AIB GAA & Camogie Club Championships Talking Points, 22nd/23rd October 2016
All in a name
Rangers, United and Rovers are all in action this weekend but it’s not the FA Cup draw, it’s the All-Ireland club football championships. Carbery Rangers travel to Monaleen of Limerick after winning a maiden Cork title, with Tipperary football star Robbie Kiely part of the set-up.
Ramor United, who started the county final win over Castlerahan without both joint-captains, Damien Barkey and Jack Brady, travel to Armagh champs Maghery. The Cavan side’s manager is ex-Clare and ex-Kilmurry-Ibrickane manager Michael McDermott. Meanwhile Moyle Rovers, who are without Tipp star Peter Acheson who has moved to Dubai, will face dual club Loughmore-Castleiney in the Premier finale — who last won the Premier title in 2014 on Stephen’s Day.
Gusserane (Wexford) v Rhode (Offaly)
Gusserane had lost the Wexford final in 2014 and it seemed as though the same fate would befall them against Glynn-Barntown who were 10-5 ahead with 12 minutes remaining recently. That would have been seven final defeats in a row since 1982 but instead they turned it around to win by one in injury time to secure a first crown at this level in 41 years. Captain Graeme Cullen didn’t prepare a speech as he didn’t want to tempt fate.
Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) v Ballygunner (Waterford)
Poignancy has very much been in the air of late after the passing of Anthony Foley and both of these teams have a deep understanding of loss. On the day that club legend Mickey ‘Rattler’ Byrne went to his eternal reward, Thurles also honoured another fallen soldier when lifting the county title. It was just shy of a year since senior selector and trainer Jackie Griffin was struck and killed by a car, and his daughters Isabelle (8), Larragh (10) and Emma (5) helped Padraic Maher raise the 2016 crown. In the days before Ballygunner completed their own three-in-a-row, the father of star hurler Paul Byrne, Pat, was also laid to rest.
Mullinalaghta (Longford) v Stradbally (Laois)
Mullinalaghta beat Abbeylara to win the Longford county final for the first time in 66 years — an incredible achievement for such a small, half-parish of 11 townlands. This will be the first time that Stradbally have met a Longford team in Leinster since 1997 when they succumbed to Fr Manning Gaels. After winning a first Laois title in 56 years, it was no surprise to see them fall short as their provincial clash took place just 24 hours later.
Cuala v Kilmacud Crokes
Cuala hail from Dalkey in south Dublin and their neighbours Kilmacud are based in Stillorgan. Both are well known to be from affluent areas and when the teams met in the county final in 2012, it was dubbed ‘The Clash of the Cash’. Crokes took home the honours that day and added to it in 2014, while Cuala are now looking to retain their crown. Much like Sars and ‘Gunner, there is a solemnity within the Cuala camp just now after the passing last Saturday night of their great backroom team member John Hennessy, a Tipperary native.
AIB GAA & Camogie Club Championships Fixtures
Saturday 29th October
Mayo SFC final
Castlebar Mitchels v Knockmore, MacHale Park, 7.15pm
Dublin SHC final
Cuala v Kilmacud Crokes, Parnell Park, 3pm
Sunday 30th October
Leinster club SFC first round
Baltinglass (Wicklow) v Sean O'Mahonys (Louth), Aughrim, 2pm
Gusserane (Wexford) v Rhode (Offaly), New Ross, 2pm
Mullinalaghta (Longford) v Stradbally (Laois), Glennon Bros Pearse Park, 2pm
Munster club SFC quarter-finals
Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) v Dr Crokes (Kerry), Clare venue, TBC
Monaleen (Limerick) v Carbery Rangers (Cork), Limerick venue, TBC
Ulster club SFC quarter-finals
Killyclogher (Tyrone) v Cargin (Antrim), Healy Park, 2.30pm
Slaughtneil (Derry) v Derrygonnelly (Fermanagh), Celtic Park, 2.30pm
Maghery (Armagh) v Ramor United (Cavan), Athletic Grounds, 2.30pm
Kilcoo (Down) v Glenswilly (Donegal), Pairc Esler, 2.30pm
Munster club SHC quarter-final
Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) v Ballygunner (Waterford), Semple Stadium, 2pm
Meath SFC final
Donaghmore-Ashbourne v Simonstown, Pairc Tailteann, 3pm
Tipperary SFC final
Loughmore-Castleiney v Moyle Rovers, Leahy Park, Cashel, 2.30pm
Westmeath SFC final
St Loman's v Tyrrellspass, Cusack Park, TBC
Kilkenny SHC final
Ballyhale Shamrocks v O'Loughlin Gaels, Nowlan Park, TBC