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Fuerty storm to first title!

 

 

Mulryan Construction Roscommon IFC Final Replay

 

Fuerty 2-11 Oran 1-6

 

 

There must have been many times over the past five years when Fuerty doubted if they would ever climb to the summit in the intermediate football championship. Every time just when it looked like they would reach the Promised Land, they always ran into an obstacle. This year it was a revitalised young Oran side who almost stole their thunder at Dr. Hyde Park two weeks previously. But Eamon Towey’s men came to Strokestown last Saturday on a mission and they swept all before them to win their first ever title at this grade, and in some style too.

  The Black and Amber burst from the blocks and went seven points up in the first half. They fell asleep in the third quarter but shook themselves to finish in style and they were not flattered by the eight point winning margin.

  Oran never got going. The injuries to Jack Earley and Paul Kenny were to prove costly. They were playing catch-up for most of the first half. Still, Thomas Fetherston almost single-handedly inspired them to an unlikely revival. A sublime Darragh Walsh goal helped to reduce the margin to two by the 43rd minute. But Fuerty were having none of it this time around, and when the superb Aengus Lyons scored his second goal of the game with twelve minutes to go, Fuerty were back on course to lift the Jimmy Murray Cup. They free-wheeled to the finish after that.

  Fuerty went for the Oran jugular from the throw-in. Niall Keenan and Philip Neilan were winning the midfield battle. Niall Kilroy, Gearoid Ennis and Aengus Lyons were razor-sharp up front. The Bannons - Eamon and Tom - were superb. A couple of pointed frees from Kilroy early on were followed in the 6th minute by a brilliant goal. Kilroy’s laser-like pass found Lyons who didn’t have to break stride, and he blasted past Matthew Whyte. By the 21st minute Fuerty were 1-5 to 0-1 ahead. Oran were struggling and they reached half-time without having scored a single point from play.

  But in fairness to Billy Donnellan’s men they came out in the second half determined to give it a rattle, and that they did. Thomas Fetherston, who was quiet in the drawn game, was inspirational. His point in the 33rd minute, with half the Fuerty team on his back, was memorable. Then in the 41st minute we saw a contender for ‘Goal of the Season’. Raymond Farrell played a great pass into Darragh Walsh. The talented young attacker still had a lot of work to do but he unleashed a thunderbolt that Joe Fallon could only watch as it flew into the net. Walsh’s pointed free two minutes later reduced the margin to only two. Could Oran come back from a seemingly impossible position?

  Fuerty, and ‘man of the match’ Aengus Lyons supplied the answer, and it was an emphatic ‘No’. In the 48th minute his brother Oisin did the spadework this time before Aengus finished with aplomb to restore Fuerty’s dominant position and ease the worries of their supporters. Four points on the spin after that and the Black and Amber ribbons were going on the cup well before the final whistle.

  Joe Fallon made a couple of superb saves and was excellent on the day between the sticks. Tom Bannon was in inspirational form and he played a real captain’s part throughout. Niall Keenan and Philip Neilan won the midfield battle this time around with Keenan especially impressive. Up front it was one of the quieter days for talisman Niall Kilroy but his contribution to Fuerty, not only to his historic win but over the past decade has been phenomenal.

  Man of the Match was Aengus Lyons who won every ball kicked in his direction in the first half. He linked up well with defence and attack and scored two great goals. A mention too for Gearoid Ennis who once again made a huge contribution and his two points from play were of the highest quality.

  For Oran it was just not their day. They fell behind early on and just couldn’t recover. Thomas Fetherston was inspirational for his side. He put in a huge shift as he tried to rally his charges after that poor start. It was a fantastic display from him despite being on the losing side. Darragh Walsh was also superb. With limited supply he scored 1-4 and his goal is one of the finest seen in a county final for many years. Ray Farrell and Mike Dwyer had their moments but in truth Oran never looked like they could win this replay. The injuries had taken their toll on the day but one thing is for certain, this young and talented Oran team will be back.

  So to Fuerty the spoils, which they richly deserve. Their first ever intermediate title and few will begrudge them this success. Eamon Towey has done a marvellous job as manager over the past few years and now they will get to play senior football in 2019. It’s a historic and well deserved win for Fuerty and this one will be well celebrated in Tremane, Athleague, Castlecoote and Fuerty over the coming weeks and months. They have waited long enough.

