. Dun­boyne (Meath) v Kin­sale (Cork) – Par­nell Park, Don­ny­car­ney, 1.45pm.

2016 All-star Orla Finn is Kin­sale’s mar­quee for­ward but she has Al­lire­land mi­nor win­ner Sad­hbh O’leary in close sup­port, while and Faye Ah­ern and Jenny Mur­phy have been con­tribut­ing.kin­sale sur­vived a late fight­back from Gal­way op­po­nents Moy­cullen to book a fi­nal spot, scor­ing 18 points in the process. Op­po­nents Dun­boyne hit 3-18 in an im­pres­sive semi-fi­nal win over Lat­ton - with eight play­ers on tar­get in­clud­ing un­der­age grad­u­ate Vikki Wall.

Ver­dict: Kin­sale. All-ire­land Ladies SFC club fi­nal.

Car­na­con (Mayo) v Mourne­abbey (Cork) - Par­nell Park, Don­ny­car­ney, 3.45pm (TG4 live). Five-time win­ners Car­na­con face a Mourne­abbey chas­ing their first se­nior All-ire­land ti­tle. Win­ners of the last four Mun­ster se­nior crowns, they were beaten All-ire­land fi­nal­ists in 2014 and 2015, be­fore fall­ing to even­tual win­ners Don­agh­moyne at the semi-fi­nal stage last year. The O’sul­li­van sis­ters, Ciara and Doire­ann have shone in at­tack in this im­pres­sive cam­paign. Bríd O’sul­li­van (no re­la­tion) will cap­tain the team against a Car­na­con out­fit led by 11-time All-star Cora Staunton, who heads to Aus­tralia on Tues­day to link up with the Greater Western Syd­ney Gi­ants in the Women’s AFL. Staunton would love noth­ing more than to jet off with an­other All-ire­land club medal in her back pocket, and she’ll have Mayo team-mate Fiona Mchale pow­er­ing the charge from mid­field.

Ver­dict: Car­na­con

Words: John Fog­a­rty

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