CHAMPS CLING TO THEIR CUPS
IT’S a bumper weekend of county football final action with almost one-third of them down for decision tomorrow.
It’s many of the usual suspects too with
Portlaoise bidding for an 11th Laois title in 12 seasons, Rhode, St Brigid’s and Tourlestrane on track for three-in-a-row in Offaly, Roscommon and Sligo respectively, Rathnew seeking their fifth in six years in Wicklow and Kilcoo looking to make it seven Down titles on the spin.
Also bidding for three-ina-row are Mullinalaghta in the replay of the Longford final against Abbeylara.
In Wexford, the evergreen Mattie Forde continues to star for Kilanerin as they seek their first county title in a decade against a Shelmaliers side bidding for their first.
There will be new champions in Meath as Dunboyne saw off two-ina-row champions Simonstown Gaels in the semi-final and they’re odds-on to add Summerhill to their hitlist in Navan.
Dunboyne only won their first county title in 1998 before adding a second seven years later.
In the interim, they haven’t managed to reach a final though Summerhill have more recent experience having been champions in 2011 and ‘13 as well as being beaten finalists last year.
The Leitrim finals also takes place out west with Mohill, champions in 2015 and ‘17, strong favourites against Aughawillan, winners two years ago.
IMOKILLY bid to emulate their achievement of 20 years ago by retaining the Cork SHC at Midleton’s expense tomorrow.The east Cork outfit became the first divisional team to retain the county title in1997-98 and having bridged the gap to those successes with a fourpoint win over Blackrock 12 months ago, they reached another decider with a convincing win over UCC last time out.Their divisional status means Midleton will represent Cork in Munster regardless of tomorrow’s outcome.Imokilly appear to have the edge in class in the shape of Seamus Harnedy (left) as well as Bill Cooper, Brian Lawton, Declan Dalton, Colm Spillane and Paudie O’sullivan.Midleton will look to Conor Lehane and Luke O’farrell for inspiration.In Carlow, holders Mount Leinster Rangers are favourites to reassert their supremacy in the county against 2014-16 champions St Mullin’s.
BEST BAR NONE Portlaoise can make it 11 titles in 12 years