Fuerty: Joe Fallon; Adam White, Tom Bannon, John Brennan (0-1); Mark Ward, Pete Kellehan, Ben McGahon; Philip Neilan, Niall Keenan; Oisin Lyons, Eamon Bannon, Cian Murray (0-2); Gearoid Ennis (0-4, 2 frees), Niall Kilroy (0-3, frees), Aengus Lyons (2-0).

Subs: Robbie Fallon for E Bannon (41), E Bannon for Murray (45), Luke Byrne for J Fallon (49), Darragh Heavey for Ward (54), Peter Leahy (0-1) for R Fallon (61), Christy Leahy for O Lyons (64),

 

Oran: Matthew Whyte; Thomas Fetherston (0-1), Jack Casey, Kevin Concannon; Jack Gunning, John Martin, Mike Dwyer; James Regan, Gearoid Keenan; Eamon Kenny, Ciaran Lawless, Kieran Whyte (0-1); Ray Farrell, Shane Regan, Darragh Walsh (1-4, 4 frees).

Subs: Ciaran Casey for S Regan (h/t), Declan Beirne for Gunning (h/t), Adrian Cassidy for E Kenny (54), Liam Earley for Farrell (64), Brian Diffley for Keenan (64).

 

Referee: Marty Parker

Clann-ic over as exiles sent packing

 

 

 

AIB Connacht Club SFC Quarter-Final

Clann na nGael 1-15

Tir Chonnaill 1-10

 

 

The final score would indicate a routine win for Clann na nGael, but this was no walk in the park for Fergal Shine’s men as a plucky and well organised Tir Chonaill Gaels team gave the Roscommon champions plenty to think about in this very competitive quarter-final played in perfect weather conditions at Hyde Park last Sunday.

  Clann never reached the level of performance we saw in the county final, and with 18 minutes to go the exiles led by 1-9 to 0-11 and were full value for that narrow lead. But all credit to Clann, they kept going, they got a crucial goal from Graham Pettit, and kicked on in the final quarter.

  Clann certainly won’t need me to tell them that a similar performance against the All-Ireland champions Corofin next Sunday in the Connacht semi-final will not be good enough. Their full-back line were in trouble all through. They struggled at midfield and they can be very thankful to Donie Shine and Ciarán Lennon who were exceptional on the day.

  The London champions caused all kinds of trouble for the Clann defence for three quarters of the game. Liam Gavigan was excellent from frees and play but it was Killian Butler who was the main concern for Clann. His superb movement and ball winning ability caused mayhem in the Clann rearguard, which will have to tighten up considerably ahead of next weekend’s game against Corofin.

  But in fairness to the Roscommon champions, they found a way to win and they were able to respond when they were under pressure which is an admirable trait. Shine was immense all through and Lennon was always a threat. Ultan Harney came into the game in the second half and David McManus and sub Johnny Dunning also contributed to this victory.

  Clann were by far the better side in the opening quarter and they led by 0-5 to 0-1 after 15 minutes. Donie Shine (3 frees) and Ciaran Lennon (2) on target for the Johnstown men. But the Gaels came roaring back into the game in the second quarter, Butler and Gavigan were leading the charge and by the 21st minute the gap was down to one. Donie Shine kicked another two points to help his side into a 0-8 to 0-6 lead coming up to half-time.

  But the enterprising attacking play we had seen from the London champions paid off in injury-time when Gavigan was fouled by Graham Pettit and Eoin Murray planted the resultant penalty past David Finneran. Half-time score: Tir Chonaill Gaels 1-6 Clann na nGael 0-8.

  Clann responded well on the restart and three pointed frees from Donie Shine saw them lead by two after 36 minutes. But it was proving difficult to shake off the London men who scored three points on the bounce to lead by 1-9 to 0-11 after 42 minutes.

  The decisive score of the game came in the 44th minute. A high ball from Donie Shine was grabbed by Graham Pettit 10 metres from goal and the centre half-back swivelled and smashed the ball into the roof of the net. It gave Clann the breathing space they needed and they were able to kick for home after that, Points from Ultan Harney, Donie Shine, Darra Pettit and another peach from Ciarán Lennon saw the Roscommon champions through, but not without a scare or two.

