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Weekend Club previews and fixtures

Castlebar Mitchels Players October 2017

By Shane Stapleton

Laois and Carlow are eyeing the big time this week.

Paddy Durcan narrowly missed out on an All-Ireland but he wants to get back in the hunt.

But first comes the provincial road, for which Pauric Mahony, Seadna Morey, Aidan Harte and Aidan Walsh are also gearing up.

By Shane Stapleton

Laois and Carlow are eyeing the big time this week.

Paddy Durcan narrowly missed out on an All-Ireland but he wants to get back in the hunt.

But first comes the provincial road, for which Pauric Mahony, Seadna Morey, Aidan Harte and Aidan Walsh are also gearing up.

By Shane Stapleton

Laois and Carlow are eyeing the big time this week.

Paddy Durcan narrowly missed out on an All-Ireland but he wants to get back in the hunt.

But first comes the provincial road, for which Pauric Mahony, Seadna Morey, Aidan Harte and Aidan Walsh are also gearing up.

By Shane Stapleton

Laois and Carlow are eyeing the big time this week.

Paddy Durcan narrowly missed out on an All-Ireland but he wants to get back in the hunt.

But first comes the provincial road, for which Pauric Mahony, Seadna Morey, Aidan Harte and Aidan Walsh are also gearing up.

Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) v Mohill (Leitrim)

A huge ask for the Leitrim champions who have just completed a seven-in-a-row. Pauric Davis' side have been impressive this year, and they will remember how competitive they were for a long time against Corofin two years ago - before the dam eventually broke in the second half. Ronan Kennedy and sharpshooter Keith Beirne lead the attack while Ronan Gallagher in defence is solid as a rock. But Mitchels are likely to have too much in Paddy Durcan, Danny Kirby and Barry Moran.

Camross (Laois) v Mount Leinster Rangers (Carlow)

No Laois side has won Leinster since Camross in 1997 overcame O’Tooles of Dublin. That began a run of O’Moore County champions appearing in provincial finals in five of six seasons, but it’s dried up entirely since then. Strangely, a Carlow team has only once ever been to that stage, and that was when Mount Leinster Rangers lifted the AIB Leinster title in 2013. They’re back into this competition after a three-year hiatus during which St Mullins held the whip hand down on Barrowside. Denis Murphy, Kevin McDonald and Diarmuid Byrne scored the goals in their county final win over Naomh Eoin, and a side with ten cousins will expect to get through this clash. Laois and Carlow played out a thrilling championship clash during the summer and no doubt the teams will be well aware of each others’ main threats. Zane Keenan will be the big one for Camross, as always, but they are without Dwane Palmer who broke his leg in a challenge match.

Mount Leinster Rangers - AIB Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship Semi Final

Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) v Blackrock (Cork)

This could be a bit of a turkey shoot but Blackrock come into the game on the back of losing the Cork county final to divisional side Imokilly — who are not allowed into Munster — so they may have a kick in them. Na Piarsaigh have been impressive of late but the absence of Shane Dowling due to a knee injury could be quite costly as the season goes on — or even this weekend. But the forward line of the Limerick club might well be good enough to represent many counties. David Breen — who works for Wasps Rugby — is a fine targetman while his brother Adrian hit 0-6 in a man-of-the-match performance against Kilmallock.

Add Ronan Lynch, David Dempsey, Peter Casey and Kevin Downes into the attacking mix, and you can see where Blackrock could be in trouble.

The Cork side need main men Stephen Murphy, Michael O'Halloran, Alan O'Callaghan and the Cashmans, Niall and John, at their best to stand a chance.

