AIB Club Championship previews and fixtures
28 Nov 2017
Posted in: Galway GAA, Wicklow GAA, Tipperary GAA, Meath GAA, Offaly GAA, Kilkenny GAA, Dublin GAA, Waterford GAA, Club, Kerry GAA, Cork GAA
Reigning All-Ireland SHC champions, multiple Munster title winners, and dual players galore this weekend. Whether it's the possibility of a landmark win in the AIB All-Ireland club junior camogie championship final replay, or the clash of men either side of their 40s in Mallow, we've got you covered. Here's our look at this week's club GAA action.
Ardmore (Waterford) v Ballybacon-Grange (Tipperary)
It just doesn't matter what level you go to in a Munster club championship, you'll almost always find a couple of star names. Last year it was Maurice and Dan Shanahan, and now it's the turn of others. There are no fewer than five Munster medals won with Tipperary in the back pocket of Brendan Cummins, still soldiering with the club at the sepia-tinged age of 42. Meanwhile, for Ardmore, Seamus (four) and Declan (three) Prendergast won seven between them in the white shirt of Waterford — now at the ages of 37 and 36. Seamus Keating, who has played underage for Munster Rugby and is on the Deise panel, could well be the difference in this game. But in Niall Hennessy, Ardmore have in their ranks the man who captained his county to a first-ever Munster Under-21 final win in 2003, beating Kerry. Speaking of breakthroughs, Ballybacon-Grange won their first ever Junior A title this year in Tipp, with Cummins scoring three crucial frees in the second half. Ardmore are the likelier.
St Patrick's Ballyragget (Kilkenny) v Glenealy (Wicklow)
Considering the attention that has been on Ballyragget ever since their Kilkenny IHC final win — or should we say, the day after it — they have done incredibly well to keep their heads screwed on andmake it to the provincial decider. Kevin Kelly scored 0-12 as the Cats side had a 2-20 to 2-10 win over Meath’s Kiltale. Meanwhile Glenealy's run has been just as impressive, especially given that five of their crew were also part of the Rathnew team just knocked out of the Leinster club SFC. Last time out, they beat Wexford side St Anne’s 1-14 to 2-8 to make a first Leinster hurling final. The Kilkenny men hold all the aces.
Clanmaurice (Kerry) v Kilmessan (Meath)
Clanmaurice made history last Sunday by becoming the first Kerry club to make an AIB All-Ireland camogie final, one that was streamed live by AIB GAA. The Kingdom side were just seconds away from glory too until an injury-time effort from Aileen Donnelly rescued Kilmessan. The Meath brigade, champions of 2014, were always chasing the game and will be looking for Megan Thynne, star of the Royals’ All-Ireland Intermediate Championship victory, to find openings. Aoife Behan will again provide the goal threat for Clanmaurice.
Cuala (Dublin) v Kilcormac-Killoughey (Offaly)
Cuala might be the reigning Leinster champions but Kilcormac-Killoughey have an exceptionally good winning return in recent provincial campaigns. What we have is a clash of two sides that have won this cup and been beaten finalists inside the last five years. A battle of what has been a potent Cuala attack and an incredibly mean defence on the part of the Double Ks. At the other end, James Gorman, Daniel Currams, Ciaran Slevin, Peter Healion and Conor Mahon have a been crucial in the forward line of the Offaly champions, while the Dalkey men will of course look to keep Con O'Callaghan, Colm Cronin and David Treacy fed. On what's expected to be a slow field in December weather at O'Moore Park, this should be a real battle.
Gort v Liam Mellows
Incredibly, the Galway champions do not even have to go through a provincial championship and still their competition has yet to be completed by the first weekend of December. Liam Mellows made it through after a 0-13 to 1-9win overCappataggle, meaning they will appear in a first county final since 1970. Among their ranks are the GPA President, David Collins, along with another ex-Galway starlet Tadhg Haran and former Under-21 player Ronan Elwood. Louis Mulqueen's side will be heavy underdogs against Gort, who are led by Aidan Harte — the only starter from the Galway All-Ireland winning side left in the county championship. Greg Lally, Richie Cummins and Jason Grealish are among the other familiar names in Michael Browne's side, as Gort look to add to recent titles won in 2011 and 2014.
The Nire v Stradbally
Michael 'Brick' Walsh's Stradbally beat The Nire by four points when the sides met back in September but still the latter go in slightly more favoured. That's despite Jamie Barron missing the last three games through injury — and he is expected to be out again — but in Shane Walsh and Conor Gleeson The Nire have to real firepower inside. A tight call.
Saturday 2nd December
All-Ireland club IHC quarter-final
Kilburn Gaels (Britain) v Kanturk (Cork), Ruislip, 1.30pm
Leinster club IHC final
Ballyragget (Kilkenny) v Glenealy (Wicklow), Nowlan Park, 2pm
Sunday 3 December
Leinster club SHC final
Cuala (Dublin) v Kilcormac-Killoughey (Offaly), O'Moore Park, 2pm
Galway SHC final
Gort v Liam Mellows, Pearse Stadium,. 2pm
Waterford SFC final
The Nire v Stradbally, Fraher Field, 2pm
Munster club JFC final
Dromid Pearses (Kerry) v Knocknagree (Cork), Mallow, 3.15pm
Munster club JHC final
Ardmore (Waterford) v Ballybacon-Grange (Tipperary), Mallow, 1.30pm
All-Ireland club junior camogie championship final replay
Clanmaurice (Kerry) v Kilmessan (Meath), Silvermines GAA, 1.15pm