  This was not a great display from Clann but maybe it’s the perfect way to go into a clash with the All-Ireland champions next Sunday. They know that a huge improvement will be needed but they also know that they are well capable of playing much better than we saw on Sunday last. A win is a win, and now they can move on. But all credit to the Tir Chonaill Gaels men. They didn’t come to Hyde Park to make up the numbers and they did themselves proud.

 

Clann na nGael: David Finneran; Darra Pettit (0-1), Stephen Flynn, Ronan Gavin; David Connaughton, Graham Pettit (1-0), Shane Pettit; Ultan Harney (0-1), Cathal Shine; Cathal Callinan, Donie Shine (0-9, 7 frees), Emmet Kenny; David McManus, Ciarán Lennon (0-3), Jamie Fahy.

Subs: Cian McManus for Kenny (h/t), Johnny Dunning for McManus (38), Matt Scally for Callinan (43), Ross Naughton for Fahy (55), Niall Connaughton for D Connaughton (62), Dylan Sumner for Shine (65).

 

Tir Chonaill Gaels: Gavin McEvoy; Michael McWilliams, Phil Butler, Shaun Burke; Marty McCoy, Anthony McDermott, Matthew Moynihan; Mark Gottsche, Brendan Friel; Eoin Murray (1-0, pen), Adrian Hanlon, Kevin Raftery; Brian Mullin (0-1), Liam Gavigan (0-6, 5 frees), Killian Butler (0-3).

Subs: Liam Gallagher for Raftery (36), Ryan Elliot for Burke (41), Eamon McConville for McDermott (48), Adam Askin for Hanlon (55), Eoin MaGeean for Murray (55), Aidan McGarvey for McWilliams (65).

 

Referee: Eamon O’Grady (Leitrim)

 

 

The Lead Story: Radical change needed for Irish football?

 

 

 

 

The news yesterday (Wednesday) that Noel King has stepped down as manager of the Republic of Ireland U-21s will come as no real surprise following the squad’s failure to qualify for the 2019 European Championships. He had been in charge of the national U-21 side for eight years and in that time had never qualified for the biannual competition. Such a run has hardly helped players to grow in confidence ahead of their graduation to the senior ranks.

  However, King’s resignation is just one of a number of changes needed in order to breathe life back into Irish football. There has been speculation recently that the senior international team, of which King was interim manager at one point, may also be set for a change of management, with Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny the name on quite a number of lips.

  Kenny has done exceptionally well in the League of Ireland and has overseen a breakthrough in Europe with Dundalk, and while I agree with Martin O’Neill’s recent comments that the domestic game is not quite where it needs to be in order to filter into the national team, someone like Kenny could prove to be a breath of fresh air.

  Recent international performances have lacked confidence, composure or any sign of inspiration. The national pool isn’t exactly an embarrassment of riches, but it shouldn’t be too much to expect our players to be able to attempt to play football at least. Confidence at the elite level is key and the U-21s should be used as a major stepping stone in terms of the development of domestic players. Exciting things are happening at the U-19 grade and therefore a fresh outlook is now needed at U-21 level…and perhaps at senior level too.

 

Seamus Duke on sport - November 9th

 

 

Fuerty finally get over the line!

So Fuerty finally got there on Saturday last. A lot of heartache and disappointments were put behind them as they deservedly took home the Jimmy Murray Cup from Strokestown after a commanding display against Oran. 

  Billy Donnellan’s men could not overcome the injuries to Jack Earley and Paul Kenny and they were playing catch-up for almost the entire 60 minutes. Oran played some of the best attacking football that I have seen in some years against Kilbride and again against Tulsk but they just ran out of steam last Saturday. But they will be back, and if those young talented players stay together it is only a matter of time before senior football returns to Oran.

  But it was Fuerty’s day. Old stagers like Niall Kilroy, David Delaney, the Bannons and Niall Connolly have got their day in the sun, add in the younger brigade, and a top class coach in the shape of Eamon Towey it was a recipe for success and a victory for patience and persistence. The hard work done by St. Ciaran’s at underage level over the past 10 to 15 years has paid off. Now Fuerty will take their place in the senior football Championship in 2019. Few will begrudge them their success.

All Stars selection controversy

The All Stars teams have come and gone once again and the football team was controversial. Colm Cavanagh at full-back? I thought he was deserving of an award but at midfield. I would have found room for Ryan Wylie in the full-back like. He conceded a total of 0-2 from play in 2018. That’s an incredible statistic.

