Weekend previews: Club football and hurling senior championship
East Galway club Corofin are looking to secure fourth successive senior county title
Pauric Mahony has been racing up the local scoring charts since returning in the knock-out stages to help shoot Ballygunnar back to a final. Photograph: Inpho
Sunday Cavan SFC final replay Castlerahan v Ramor United, Breffni Park, 3pm – This replay will bring a bumper crowd to Breffni following the pyrotechnics of the drawn game. Ramor waited 24 years to play in a county senior final: now they get two in a fortnight.
They somehow conceded 1-3 without reply after scoring 2-8 in the drawn match to give Castlerahan, who have former Armagh stalwart Justin McNulty on the coaching ticket, another chance. If Castlerahan can get to grips with Adrian Cole, they may make Ramor rue their missed chance.
Clare SFC final replay Cratloe v Kilmurry-Ibrickane, Cusack Park, 3.15pm – The drawn game offered the works, including a half-time brawl and a late equalising point from Cratloe’s Cathal McInerney in a final featuring two of the contemporary powerhouses of Clare GAA. The teams were level eight times in the drawn match and the replay is likely to continue in that tense, close vein. Cratloe may have the natural scoring edge up front.
Galway SFC final Corofin v Salthill-Knocknacarra, Pearse Stadium, 3.30pm – If it’s October, it must be Corofin. The perennials in the Galway championship showpiece, the east Galway club seek a fourth successive winter with the Frank Fox Cup. Gary Sice was among the three goals corers as Corofin rolled past Mountbellew in their semi-final and they have playmaker Michael Lundy back in harness. Salthill, managed by former Galway star Val Daly, has a new wave of talent coming through but this final may be a year too soon.
London SFC final St Kiernans v Tir Chonaill Gaels, Greenford, 3pm – The Gaels won this fixture by 3-10 to 1-12 in a memorable final and although St Kierans are an emerging as the main opposition to the London standard bearers, they may have to play second fiddle again on Sunday.
Roscommon SFC final Pádraig Pearses v St Brigid’s, Kiltoom, 3.30pm – The circle of life and all that: Shane “Cake” Curran has managed Pearses’ to this final and has not unexpectedly come up against his old club, managed by his friend Frankie Dolan.
Should be a dull old sideline. St Brigid’s have been on the road but remain a formidable outfit and were imperious in the semi-final. This is a repeat of the 2012 final: Pearses will need the performance of their season to seize this chance.
Ulster club SHC final Loughgiel (Antrim) v Slaughtneil (Derry), Athletic Grounds, 2.30pm – Stunning achievement by Slaughtneil to pair their recent county football championship win with this Ulster final appearance. They fell short at this stage last year and will be outsiders once more against the bluebloods of the Antrim game.
Laois SHC final replay Borris-Kilcotton v Rathdowney-Errill, O’Moore Park, 4pm – The drawn game may have been the best game never seen: 2-26 a piece, with late scores on both sides bringing the crowds back for his eagerly anticipated replay.
Rory Delaney of the Leinster Express wrote that this was “the greatest senior final, probably ever, to take place in the county”. The game itself was like an advert for the strides Laois hurling has made. The likely winner is anyone’s guess. Just go see it.
Limerick SHC final Ballybrown v Patrickswell, Gaelic Grounds, 3.30pm – Ballybrown have made terrific progress to transform themselves from an intermediate club into a team on the cusp on a senior title over the last half-decade. However Gary Kirby, who won 10 senior titles with Patrickswell, is hoping to manage his club to a first championship in 13 years. They are favourites to do so.
Mayo SHC final Ballyhaunis v Tooreen, Tooreen, 3pm – Tooreen may be the traditional kingpins of Mayo hurling but Keith Higgins and company have dominated this championship over the last decade, claiming all but one title since 2008.
Of the Mayo side that won the Rackard Cup this year, 16 are Ballyhaunis men and nine come from Toureen. No change.
Meath SHC final Killyon v Kiltale, Páirc Tailteann, 3.30pm – Kiltale are after their third successive title which would leave them level with Killyon on seven Meath championships. They are favourites to do so here. Offaly SHC final Birr v St Rynagh’s, O’Connor Park, 3pm – Old rivals seeking new eras here and both have been the in-form teams throughout the Offaly championship.
Rynagh’s may just edge this for a first title since 1993.
Waterford SHC final Ballygunner v Passage, Walsh Park, 3pm – Pauric Mahony has been racing up the local scoring charts since returning in the knock-out stages to help shoot Ballygunnar back to a final. This is a repeat of the 2013 final, when Passage manufactured a famous win.
Owen Connors has been in sensational form for Passage but Ballygunners’s form line is ominous and they are on target for a three-in-a-row afternoon.
Westmeath SHC final Clonkill v Raharney, Cusack Park, 2.30pm – Clonkill, no strangers to this stage, were deeply impressive in their semi-final win and have recruited former Galway manager Anthony Cunningham to their back room as they attempt to defeat Raharney in a second consecutive final. Eagerly awaited final: Clonkill to edge it.
Wicklow SHC final replay Bray Emmets v Carnew Emmets, Aughrim, 2pm – Carnew managed two late points to secure a replay here, including the equalising point struck by 43-year-old Don Hyland, sent in as a substitute.
Bray may finish the job this time however.