COUNTY FI­NAL PRE­VIEWS

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - SPORTS - Com­piled by Micheal Clif­ford

TO­DAY CON­NACHT CLUB SFC SEMI-FI­NALS Castle­bar Mitchels (Mayo) v Tourlestrane (Sligo), MacHale Park, 2pm

It is hard to be­lieve that the Mayo cham­pi­ons will be as slug­gish as they were against Mo­hill last week­end and if their mind is on the job, their qual­ity — Paddy Dur­can, Barry Mo­ran and Danny Kirby pro­vid­ing in­ter-county ex­pe­ri­ence — and the ac­cu­racy of Neil Dou­glas should see them over the line. Verdict: Castle­bar

Co­rofin (Gal­way) v St Brigid’s (Roscom­mon), Tuam Sta­dium, 2pm

St Brigid’s will ar­gue that they are in a bet­ter place than 12 months ago when they were ham­mered in the cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture — the re­turn of for­mer county star Peter Dom­i­can adding some weight to that — but the Gal­way cham­pi­ons are sim­ply play­ing at an­other level as they bid to reach a fourth pro­vin­cial fi­nal in a row. With play­ers of the cal­i­bre of Liam Silke, Mar­tin Far­ragher, Gary Sice, Micheal Lundy and Ian Burke, they won’t be stopped here.

Verdict: Co­rofin

LE­IN­STER CLUB SFC QUAR­TER-FI­NALS Rath­new (Wick­low) v St Vin­cent’s (Dublin), Aughrim, 2pm

Aughrim is never the easiest of places to visit, while Rath­new have been mak­ing all the right noises this week, but there is a gulf in class here which will not be bridged. Ex­pect Diar­muid Con­nolly, with backup from the likes of Enda Var­ley and Shane Carthy, to make some hay here.

Verdict: St Vin­cent’s

Port­laoise (Laois) v Moore­field (Kil­dare), O’Moore Park, 2pm

Moore­field’s met­tle can hardly be ques­tioned af­ter they de­feated Cell­bridge in the Kil­dare fi­nal de­spite play­ing with just 13 men for more than half of the game, while also miss­ing a first-half penalty. But Port­laoise know how to win — the ex­cel­lent Bruno McCor­mack get­ting them over the line last time out against Rhode — and with home ad­van­tage they should edge this.

Verdict: Port­laoise

Mul­li­nalaghta (Long­ford) v St Lo­man’s (West­meath), Pearse Park, 2pm

Luke Dempsey’s St Lo­man’s team will start as slight favourites but he will need his star man John Hes­lin to be at his bril­liant best here. Mul­li­nalaghta have al­ready shown that last year’s run to the Le­in­ster semi-fi­nal was no fluke and they may be set to do it all over again.

Verdict: Mul­li­nalaghta

Starlights (Wex­ford) v Si­mon­stown Gaels (Meath), In­no­vate Wex­ford Park, 2pm

There was much to be im­pressed about in Starlights em­phatic win over St Mar­tin’s in the Wex­ford fi­nal, not least a thun­der­ing dis­play from Liam Ryan at mid­field. But this rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant stepup against Meath cham­pi­ons Si­mon­stown, who will be keen for a run in Le­in­ster af­ter last year’s nar­row de­feat to Rhode.

Verdict: Si­mon­stown Gaels

MUN­STER CLUB SFC SEMI-FI­NALS Dr Crokes (Kerry) v Kil­murry-Ibrick­ane (Clare), Dr Crokes GAA, 2pm

Kil­murry-Ibrick­ane fin­ished nine points shy in the cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture 12 months ago and there is lit­tle ev­i­dence that they have closed the gap on the Al­lIre­land cham­pi­ons in the in­terim. With home ad­van­tage and a high oc­tane at­tack, in which Colm Cooper con­tin­ues to pull the strings, the mar­gin should be even big­ger this time. Verdict: Dr Crokes

Nemo Rangers (Cork) v Adare (Lim­er­ick), Mal­low, 2.45pm

Two clubs at the op­po­site ends of the tra­di­tion spec­trum, Adare are first­time Lim­er­ick cham­pi­ons while Nemo are bid­ding to reach their 18th Mun­ster fi­nal. While ques­tions hang over the por­ous na­ture of the Nemo de­fence, Adare are un­likely to be in a po­si­tion to stresstest that ap­par­ent weak­ness.

Verdict: Nemo Rangers

UL­STER SFC SEMI-FI­NAL Der­ry­gonnelly (Fer­managh) v Ca­van Gaels (Ca­van), Clones, 2pm

A novel clash which sees Der­ry­gonnelly seek to reach their first ever fi­nal against Ca­van Gaels side whose last — and soli­tary — ap­pear­ance in the fi­nal was 40 years ago. The lat­ter’s high-pow­ered at­tack led by Seánie John­ston and Mar­tin Dunne should en­sure that an­niver­sary is cel­e­brated in some style.

Verdict: Ca­van Gaels

LO­CAL

HERO: Dr Crokes star Colm Cooper cel­e­brates with Pat O’Shea

KEY: St Vin­cent’s Diar­muid Con­nolly

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