  The selection of Rory Beggan ahead of Stephen Cluxton was controversial and it is true to say that you will never pick an All Star team that doesn’t generate argument. But Cluxton has changed the face of Gaelic football over the years. So much so that the powers that be are coming up with rule changes to cope with some of the things he has introduced. That he hasn’t got an All Star in the past five years is bizarre.

  It’s time for a shake-up in the selection committee many of whom are serving for well over 30 years. Surely there are 10 or 12 people representative of all levels in the GAA at football and hurling who can serve for five years before letting someone else have a go at it. It would appear that it’s harder to get off the All Star selection committee than get on it.  

  Just a word about young Limerick hurler Cian Lynch, who spoke brilliantly at the All Stars event on Friday night last. For one so young he outlined the importance of the GAA in this country in a few sentences in terms of community, family and how it impacts on people of all ages.

Plenty of great club goals

People who have attended the club football games over the past couple of months have seen some brilliant goals. In the senior final we had spectacular goals from Senan Kilbride and also from Cathal Callinan, in the intermediate final drawn game the strikes from Gearoid Keenan and Gearoid Ennis will live long in the memory and then last Saturday in the Intermediate replay Aengus Lyons and Darragh Walsh scored two absolute crackers. I can’t recall seeing so many great goals at the latter stages of the club championships and long may it continue.

Ireland ready for Argie-bargy!

The Irish rugby team will step up the intensity when they face Argentina at the Aviva this weekend. The game against Italy saw Ireland win easily but it was not a game that will live long in the memory save for Jordan Larmour’s spectacular try late on. He will be knocking on Joe Schmidt’s door for a starting spot this weekend and next weekend against New Zealand.

  Argentina will be a severe test for Ireland and they are a very physical outfit. However I am expecting Ireland to win with a bit to spare and set up the big one against the All Blacks on Saturday week. What a game that promises to be. The selection for this weekend will gave a strong indication of what team will take the field against the world champions.

City emerge the strong favourites

The race for the English Premier League is now a three-horse race with Man City the strong favourites. Liverpool and Chelsea will certainly give chase but at this stage of the season it looks like City have the players and the power to fend off all challengers.

  I am not ruling out Liverpool but they will have to go to places like Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge and win if they want to keep up with City. They are capable of doing that but if they drop many more points then City will run away with it.

Dundalk on the double!

I enjoyed the bit of the FAI Cup final that I saw on Sunday last. I was rooting for Cork City because of Johnny Caulfield but they were very unlucky on the day. Stephen Kenny has done a great job with Dundalk. He is a very capable manager. I got to know him when he was over Longford Town and at that stage they won the cup and got to two finals in a row. There was incredible excitement in the Longford area at the time. I see where he is being touted as a possible replacement for Martin O’Neill as the next Irish manager. If that were to come about it would be a remarkable rise to the top for the Dubliner.

 

Clann squeeze past the exiles

 

I expected that Clann na nGael would win by four or five points last Sunday but I certainly didn’t expect the struggle that it was for them. Tir Chonaill Gaels were well organised and they had a number of very good players who gave Clann plenty of headaches for three quarters of the game. But Donie Shine and to a lesser extent, Ciarán Lennon kept Clann alive when they were struggling, and the Johnstown men can be very happy with their contributions.

  Graham Pettit’s goal came at just the right time for the Roscommon champions and they pulled away in the last ten minutes. Clann will not need me to tell them that if they play like that against Corofin on Sunday then they will not be going any further. But last Sunday’s game and result could be the ideal way for Clann to go into this game.

  Corofin will be the hot favourites but I am of the firm opinion that Clann have a great chance in Dr. Hyde Park. They will certainly have to tighten up in the full-back line and improve at midfield but with Donie Shine and Ciarán Lennon able to get the vital scores they can give the All-Ireland champions plenty of problems.

  Remember in last year’s championship St. Brigid’s took Corofin to extra-time and probably should have beaten them too - it can be done! I am really looking forward to this match.

  Good luck to Fuerty who are in Sligo to face Shamrock Gaels, and also to Kilglass Gaels who travel to Tuam to face Clonbur. It’s a pity that all three games are on Sunday. There are a number of people who would love to have seen all three Roscommon teams in action.

