Sunday’s football and hurling previews

Club championships and county finals

Munster club SFC semi-finals The Nire (Waterford) v Cratloe (Clare) Fraher Field, 2.30 The Nire don't panic and they don't quail. They went into the Waterford championship having been without a title since 2008, their longest barren spell since the early 1990s. They struggled for breath in the opening minutes against Limerick side Ballylanders the last day but put them away by half-time. They clearly have a young diamond in the making with minor star Conor Gleeson and if they can feed him enough ball, they're dangerous here.

But you get the feeling Cratloe’s momentum is becoming irresistible. Their hurlers didn’t have a hard time of it last weekend against a Thurles side that played with 14 men for all but the first 10 seconds. Winter ball usually swings on the better midfield and if John Galvin can assert himself in his usual way, he has Conor McGrath, Cathal McInerney and Podge Collins to aim at ahead of him. Should be enough.

Verdict: Cratloe Austin Stacks (Kerry) v Ballincollig (Cork) Austin Stack Park, 2.0 Brand new ground for all these players, even the likes of William Kirby in his 20th season with Stacks and John Miskella in his 17th with Ballincollig. There isn't a minute of Munster championship experience to be found on either side, so it could well be a matter of who has put their celebrations behind them the tidiest.

Stacks certainly have the heavier artillery here. Kieran Donaghy’s autumn/winter collection continues to produce pretty numbers and the renewed form of Daniel Bohane has hinted at the player he could have been had things worked out differently for him in a county jersey. Ballincollig’s first ever Cork county title might have to be enough to do them for the year.

Verdict: Austin Stacks Ulster club SFC semi-finals Omagh (Tyrone) v St Eunan's (Donegal) Celtic Park, 2.30 The waves have parted in Ulster, it's just a matter now of who charts the slickest path through them. At various points over the past month, you could have backed Crossmaglen, Kilcoo, Ballinderry and St Gall's at single-figure odds and all of them are whistling in the wind. It's a golden chance for a new team to go on the roll of honour.

Omagh are slight favourites of the four teams left, mostly because of the roll-call of county players they can call on and the fact that they put Cross to the sword. Ronan O’Neill has undoubted star quality, the McMahons are reliably staunch, and Conan Grugan could kick on in time, given a fair wind. They will surely find St Eunan’s cussed opponents for a while but seven games in seven weeks must catch up on the Donegal side eventually.

Verdict: Omagh Clontibret (Monaghan) v Slaughtneil (Derry) Healy Park, 2.30 There's a fair chance people will keep under-rating Slaughtneil regardless of how far they go in this competition. They hadn't a prayer against Ballinderry, they looked vulnerable against Cavan Gaels and now their collection of Bradleys, Cassidys and McKaigues are slight outsiders against a Clontibret side that have only just survived for three games in a row.

In fairness, the Monaghan champions are a strong side and that survival instinct has been hard-earned. Beyond the obvious charms of Conor McManus, they have a spine made up of Vinny Corey, Dessie Mone and rising county prospect Conor Boyle. When the need has been greatest this past month, those are the players who've dug them out. We'll take them to do so again – just the sort of talk that Slaughtneil have thrived on.

Verdict: Clontibret Wexford SFC final Gusserane v St Anne's Wexford Park, 2.30 A county final in mid-November isn't anyone's idea of a good time but St Anne's run to the hurling final meant nothing else was possible. They arrive here short of Liam Óg McGovern, sent off in the semi-final against Shelmaliers, and although Red Barry brings his own threat he'd be more potent with McGovern in tow. These sides drew earlier in the championship and the margins should be just as fine here. Gusserane haven't won a title in 39 years. Could be their time.

Verdict: Gusserane Leinster club SHC semi-final Raharney v Kilcormac/Killoughey Cusack Park, 2.00 Raharney have had a joyous month but it's hard to see how much can be left in it. They have obvious promise in the shape of 17-year-old twins Ciarán and Killian Doyle but Kilcormac/ Killoughey are far more experienced at this level and doubtless have St Patrick's Day in mind already.

This shouldn’t trouble them overly.

Verdict: Kilcormac/ Killoughey Kilkenny SHC final Ballyhale Shamrocks v Clara Nowlan Park, 2.45pm Clara are the reigning champions and they couldn't have been more clinical in dispatching Carrickshock in the semi-final to the tune of a 14-point hiding. And yet they're the 2/1 outsiders here.

Against anyone else it would seem odd but such is Ballyhale's firepower – the Fennellys, TJ Reid, Henry Shefflin, Joey Holden, Cha Fitzpatrick – that it's hard to look beyond them.

Verdict: Ballyhale