When you look at the list below, it's clear that a massive weekend of club action is coming down the tracks.

portumna

Weekend club previews and fixtures

BY SHANE STAPLETON

 

When you look at the list below, it's clear that a massive weekend of club action is coming down the tracks. Multiple county titles are up for grabs in both codes, and some of the biggest GAA names in the country will be showing their wares. Joe Canning, Henry Shefflin, Micheal Quinlivan, Ryan McHugh, Diarmuid Connolly, James McCarthy, John Mullane, and many more stars will be on show. Ask yourself: during what other weekend of the year would you be able to see that? We've had a look at some of the standout games. Let us know the match-ups you're looking forward to on social media.

Cork SFC final

Nemo Rangers v St Finbarrs, Pairc Ui Chaoimh

The Barrs have lost their last seven Cork football finals across four decades (1986, 89, 90, 91, 93, 2009, 2010) but the three-time All-Ireland winners (not to mention two-time in hurling) have a storied and celebrated history. Carbery Rangers won their maiden county crown last season but they have been dethroned by the old masters, who in turn will face off against the behemoth of Cork: 19-times champions Nemo Rangers. Micheal Shields has been operating in the forward line for Barrs, where Stephen Sherlock and Robert O’Mahony are providing the goal threat. A clash of Shields v Tomas O Se would be an interesting one — harkening back to the days when Cork v Kerry clashes were huge and the results were uncertain. Nemo have a huge amount of quality though in Paul Kerrigan, Luke Connolly and Barry O'Driscoll.

 

Kerry SHC final replay

Ballyduff v Lixnaw, Austin Stack Park

The word before the final was that this was impossible to call, and the closeness of the two teams was proven in the result. So we come to the replay, as Lixnaw look to banish an apparent curse which has seen them lose six county finals in a row to their rivals. Ballyduff had four Boyle brothers on the field last Sunday, including Mikey who has won All-Ireland boxing titles. Again, it's hard to separate these sides.

 

Carlow SHC final

Mount Leinster Rangers v Naomh Eoin, Netwatch Cullen Park

There was a time when Naomh Eoin were the kingpins of Carlow hurling, winning six-in-a-row from 1990 to 1995. After they last won a title in 2005, Mount Leinster took their place as the dominant force — winning all six of their crowns over the course of the next eight seasons. Indeed, they would go on to win a Leinster title in thrilling fashion against Oulart-The Ballagh at Nowlan Park in 2013 — a day when a fan hopped into the press box to celebrate with your writer.

 

 

St Mullins won the past three Carlow titles but, with Brendan Fennelly in charge, Rangers are back and look the more likely this Sunday. The Coady brothers, along with the likes of Denis Murphy and youngsters Chris Nolan bring a lot of class, while Naomh Eoin Myshall will be hoping Paraic Nolan can shoot the lights out.

 

Tipperary SFC final

Clonmel Commercials v Killenaule

The Micheal Quinlivan v John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer final. Killenaule knocked out Moyle Rovers after extra time in their semi-final, while 2015 Munster champions Clonmel put down Loughmore-Castleiney. In Quinlivan v Bubbles, it’s perhaps a shootout between Tipp’s two best ball-strikers in either code. That left boot of Bubbles' is capable of doing damage in the Robins' first-ever county senior football final, but Commercials have the greater overall class in Seamus and Jack Kennedy, Jason Lonergan and Quinlivan.

 

Donegal SFC final

Kilcar v Naomh Conaill, MacCumhaill Park

Ryan and Mark McHugh are two of the best ball-carriers we’ve seen in recent seasons, while Paddy McBrearty can be peerless on his day. Stopping them is the challenge for Naomh Conaill manager Martin Regan, who happens to be married to the daughter of Kilcar chairman John Carr (Orlagh being her name). Kilcar have been hugely impressive this season, but the pressure of ending a 24-year famine may weigh heavily against them when playing a Glenties side who last lifted the crown in 2015.

 

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Galway SHC quarter-finals

Portumna v Castlegar

A battle of the first Galway club to win an All-Ireland club title (Castlegar 1980) against the Tribe side that has won it most often (Portumna 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014). Ger Farragher is still leading the line for Castlegar but target-man Enda Concannon and Galway Under-21 forward Jack Coyne are supplementing him, for what is the second-highest scoring side in the championship. Not only that, but they have the second-best defence too behind Clarinbridge, with Dean Higgins and Tom Mannion prominent. Their minors won the championship last week so confidence is high. Portumna have class both young and old, not to mention in between. Joe Canning, his nephew Jack, 41-year-old Ollie, Martin Dolphin, Damien Hayes and Andy Smith help make up a fearsome unit. This is a side with the know-how and the greater class — so we're just about tipping the 2014 All-Ireland champs.