  A special mention to St. Brigid’s who won their second Connacht minor title in a row last weekend beating a really good Westport team in the final. You have got to admire St. Brigid’s as a club. They are setting the standard that everyone else should aspire to. The future sure looks good for them!

 

Still no white smoke!

 

 

At the time of going to press there was no progress in the quest to find a new Roscommon senior football manager. The name of former St. Brigid’s manager Anthony Cunningham has been mentioned in recent days after the Dublin hurling job was given to Cuala’s Mattie Kenny at the weekend.  Cunningham had been a candidate for that position. It’s not known if the former Galway hurling manager would be interested in the Roscommon job. David Casey has been mentioned a number of times in connection with the vacant post but it’s also unclear whether he is interested in the post.

  Meanwhile, Frankie Dolan has stepped down as manager of the St. Brigid’s senior team. He managed his native club for three years bringing them two county senior titles in a row.

  A statement from St. Brigid’s read: ‘St. Brigid’s executive would sincerely like to thank Frankie for all his hard work, dedication and commitment to the club as both a manager and player. We would also like to extend our thanks to all the people that Frankie has brought in around him in backroom teams and helpers over the years.’

 

Dooner's weekend predictions - November 9th

 

 

 

 

There are a couple of stand out ties this weekend including the meeting of Ballinasloe Town and Castlerea Celtic in the Connacht Junior Cup and a local derby between Roscommon United and Manor United in Division Two.

Friday, November 9th

Raftery’s Oakland Hotel Premier Division           

At Lecarrow: Skyvalley Rovers v Ballymoe FC. 8 pm

The 2017 champions have been terrific so far this season.

Prediction: Ballymoe FC

Saturday, November 10th

Raftery’s Oakland Hotel Premier Division (7.45 pm)

Moore United v Boyle Celtic

League leaders Boyle could face a stern examination of their title credentials this weekend but will be expected to prevail.

Prediction: Boyle Celtic

Shiven Rovers v Strokestown United

The hosts will be favourites.

Prediction: Shiven Rovers

Killeen Sports Grounds Division Two

Cloonfad United B v Castlerea Celtic B

Division Two leaders Castlerea will be expected to extend their lead at the top of the table ahead of Sunday’s big matches.

Prediction: Castlerea Celtic B

Sunday, November 11th

FAI New Balance Junior Cup Round 4 (2 pm)

Ballinasloe Town v Castlerea Celtic

A mouth-watering tie in prospect. Home advantage may swing it in Ballinasloe’s favour but the visitors have been impressive on the road this season.

Prediction: Ballinasloe Town. Narrowly.           

St. Peter’s FC v Carbury FC           

The defending RDFL champions should have enough to account for Carbury.

Prediction: St. Peter’s FC

Raftery’s Oakland Hotel Premier Division (2 pm)

Dysart FC v Kilkerrin United

The visitors can take heart from their performance against Castlerea last weekend and will be confident going to Dysart this Sunday.

Prediction: Kilkerrin United                       

Norio’s Takeaway Division One (2 pm unless stated)

St. John’s Athletic v Rahara Rovers.11 am

While the future looks a little brighter for Rahara following their win over Ballinasloe, the hosts will be favourites this weekend.

Prediction: St. John’s Athletic

Ahascragh United v Moylough ‘79           

The visitors should prevail. Prediction: Moylough ‘79

CP Ajax v Cam Celtic

The Castleplunkett side will be eager to take advantage of any Moylough slip-up. Prediction: CP Ajax

Dunmore Town v Ballaghaderreen FC                       

Dunmore are capable of getting a result at home but the visitors are slight favourites.

Prediction: Ballaghaderreen FC

Killeen Sports Grounds Division Two

Ballymoe FC B v Shiven Rovers B. 11 am

Shiven seem capable of upping their performance against the stronger sides in this division. They should have few problems in Ballymoe.

Prediction: Shiven Rovers B

Roscommon United v Manor United. 11 am

A huge game in Division Two this Sunday as Roscommon United welcome Manor United. I’m leaning towards the hosts here but it will be close.

Prediction: Roscommon United           

Skyvalley Rovers B v Glen Celtic. 2 pm           

This could be a big weekend for Glen.

