Around the country: Club GAA previews

All fixtures are tomorrow unless stated

Around the country: Club GAA previews

FOOTBALL

CORK

Carbery JAFC final: Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh v St Colum’s, Dunmnway, 7pm

The O’Driscoll brothers, Colm, Kevin and Brian, can help to make it two in-a-row for Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh. Colum’s will have to regroup after losing the hurling final to Dohenys last week, and will look to Cork’s Alan O’Connor as well as Gene McCarthy and Seán O’Shea.

Verdict: Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh

Seadun JAFC final: St Finbarr’s v Brian Dillons, Ballinlough, 4pm

John Horgan and Cillian and Darragh Brosnan will the men Dillon’s will look to for a first divisional title since 1999, while Aidan O’Shea and Chris Daly are names to note in the Barrs’ second team.

Verdict: Brian Dillons

ANTRIM

SFC final: Erin’s Own, Cargin v St Gall’s, Ahoghill, 3pm

St Gall’s are aiming for a record-equalling seventh consecutive title, with CJ McGourty, Karl Stewart and Seán Kelly central to the cause. Erin’s Own were the last club apart from Gall’s to win the championship. Tony Scullion, Justin Crozier and Tomás and Michael McCann are big players for them.

Verdict: St Gall’s

CAVAN

SFC semi-finals: Ballinagh v Crosserlough, Kingspan Breffni Park, 8pm tonight

Crosserlough are the surprise packet of this year’s championship, with Barry McKiernan and Paul McEvoy regularly among the scorers for them. They may find Ballinagh, with Niall McDermott in excellent form, a bridge too far, however.

Verdict: Ballinagh

Cavan Gaels v Castlerahan, Kingspan Breffni Park, 7.30pm

Last year was the first time since 1999 that Cavan Gaels didn’t reach the final, with eight of their 12 final appearances from 2000-11 being won. The return of Seánie Johnston makes them stronger and Martin Dunne and Eamon Reilly are fine players too. Cian Mackey and Oisín O’Connell give Castlerahan impetus in attack.

Verdict: Cavan Gaels

DOWN

SFC semi-final: Burren v Saval, Páirc Esler, 7.30pm

Shay McCartan, Donal O’Hare and Eoin O’Hare are the main men for strong favourites Burren, but Danny Hughes and Niall Madine could help Saval to cause another shock.

Verdict: Burren

KERRY

SFC quarter-finals: Dr Crokes v Rathmore, Fitzgerald Stadium, 3pm today

Crokes – seeking a fourth county in-a-row – had nine points to spare against Rathmore in the club championship semi-final two weeks ago and they will again be strong favourites.

They are particularly eye-catching in an attack containing Colm Cooper, Daithí Casey, Kieran O’Leary, Jamie Doolan and Brian Looney. Aidan O’Mahony at midfield can help Rathmore, allowing George O’Keeffe, Eoin Lawlor and Michael O’Riordan to impose on the scoreboard.

Verdict: Dr Crokes

Feale Rangers v St Brendan’s, Austin Stack Park, 2pm

Feale Rangers have performed exceptionally well this year in their march to the quarter-final, defeating last year’s beaten finalists Dingle along the way, despite being without their Finuge contingent. The champions of six years ago will be without the services of Brian Maguire who was red-carded in the third round win over Dingle, while Brendan Whelan is an injury concern. Conor Cox will lead the attack. St Brendan’s, who beat Legion last time out, are sweating over the fitness of David Culloty, but have welcomed Killian Fitzgerald and Kieran Hurley into their squad for the first time this year.

Verdict: Feale Rangers

Austin Stacks v St Kieran’s, Austin Stack Park, 3.30pm

St Kieran’s will hope to continue to build on last year’s excellent championship run which saw them reach the semi-finals. The divisional side, who must do without the services of Cordal’s Philip O’Connor, will look to veterans Seamus Scanlon, Pádraig Reidy, and Eamonn John O’Donoghue. While the performances of Kieran Donaghy, Darragh Long, William Kirby, Daniel Bohan and Mikey Collins will be crucial for Crokes, up-and-coming stars such as Shane Carroll and Barry Shanahan must also be heavily involved.

