Weekend club previews and fixtures 18th & 19th November
A five-time All-Ireland winner with Kerry leads his side out this weekend at junior club grade. There's a clash two of Leinster senior title winners in recent seasons, a couple of workmates face off in the Connacht decider, while one Wexford club is sending camogie and hurling sides into action on Sunday, in different parts of the province.
Ballygunner (Waterford) v Na Piarsaigh (Limerick)
A tough game to call between two sides that have shown enduring quality in recent seasons. Na Piarsaigh have never been beaten in the ten games they’ve played in the Munster SHC, winning three titles, while Waterford’s four-in-a-row champions are seeking a first crown since 2001. When they met in the 2015 decider, ‘Gunner didn’t have the brothers Mahony available as Pauric was injury and Philip was suspended. This time, both will line out, though the Limerick champs will be without key man Shane Dowling. A game perched atop a knife-edge, with inter-county talent sprinkled all across the field.
Michael Glavey's (Roscommon) v Claregalway(Galway)
Isn’t it textbook GAA that two workmates would end up on opposing sides for this Connacht club final? Danny Cummins and Andy Glennon are the match-winners for Claregalway and Michael Glavey's respectively, and both work within a row of each other in Boston Scientific. Claregalway have had a tough run of it this month, as they had to beat Williamstown in the Galway final and then St John’s of Sligo within 24 hours — down to an objection which slowed up the county championship. It’s all guns blazing now for Sunday where the Tribal champions might have just a little too much.
Dromid Pearses (Kerry) v Galtee Gaels (Limerick)
Dromid are managed by five-time All-Ireland winning forward Declan O’Sullivan, and on his team is a man for the ages: Denis ‘Shine’ O’Sullivan. The Kerry side put down Naomh Eoin of Clare en route to this final, and lying in wait are the kings of Limerick. Galtee Gaels became Limerick Junior A Football Champions for the first time since 1988 after an emphatic 2-16 to 2-3 final win over Croom. Their threats come from Padraig Gallahue, Robert and Tommy Childs, Alan Condon and Sean Casey.
Kilmaley (Clare) v Kanturk (Cork)
Kilmaley dropped out of Clare’s senior division at the end of 2016 when they were expected to challenge for honours, and they’ll go directly back to the top grade in 2018. In the meantime, they’re fancied to add Munster glory to their Banner crown, and why not with hightower Conor Cleary leading the team from centre-back and former county star Alan Markham still making his, ahem, mark. Colin McGuane, Eamonn Bracken, Sean O’Loughlin, Daire Keane and Martin O’Connor were key to their county final win over Tubber. Kanturk won their first ever Premier IHC title in October with a team containing Lorcán McLoughlin, former young footballer of the year Aidan Walsh, and two-time All Star Anthony Nash. The Clare men get the nod here.
St Martin’s (Wexford) vs Thomastown (Kilkenny)
A big weekend for St Martin’s as they chase glory in both the Leinster hurling and camogie champions. Their chairman Mick Morrissey won three county titles with Cuala — who welcome the Wexford champions on Sunday — and will travel to Parnell Park with the men in maroon. His daughter Marie-Claire will be lining out with the Martin’s camogie side against Thomastown of Kilkenny in Carlow on the same day. Given that the fixtures are clashing, a lot of families will have a decision to make on the day. Twelve months ago, a goal at the death by Thomastown's Catherine Walsh allowed the Kilkenny outfit to win a first ever AIB Leinster Senior Camogie Club Final. The Farrell sisters will be hungry to add to it.
Kilcormac-Killoughey (Offaly) v Mount Leinster Rangers (Carlow)
This is one of the toughest games to call this weekend. A battle of the All-Ireland club finalists from 2013 (Kilcormac-Killoughey) and 2014 (Mount Leinster Rangers) collide at O’Connor Park, in what should be a highly physical encounter and a reprise of their 2012 meeting when the Offaly side came out on top. There’s certainly a huge amount of quality on both sides too, with the Carlow side boasting attack weapons such as Paul Coady, Edward Byrne, sharpshooter Denis Murphy, young gun Chris Nolan and Kevin McDonald. The Double Ks have the very promising Cillian Kiely, ace free-taker Ciaran Slevin, Conor Mahon and the Geraghtys — Peter and Thomas — leading their frontline. With Daniel Currams is back after a broken ankle, Kilcormac-Killoughey may fancy their chances. Expect it to go down to the wire.
Saturday 18 November
Leinster club JFC final
Multyfarnham (Westmeath) v Erin Rovers (Offaly), TEG Cusack Park, 2pm
AIB Leinster Club IFC Semi Final
Ballyboughal (Dublin) v Curraha (Meath), Ballyboughal, 2pm
AIB Leinster IHC Semi Finals
Kiltale (Meath) v St Patricks Ballyraggett (Kilkenny), Pairc Tailteann 2pm
Glenealy (Wicklow) v St Annes (Wexford), Joule Park, Aughrim 2pm
AIB Munster JFC semi-final
Dromid Pearses (Kerry) v Galtee Gaels (Limerick), Dromid Pearses GAA, 1pm
AIB Munster Intermediate Camogie Club Championship Final
Newcestown (Cork) v Lismore (Waterford), Castle Road, Cork Camogie Grounds, 2.30pm
Sunday 19 November
Munster club SHC final
Ballygunner (Waterford) v Na Piarsaigh (Limerick), Semple Stadium, 2pm
Leinster club SHC semi-finals
Kilcormac-Killoughey (Offaly) v Mount Leinster Rangers (Carlow), O'Connor Park, 2pm
Cuala (Dublin) v St Martin's (Wexford), Parnell Park, 2pm
Ulster club SFC semi-final replay
Derrygonnelly (Fermanagh) v Cavan Gaels (Cavan), Clones, 1.45pm
Connacht club IFC final
Michael Glavey's (Roscommon) v Claregalway(Galway), Hyde Park, 2pm
Connacht club JFC final
Lahardane (Mayo) v Ballymote (Sligo), MacHale Park, 2pm
Munster club IHC final
Kilmaley (Clare) v Kanturk (Cork), Gaelic Grounds, 2pm
AIB Club Camogie Leinster Intermediate Final
Myshall (Carlow) vs Johnstownbridge (Kildare), Netwatch Cullen Park, 12:30pm
AIB Club Camogie Leinster Senior Final
St Martin’s (Wexford) vs Thomastown (Kilkenny), Netwatch Cullen Park, 2:30pm