Prediction: Glen Celtic

Clann the underdogs as champions arrive

 

 

 

 

AIB Connacht Club SFC Semi-Final: Clann na nGael v Corofin on Sunday at Dr. Hyde Park at 1.30 pm

 

 

There will huge interest in this one, the visit of the All-Ireland champions to Hyde Park to face the new Roscommon champions who will go into the game as underdogs but who have a great chance of upsetting the odds if they can hit the form we saw in the county final.

  On the form that Corofin showed when winning their national title in Croke Park in March, Clann would have no chance on Sunday. But this is a different day and a different set of circumstances, and after a poor enough display against Tir Chonaill Gaels last Sunday, Clann will know that they will have to up the ante if they want to progress to the final. However there is loads of room for improvement.

  Corofin have emerged from the Galway championship after a dour double battle with Mountbellew-Moylough when defences were definitely on top. A couple of friends who attended both games told me that it was brutal stuff to watch. But Corofin will not worry about that and maybe now that they have emerged from the county for the sixth year in a row they will throw the shackles off. If they do, it could be a long evening for Clann.

  The Galway side have very familiar names in their side. The evergreen Kieran Fitzgerald is still a very good full-back and inspiration for the rest of his team mates. Liam Silke, Dylan McHugh and Kieran Molloy form a very solid half-back line.

  Hurling hero Daithi Burke and Ronan Steede will be hoping to win the midfield battle. Michael Lundy leads the attack from centre half-forward while Gary Sice and the two Farraghers will be hoping to get the scores inside.

  Clann will certainly have to tighten up in the full-back line. They were in trouble against the exiles last Sunday. Hopefully Jack Connaughton will be back for this encounter. His energy and running and ball carrying ability are vital to his side. Ultan Harney and Cathal Shine will have to do more at midfield. That battle will be pivotal.

  Once again Donie Shine’s contribution will be important. His free-taking prowess and ability to inspire those around him is priceless for Clann. Ciarán Lennon is a super target man. Clann must be able to get the ball to him and let the likes of Cathal Callinan, Cian McManus and Jamie Fahy feed off him.

  After a ropey display last Sunday, Clann will know what they have to do to be in with a chance in this match. It’s a good way to be going into the game. Expectations will not be high. I won’t be surprised if Clann give this a huge rattle but it would be more than a shock if they were to overturn the All-Ireland champions.

Prediction: Corofin

Clann the underdogs as champions arrive

 

 

 

 

AIB Connacht Club SFC Semi-Final: Clann na nGael v Corofin on Sunday at Dr. Hyde Park at 1.30 pm

 

 

There will huge interest in this one, the visit of the All-Ireland champions to Hyde Park to face the new Roscommon champions who will go into the game as underdogs but who have a great chance of upsetting the odds if they can hit the form we saw in the county final.

  On the form that Corofin showed when winning their national title in Croke Park in March, Clann would have no chance on Sunday. But this is a different day and a different set of circumstances, and after a poor enough display against Tir Chonaill Gaels last Sunday, Clann will know that they will have to up the ante if they want to progress to the final. However there is loads of room for improvement.

  Corofin have emerged from the Galway championship after a dour double battle with Mountbellew-Moylough when defences were definitely on top. A couple of friends who attended both games told me that it was brutal stuff to watch. But Corofin will not worry about that and maybe now that they have emerged from the county for the sixth year in a row they will throw the shackles off. If they do, it could be a long evening for Clann.

  The Galway side have very familiar names in their side. The evergreen Kieran Fitzgerald is still a very good full-back and inspiration for the rest of his team mates. Liam Silke, Dylan McHugh and Kieran Molloy form a very solid half-back line.

  Hurling hero Daithi Burke and Ronan Steede will be hoping to win the midfield battle. Michael Lundy leads the attack from centre half-forward while Gary Sice and the two Farraghers will be hoping to get the scores inside.

  Clann will certainly have to tighten up in the full-back line. They were in trouble against the exiles last Sunday. Hopefully Jack Connaughton will be back for this encounter. His energy and running and ball carrying ability are vital to his side. Ultan Harney and Cathal Shine will have to do more at midfield. That battle will be pivotal.

  Once again Donie Shine’s contribution will be important. His free-taking prowess and ability to inspire those around him is priceless for Clann. Ciarán Lennon is a super target man. Clann must be able to get the ball to him and let the likes of Cathal Callinan, Cian McManus and Jamie Fahy feed off him.