Verdict: Austin Stacks

KILDARE

SFC semi-finals: Sarsfields v Naas, Newbridge, 2.30pm

Reigning champions Sarsfields are favourites to progress, with Alan Smith, Sean Dempsey and Declan McKenna in their ranks. Nass will rely on Conor Mellett, Eamonn Callaghan and Ross Bergin.

Verdict: Sarsfields

Athy v Moorefield, Newbridge, 4.15pm

David Hyland and Darroch Mulhall can drive Athy to victory, but Moorefield, with Adam Tyrrell an essential component, will make things difficult for them.

Verdict: Athy

LOUTH

SFC final: Cooley Kickhams v Newtown Blues, Drogheda, 4pm

Record winners Newtown go for a 20th title, Hugh McGinn and Andy McDonnell the dangermen in attack. Brian Donnelly and Conor Rafferty fulfil similar roles for Kickhams.

Verdict: Newtown Blues

LEITRIM

SFC final: Mohill v St Mary’s-Kiltoghert, Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, 3.30pm

St Mary’s lost the 2010 and ’11 finals but Robbie Lowe, Brian O’Donnell and Alan Doherty can help them to claim a fifth title. Pádraig Tighe and Alan McLoughlin are important figures for Mohill.

Verdict: St Mary’s-Kiltoghert

LIMERICK

SFC semi-final: Monaleen v St Patrick’s, Claughaun, 4pm

Ger Collins, Graham O’Connell and Jason O’Brien can keep Monaleen on track for a third title in four years. Dermot Phelan, Gearóid Hegarty and John Mullane will lead the way for St Pat’s in their first semi in a quarter-century.

Verdict: Monaleen

MEATH

SFC semi-final: Summerhill v Rathkenny, Páirc Tailteann, 3pm

Despite Rathkenny winning when the sides met earlier this year, Summerhill have improved since then. Conor Gillespie, Barry Dardis and Adrian Kenny are running the show for them, but Eoin Elliott and Donal Curtis will ensure that Rathkenny are not outclassed.

Verdict: Summerhill

MONAGHAN

SFC semi-finals: Ballybay Pearse Brothers v Scotstown, Clones, 1.45pm today

Paul Finlay, Christopher McGuinness and Hugh Malone can ensure that reigning champions Ballybay make it back to the final. Shane Carey and Darren and Kieran Hughes carry the Scotstown fight.

Verdict: Ballybay Pearse Brothers

Clontibret O’Neills v Monaghan Harps, Clones, 3.30pm today

Conor McManus and Vincent Corey make Clontibret a threatening proposition in attack. Neil McAdam and Conor Galligan will give the Harps a chance, though.

Verdict: Clontibret O’Neills

OFFALY

SFC semi-finals: Clara v Tullamore, Tullamore, 3.30pm

Thomas Deehan, Matthew Mitchell and Barry Cushen are likely to propel Clarea to victory. Record winners Tullamore have Paul McConway, hurler Shane Dooley and Michael Brazil.

Verdict: Clara

Rhode v Edenderry, Tullamore, 5pm

Rhode will be fancied to repeat their league semi-final win of August, especially as Niall McNamee, Niall Darby and Glen O’Connell are playing so well. If Richie Dalton and Derek Kelly can maintain their good form, Edenderry will be in with a shout, however.

Verdict: Rhode

WICKLOW

SFC semi-finals: Rathnew v St Mary’s, Aughrim, 2.15pm

Nicky Mernagh and Tommy Gill are likely to be the difference for Rathnew, though Paddy Byrne could inspire St Mary’s to a surprise win.

Verdict: Rathnew

Baltinglass v Blesstington, Aughrim, 4pm

Kevin Murphy and John McGrath have done well for Baltinglass throughout. Dean Siney, Jonathan Daniels and Curis Geraghty all featured as Blessington beat Hollywood in the quarter-finals.

