Weekend GAA Previews

Kelly has Cratloe in his sights again in Clare hurling final

Ballyea’s Tony Kelly and Cathal Doohan celebrate defeating St Thomas to reach  the All-Ireland club final in 2017. Kelly scored 1-11 from play against Cratloe earlier this season. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ballyea’s Tony Kelly and Cathal Doohan celebrate defeating St Thomas to reach the All-Ireland club final in 2017. Kelly scored 1-11 from play against Cratloe earlier this season. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

SATURDAY

Mayo SFC final
Ballintubber v Breaffy, MacHale Park, 8.0
The O’Sheas v the O’Connors and all that. Breaffy are chasing their first title, Ballintubber their fourth in eight years. The latter’s stickability can see them through.

Wexford SFC final replay
Kilanerin v Shelmaliers, Wexford Park, 3.45
Kilanerin left this behind them last week, coughing up a three-point lead in the closing stages. Likely to need a bit more than relying on Matty Forde to pull rabbits from the hat at 39.

SUNDAY

Ulster club SFC first round, Clones, 2.30
Scotstown (Monaghan) v Derrygonnelly (Fermanagh),
Scotstown’s recent provincial record doesn’t match up to the strength of their teamsheet. Derrygonnelly were a kick of a ball away from last year’s Ulster final. The Fermanagh team deserve better than 3/1 odds here.

Antrim SFC final
Cargin v Creggan, Ahoghill, 3.30
Creggan are in their first Antrim final since 1977 so they’ll need to avoid stage-fright against serial winners Cargin.

Armagh SFC final
Ballymacnab v Crossmaglen, Athletic Grounds, 4.0
Cross are back in the Armagh final for the first time in three years, a famine unseen since their run started back in 1996. For Ballymacnab, this is a second ever final – they lost their only other one by 25 points to Cross’ in 2011.

Cavan SFC final
Castlerahan v Crosserlough, Kingspan Breffni, 3.30
This has to be Castlerahan’s day. They’ve lost the last three finals in a row and are facing a Crosserlough team in their first final in 21 years. Now or never time.

Derry SFC final
Coleraine v Lavey, Celtic Park, 3.30
Slaughtneil’s reign of terror finally ending has cleared the stage for a novel final pairing. Lavey were the Slaughtneil of the early-90s but haven’t won a county title since 1993.

Donegal SFC final
Gweedore v Naomh Conaill, MacCumhaill Park, 4.0 (Live TG4)
Gweedore are plugging on, Eamonn Magee and Kevin Cassidy still to the fore, albeit both in the forwards these days. Glenties are in their third final in four years, looking to make up for a non-showing in last year’s decider.

Kildare SFC final
Athy v Moorefield, Newbridge, 3.30
Possibly the match of the day. Athy were the last team to take the Kildare title out of the Moorefield/Sarsfields axis in Newbridge town and can defy underdog status again.

Limerick SFC final
Adare v Ballylanders, Newcastlewest, 3.0
Adare are reigning champions, Ballylanders won in 2014. The challengers surprised Newcastlewest in the semi-final and can pull off another shock here.

Louth SFC final
Newtown Blues v Naomh Máirtín, Gaelic Grounds, 3.30
Tough assignment for Naomh Máirtín in their first ever county final, with reigning kingpins Newtown standing in their way.

Tyrone SFC final
Coalisland v Killyclogher, Healy Park, 4.0
This pair played out an epic draw in the 2016 decider before Killyclogher decimated Coalisland in the replay. They needed extra-time to get past Ardboe and will have their fill of it here.

Westmeath SFC final
Mullingar Shamrocks v St Loman’s, Cusack Park, 3.30
St Loman’s are aiming for a fifth title on six years here and a fourth on the spin.

Kilmacud Crokes’ Bill O’Carroll and Cian MacGabhann battle against Mark Schutte of Cuala during the semi-final win over the All-Ireland club champions. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Kilmacud Crokes’ Bill O’Carroll and Cian MacGabhann battle against Mark Schutte of Cuala during the semi-final win over the All-Ireland club champions. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Dublin SHC final
Ballyboden St Endas v Kilmacud Crokes, Parnell Park, 4.0
Cuala’s reign was going to end sometime and yet it still came as something of a shock when Crokes ousted them. Having done so, it would be a huge disappointment for them lose a third final on the bounce against no-love-lost rivals Ballyboden.

Clare SHC final
Ballyea v Cratloe, Cusack Park, 3.30 (TG4 deferred)
Tony Kelly v Podge Collins – or more accurately Tony Kelly v Cratloe in general. Kelly demolished them single-handedly earlier in the campaign, producing a tally from play of 1-11 himself. In that form, there’s only one winner.

Tipperary SHC final
Clonoulty-Rossmore v Nenagh Éire Óg, Semple Stadium, 3.30
There’s a famine ending one way or the other here, with neither side having won a Tipp title since the mid-90s.

Wexford SHC final
St Martins v Naomh Éanna, Wexford Park, 3.15
Naomh Eanna have come from nowhere – a junior club six years ago, this is their first senior final. Conor McDonald’s team have a stiff task against the holders.

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