  After a ropey display last Sunday, Clann will know what they have to do to be in with a chance in this match. It’s a good way to be going into the game. Expectations will not be high. I won’t be surprised if Clann give this a huge rattle but it would be more than a shock if they were to overturn the All-Ireland champions.

Prediction: Corofin

Seamus Duke's weekend preview - November 9th

 

 

Fuerty to prevail

 

AIB Connacht IFC Semi-Final: Shamrock Gaels (Sligo) v Fuerty on Sunday in Coolooney at 1.30 pm

The outcome of this game will depend on a number of factors, not least on how the Fuerty players have recovered after a week of celebrations following their memorable success in the county final replay last weekend. It is interesting to note that the Gaels needed a replay to oust Curry in the Sligo county final.

  Not having seen Shamrock Gaels play it is difficult to make any kind of a solid judgement but Fuerty have a very good blend of younger and more experienced players. The Bannons, Philip Neilan, Niall Kilroy, Pete Kellehan, Aengus Lyons, Gearoid Ennis and company should have enough to defeat the home side and make it to the provincial final.

Prediction: Fuerty

 

Kilglass heart can be the difference

AIB Connacht Club JFC Semi-Final: Clonbur (Galway) v Kilglass Gaels  in Tuam Stadium on Sunday at 1.30 pm

Kilglass will fancy their chances against a Clonbur team who were actually beaten by Corofin in the county final in Galway last weekend. Kilglass will know themselves that it is very hard to lift a team for the provincial championships not having won your own county title. Kilglass showed huge heart and determination to battle back and take the title against Clann na nGael and if they can show the same qualities on Sunday they can make it to the final.

Prediction: Kilglass Gaels

 

Clann to prevail against The Exiles

 

 

 

 

 

AIB Connacht Club SFC Quarter-Final

 

Clann na nGael v Tir Chonaill Gaels (London) at Dr. Hyde Park at 1 pm

 

 

Having won the Roscommon title in such swaggering style, Clann na nGael return to the bread and butter of the Connacht championship at Hyde Park on Sunday and while they will be expecting to advance to the semi-finals, it might not be as easy as they might expect against a Tir Chonaill Gaels side who come into the game following a hard-fought county final replay win against Fulham Irish last Sunday.

  Championship football at this time of the year is a hard grind. Clann will have to keep it tight at the back, perform at midfield, and score about 1-12 or something of that nature to ensure their passage through and they are well capable of doing that.

  The Clann defence has been impressive this year. With Stephen Flynn commanding at full-back, Graham Pettit, Dara Pettit, Ronan Gavin and Shane Pettit have been doing their defensive duties well. Add in the human dynamo that is Jack Connaughton who gets about the field so well and it’s an impressive mix.

  Ultan Harney has had a super year for his club and his midfield partnership with a revitalised Cathal Shine looks well capable of providing enough possession for the Clann attack on the day.

  To have a free-taker of the ability of Donie Shine is always a huge asset, but especially at this time of the year to have a player who can score anywhere from up to 60 metres out from the placed ball is a massive advantage. Ciarán Lennon is a top class target man and with the likes of Cian McManus, Jamie Fahy, Cathal Callinan and Emmet Kenny also playing well, Clann look to have a good mix overall.

  Their London opponents are managed by former London county manager and Michael Glavey’s man Paul Coggins and they will be well organised and well-motivated. In common with most London clubs, they rely on Irish players for their playing strength but it is notable that in this Tir Chonaill Gaels side there are a number of London born players who have been very prominent in their recent displays. Liam Gavigan, Killian Butler and Ryan Elliot are all native Londoners, and between the three of them they scored 0-14 of their side’s 0-15 in the county final replay last Sunday.

  The Tir Chonaill Gaels team are back-boned by a number of Donegal players and feature another familiar face at centre half-back in Kilbride man Anthony McDermott. Mark Gottsche, who played a number of times for Galway in the Connacht championship, also features in attack.

   Playing two county finals in the space of two weeks might lead to tired legs among the exiles but I am expecting them to put up a solid display. But it would be a shock if Clann were not to advance to the semi-final. If they can show even some of the attacking prowess that we saw in the county final it should be good enough on the day.

Prediction: Clann na nGael

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