Weekend pre­views

Irish Examiner - Sport - - GAA -

AIB Con­nacht Club IHC fi­nal. Tooreen (Mayo) v Oran­moreMa­ree (Gal­way), Ath­league 1.30pm.

Win­ners last year, Tooreen won’t have any fear of what Gal­way have to of­fer given they saw off Ballinder­reen at this point 12 months ago.

That be­ing said, Oran­more-ma­ree will be giv­ing them enough re-

AIB Con­nacht Club SFC fi­nal. Ballintub­ber (Mayo) v Co­rofin (Gal­way), Elverys Mchale Park, 2pm Live TG4.

If Ballintub­ber are look­ing for an an­gle here they might con­sider how much they are dis­missed in quar­ters. They have been through the same turgid bat­tles Co­rofin have en­dured to get to this fi­nal, they have beaten a Castle­bar team that have given Co­rofin no end of has­sle but in the build-up more par­al­lels are be­ing drawn with the 2014 fi­nal when Co­rofin ran out nine-point win­ners. Ballintub­ber are much wil­ier now and will fancy them­selves to come out on top in the mid­field ex­changes. The fear though is that Co­rofin’s deep run­ners will wear down Ballintub­ber and the play­mak­ing abil­ity of Ian Burke, now that he has re­turned from in­jury, will ex­pose gaps. Co­rofin’s blend of ex­pe­ri­ence and speed may be cru­cial Ver­dict: Co­rofin.

AIB Le­in­ster Club SFC semi-finals.

St Columba’s, Mul­li­nalaghta (Long­ford) v Éire Óg (Car­low), Glen­non Broth­ers Pearse Park 1.30pm. His­tory in the form of pos­si­bly be­com­ing the first ever Long­ford team to reach a se­nior Le­in­ster club fi­nal shouldn’t stand in the way of St Columba’s given how they have dom­i­nated the county and given de­cent ac­counts of them­selves in the prov­ince. They’ll be fu­elled by that fine, bat­tling vic­tory over Rhode and Éire Óg might ar­gue they are slightly fresher but they haven’t faced the same stan­dard of op­po­si­tion to this point.

Ver­dict: St Columba’s, Mul­li­nalaghta.

Kil­macud Crokes (Dublin) v Port­laoise (Laois), Par­nell Park 2pm.

The long odds on Port­laoise seem ex­tremely favourable when you con­sider not just their pedi­gree but that ex­cel­lent win against Moore­field last day out. Kil­macud are mo­tor­ing su­perbly and Paul Man­nion is in the form of his life but they will need to be vig­i­lant. Port­laoise have had plenty of scars from Dublin cham­pi­ons can use the an­guish to their ad­van­tage. Crokes can progress but not with the ease some are an­tic­i­pat­ing.

Ver­dict: Kil­macud Crokes.

AIB Mun­ster Club IFC fi­nal. Fer­moy (Cork) v Kil­cum­min (Kerry), Mal­low 1.30pm. Kil­cum­min may end be­ing thank­ful for how Kil­rush pushed them first day in the cham­pi­onship be­cause they got lit­tle in the way of a chal­lenge in their semi-fi­nal whereas Fer­moy were made sweat a bit by Moyne-tem­ple­tuohy. What’s ap­peal­ing about Fer­moy is that they have a range of scor­ers and that va­ri­ety should keep Kil­cum­min guess­ing. Kil­rush’s sweeper kept tabs on Kil­cum­min’s at­tack but in last weekend’s semi-fi­nal Kil­mac­thomas were com­pletely over-run by those for­wards and given any of the same space this weekend Noel Dug­gan and Gary O’leary will thrive. Kil­cum­min to squeak it. Ver­dict: Kil­cum­min.

Words: John Fog­a­rty

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