This weekend’s provincial club fixtures previewed
Two county finals also up for decision
Dublin SHC final
Ballyboden St Enda’s v Lucan Sarsfields, Parnell Park, 3.0 - Ballyboden are back at the top table after last year’s blip but not quite the force of old. Lucan, with new All Star Peter Kelly on board, can give this a better shake than the odds suggest but Conal Keaney and company are the likelier winners.
Leinster Club SFC Quarter-finals (All throw-ins 2.30)
St Lomans (Westmeath) v St Vincents (Dublin), Mullingar - It doesn’t take a huge leap of logic to find an argument for an upset here. St Lomans are at home, they’ve had a two-week break since their last game and in John Heslin they have the form club player in the country. Vincents are on the road, playing their fourth game in 13 days and are without the suspended Diarmuid Connolly. If the Westmeath side can keep tabs on a resurgent Mossy Quinn, this is a real opportunity for them. St Lomans to win.
Newtown Blues (Louth) v Summerhill (Meath), Drogheda - Lost amid the ructions over the bad-tempered nature of their defeat of Tullamore was the fact that Newtown just didn’t play that well. Only ending up with two points to spare over a team that was down to 13 men doesn’t bode well for their prospects against a Summerhill side that has improved with every game. Conor Gillespie was man of the match in the Meath county final if he gets a stronghold in midfield, the visitors have enough about them to progress. Summerhill to win.
Longford Slashers (Longford) v Portlaoise (Laois), Longford - For a team that are here every winter, Portlaoise’s return of two Leinster titles from the past decade is paltry enough. They won’t often have a better chance than this year, with the competition in Leinster looking slightly thin. With Cahir Healy as tenacious as ever at the heart of the defence and the likes of Craig Rogers and Brian McCormack in form up front, they’re a formidable force. Slashers have been scoring heavily - especially for the time of year - but they look to have met their match here. Portlaoise to win.
St Martins (Wexford) v Moorefield (Kildare), Wexford Park
The road is not likely to be long for St Martin’s, given that they’ve just won their first county title and will be in danger of labouring under the terrible record Wexford clubs have in Leinster. Ciaran Lyng and Daithi Waters are their go-to men but it’s hard to see them being a rounded enough outfit to live with a Moorefield side who have plenty of experience at this level. Moorefield to win.