 

Waterford SHC semi-final

De La Salle v Passage

Eoin Kelly, the two-time All Star, scored a late goal to down Dungarvan in the quarter-finals — belying a hand injury that had kept him out of the starting XV. Five-time All Star, John Mullane, played 49 minutes of the comfortable over Fourmilewater — a game where Shane Ryan and Hurler of the Year nominee Kevin Moran impressed. Noel Connors may well be given the Mullane task, in what is one of the juiciest match-ups across the country.

 

Kilkenny SHC semi-final

Ballyhale Shamrocks v James Stephens

It’s a tough championship to call in the Marble County this year. Ballyhale were taken to a replay by Clara and then extra time, but nudged their way through. The Village too needed two bites at Carrickshock to make this semi-final. Ballyhale Shamrocks v James Stephens is a repeat of the 2011 county final, and some huge names will be on show. TJ Reid, Colin and Micheal Fennelly, not to mention youngster Adrian Mullen will provide massive threats for Ballyhale, while Eoin Larkin and Jackie Tyrrell will lead the line for James Stephens, while David Walton and Matthew Ruth provide the scoring threat for the underdogs.

 

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FIXTURES

Saturday 14 October

Leitrim SHC final

Carrick v Cluainin Iomaint, Pairc Sean MacDiarmada

 

Galway SHC quarter-finals

Portumna v Castlegar

St Thomas’ v Killimordaly

 

Cork SHC

Imokilly v Sarsfields

 

Meath SFC final

Simonstown v Wolfe Tones

 

Clare SFC

Kilmurry-Ibrickane v Cratloe

 

Dublin SFC semi-finals

Ballymun Kickhams v Kilmacud Crokes

St Vincent’s v St Jude’s

 

Sunday 15th October

Armagh SFC final

Armagh Harps v Maghery, Athletic Grounds, 5pm

 

Carlow SFC Final

Mt Leinster Rangers vs Naomh Eoin, Netwatch Cullen Park, 3 45 PM 

 

Clare SFC

St Joseph’s Milltown v Clondegad

 

Cork SFC final

Nemo Rangers v St Finbarrs, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 3.45pm

 

Donegal SFC final

Kilcar v Naomh Conaill, MacCumhaill Park, 4pm

 

Galway SFC final

Corofin v Mountbellew-Moylough, Tuam Stadium, 4pm

 

Kildare SFC final

Celbridge v Moorefield, Newbridge, 3.30pm

 

Laois SFC final

Ballylinan v Portlaoise, O’Moore Park, 3.45pm

 

Louth SFC final

Dundalk Gaels v Newtown Blues, Gaelic Grounds, 3.30pm

 

Mayo SFC Semi-Finals

Castlebar v Garrymore, Elverys MacHale Park, 1.30pm

Claremorris v Ballintubber, Elverys MacHale Park, 3.15pm

 

Monaghan SFC final

Magheracloone v Scotstown, Clones, 3.30pm

 

Offaly SFC final

Clara v Rhode, O'Connor Park, 3.30pm

 

Sligo SFC

Tourlestrane v Tubbercurry

 

Tipperary SFC final

Clonmel Commercials v Killenaule

 

Tyrone SFC final

Omagh v Errigal Ciaran, Healy Park, 4pm

 

Westmeath SFC

Tyrrellspass v The Downs

St Loman’s v Coralstown-Kinnegad

 

Wexford SFC

St Martin’s v Shelmaliers

 

Wicklow SFC final

Blessington v Rathnew, Aughrim, 3pm

 

Ulster SFC

Kilcoo v Slaughtneil

 

Carlow SHC final

Mount Leinster Rangers v Naomh Eoin, Netwatch Cullen Park, 3.45pm

 

Clare SHC final

Clooney-Quin v Sixmilebridge, Cusack Park

 

Galway SHC quarter-finals

Tommy Larkins v Clarinbridge

Cappataggle v Kilnadeema/Leitrim

 

Kerry SHC final replay

Ballyduff v Lixnaw, Austin Stack Park

 

Kilkenny SHC semi-finals

Ballyhale Shamrocks v James Stephens

O’Loughlin Gaels v Dicksboro

 

Limerick SHC final

Na Piarsaigh v Kilmallock, Gaelic Grounds, 4pm

 

London SHC final

Robert Emmetts v Kilburn Gaels, Ruislip, 2.30pm

 

Waterford SHC semi-finals

De La Salle v Passage

Ballygunner v Lismore

 

 

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