Verdict: Baltinglass

HURLING

KILKENNY

SHC quarter-finals: Clara v Erin’s Own, Freshford, 12.30pm

All-Ireland intermediate champions Clara beat James Stephens in the league final two weeks ago and will look to continue their good season through the inspiration of Keith Hogan and Lester and Liam Ryan. Conor Fogarty is a key component in the Erin’s Own defence.

Verdict: Clara

James Stephens v St Martin’s, Freshford, 2pm

James Stephens were too reliant on Eoin Larkin in their league final loss, but Richie Hayes can also contribute and Jackie Tyrrell remains key at the back. Thomas Breen and James Dowling form an excellent midfield partnership for their Muckalee opponents.

Verdict: James Stephens

Carrickshock v Dicksboro, Nowlan Park, 3.45pm

Kilkenny players Richie Power and Michael Rice (if fit), as well as former county star JohnTennyson, give Carrickshock a strong look, and Brian Donovan has also been in good form. Shane Maher should provide a lot of Dicksboro’s scoring output.

Verdict: Carrickshock

Ballyhale Shamrocks v O’Loughlin Gaels, Nowlan Park, 5.15pm

Ballyhale regained the title after a two-year gap in 2013, but they must plan without Michael Fennelly here. As usual, Henry Shefflin and Colin Fennelly will figure heavily and Martin Bohan can also find the net. Brian Hogan, Mark Kelly and Martin Comerford lead the O’Loughlin Gaels charge.

Verdict: Ballyhale Shamrocks

LAOIS

SHC final: Borris-in-Ossory, Kilcotton v Camross, O’Moore Park, 4pm

A local derby as Camross, the record winners, look for a first win since 2007, Dwane Palmer and Zane Keenan firing their hopes. Kilcotton are without a title since 1929, and will hope for PJ Scully, Ciarán Comerford and Matthew Whelan can end that wait.

Verdict: Borris-in-Ossory, Kilcotton

TIPPERARY

SHC semi-finals: Loughmore-Castleiney v Borris-Ileigh, Semple Stadium, 3.30pm

Outright favourites Loughmore-Castleiney finished strongly to see off Killenaule in the quarter-finals and Noel, Liam and John McGrath are likely to get on the scoresheet for the 2007 champions. Brendan Maher’s 12 points were vital as Borris-Ileigh saw off Éire Óg Annacarty. The likes of Paddy Stapleton and Dan McCormack will also be central if they are to spring a surprise.

Verdict: Loughmore-Castleiney

Éire Óg, Nenagh v Kildangan, Semple Stadium, 5pm

A strong scoring spread helped Éire Óg past Drom & Inch in the quarter-finals and they will again need a collective effort from Mikey Heffernan, Paddy Murphy, Kevin Tucker and centre-back Hugh Moloney. Willie Connors and Ruairí Gleeson lead the Kildangan attack as they seek to reach the decider for the first time.

Verdict: Éire Óg, Nenagh

WATERFORD

SHC semi-finals: Mount Sion v Passage, Walsh Park, 2pm

Interestingly, all four semi-finalists competed in Group 2 of the round-robin stage. Passage’s only defeat was after qualification was assured, and they will rely on Eoin Kelly, Noel Connors and Owen Connors. Mount Sion laid the foundations for victory early on against Tallow, and Austin Gleeson and Stephen Roche will provide a lot of their scores.

Verdict: Mount Sion

Abbeyside v Ballygunner, Walsh Park, 3.30pm

Both of these teams had mixed fortunes in the group stages, with Abbeyside winning by 1-21 to 4-6 when the sides met in June. Patrick Hurney scored 2-2 in Abbeyside’s quarter-final win, and Mark Gorman’s free-taking is likely to be key.

Ballygunner beat champions De La Salle in the quarter-finals after extra-time, Pauric Mahony scoring 15 points out of 1-21. He is assisted by county team-mates in his brother Philip, Shane O’Sullivan, Wayne Hutchinson, Brian O’Sullivan and Stephen O’Keeffe.

Verdict: Ballygunner

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