Shane Dowling

Ballygunner (Waterford) v Sixmilebridge (Clare)

There was a time when Clare sides lorded supreme in the AIB Munster club championship. From 1995 to 2000 inclusive, Sixmilebridge (twice), St Joseph's Doora-Barefield (twice), Wolfe Tones and Clarecastle all hoisted the O’Neill Cup. That all preceded a 16-year famine until Ballyea — led by the irrepressible Tony Kelly — confounded expectations one year ago. Niall Gilligan, now 41, was part of the 1995 crew and once more in 2000 when he belied a knee injury to gun down Mount Sion. Davy Fitzgerald was playing the same day. The ‘Bridge have now won three of the past five Banner crowns and they did it the hard way in 2017: beating recent winners Ballyea, Cratloe and Newmarket-on-Fergus along the way. County stars Jamie Shanahan, Cathal Malone, and Seadna Morey have been leading the line, though Ballygunner will be fancied after winning the arm-wrestle against Thurles Sarsfields. Extra time could lead to some weary legs and that may open the door for the Clare side. But with Pauric Mahony doing untold damage, and a very steady spine provided by Stephen O’Keeffe, Barry Coughlan, Wayne Hutchinson and Shane O’Sullivan, it’s hard to go against the Deise men.

Ballygunner goalkeeper Stephen O'Keefe

Galway SHC

Gort v Craughwell, Kenny Park, 2:30pm

Aidan Harte is the sole Galway starter from the All-Ireland final win over Waterford still remaining in the county championship. An incredible factoid which suggests that the summer’s exploits took a heavy toll on many of the stars players and their club fortunes. Then again, sometimes that’s just the way it goes. Craughwell dumped out Portumna are won't go down easily.

Saturday 4 November

Connacht SFC quarter-final

Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) v Mohill (Leitrim), MacHale Park, 2pm

Connacht JHC final

Calry-St Joseph's (Sligo) v Sylane (Galway), Connacht GAA Centre

AIB Leinster IHC quarter-finals

Kiltale (Meath) v The Harps (Laois), Pairc Tailteann, 2pm Ardclough (Kildare) v St Patricks Ballyraggett (Kilkenny), 2pm Thomas Davis/Raheny (Dublin) v Glenealy (Wicklow), Parnell Park, 2pm

AIB Leinster IFC quarter-finals

Killanerin (Wexford) v Raheens (Kildare), Pairc Ui Siochain Gorey, 2pm Durrow (Offaly) v St Marys Rochfortbridge (Westmeath), Durrow, 2pm

Emo (Laois) v Ballyboughal (Dublin), Emo, 2pm

O’Connells (Louth) v Curragha (Meath), Castlebellingham, 2pm

AIB Leinster JFC semi-finals

Crossabeg Ballymurn (Wexford) v Multyfarnham (Westmeath), Bellefield Enniscorthy, 2pm Erin Rovers (Offaly) v Meath Hill (Meath), Pullough, 2pm

AIB Leinster JHC semi-finals

Erin's Isle (Dublin) v St Mogues Fethard (Wexford), O’Toole Park, 2pm

Fr Daltons (Westmeath) v John Lockes (Kilkenny), Mullingar, 2pm

Galway IFC

Claregalway v Williamstown, 1pm

Sunday 5 November

Galway SHC semi-finals

Gort v Craughwell, Kenny Park, 2:30pm

Liam Mellows v Cappataggle, Kenny Park, 12:45pm

Leinster SHC quarter-finals

Kilcormac-Killoughey (Offaly) v Castletown-Geoghegan (Westmeath), O'Connor Park, 2pm Camross (Laois) v Mount Leinster Rangers (Carlow), O'Moore Park, 2pm Cuala (Dublin) v Dicksboro (Kilkenny), Parnell Park, 2pm

Munster SHC semi-finals

Ballygunner (Waterford) v Sixmilebridge (Clare), Walsh Park, 2pm Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) v Blackrock (Cork), Gaelic Grounds, 2pm

Connacht IHC final

Tooreen (Mayo) v Ballinderreen (Galway), Athleague

Connacht JFC semi-final

St Gabriels v Lahardane, 1pm

Ballymote v Kilglass Gaels, 2pm

Connacht IFC

Moy Davitts v Michael Glaveys, 2:30pm

AIB Munster IFC

Kiladangan v St Senans, Toomevara, 2pm

Munster IHC semi-finals

Ballyduff (Kerry) v Kanturk (Cork), Tralee, 2pm Kilmaley (Clare) v An Rinn (Waterford), Ennis, 2pm

Seamus O Riain final replay

Toomevara v Roscrea, Moneygall, 2pm

Ulster JHC final

Setanta v Na Magha, Ballybofey, 2pm

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