AIB All-Ireland club champions of recent times meet this Sunday.

portlaoise

Weekend club previews and fixtures

BY SHANE STAPLETON

 

AIB All-Ireland club champions of recent times meet this Sunday. As do men who are used to going head-to-head in Ulster inter-county clashes. Matty Forde led Wexford to an All-Ireland semi-final in 2008, and is still on the go. Meanwhile St Loman's are looking to make it third-time lucky against Longford opposition. There's also a clash of the O'Moore champions and Moorefield.

 

Dr Crokes (Kerry) v Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare)

This is considered the final port of call for Kilmurry-Ibrickane’s All-Ireland ambitions. Twelves of the 20 players used in the county final win, who also featured in the loss to St Gall’s on Paddy’s Day 2010, are over 30 years of age. Yes, that suggests a know-how and guile that has been enough to get through Clare, but this is now a fourth meeting with Dr Croke’s since 2011 and still they’re looking for a breakthrough. Enda Coughlan and young gun Keelan Sexton may cause trouble but Colm Cooper, Daithi Casey, Fionn Fitzgerald and Co should come through this one.

 

Corofin (Galway) v St Brigid's (Roscommon)

The Galway champions are heavily tipped here but there is a raft of quality on both sides. What we have is a clash of the 2013 All-Ireland club champions from Roscommon against the top dogs of 2015. Corofin put up an impenetrable defensive shield in their county final win over Mountbellew-Moylough — winning comfortably despite playing with 14 men for the entire second half. Conor Cunningham and Martin Farragher cracked in sumptuous goals, while full-back Kieran Fitzgerald collected county medal number 12 after another composed display. Jason Leonard, Ian Burke, Micheal Lundy and Gary Sice all bring massive talent. Frankie Dolan won his first Roscommon title as a player in 1997 and, 20 years on, has now managed St Brigid’s to county success. Brian Stack, along with Ian and Senan Kilbride are excellent players but they’re facing a steep task. In 2016, Corofin won their Connacht final clash by 2-13 to 0-5. The Galway side are looking to win an eighth provincinal crown, taking them one ahead of Clan na nGael in the all-time list.

 

Slaughtneil (Derry) v Kilcar (Donegal)

Three years ago, also on the week of the International Rules series, Chrissy McKaigue had to fly out late to Australia due to his involvement in the Ulster club SFC. He would play against Conor McManus of Clontibret that day, before the duo then headed Down Under together on the same flight. Were it not for Slaughtneil v Kilcar, McKaigue and the likes of Ryan McHugh and Paddy McBrearty might well be part of Joe Kernan's plans against the AFL men. A tight one, though the Derry side's experience could be key.

 

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Rathnew (Wicklow) v St Vincent's (Dublin)

Leighton Glynn has won 20 county titles in the Garden County: 11 in football with Rathnew, and nine in hurling with Glenealy. The 35-year-old is still running the show for his club 16 years after helping them to provincial final success over Na Fianna in 2001, while former Wicklow boss Harry Murphy runs the line. Vincent's outplayed Ballymun in the county final, and it summed up their ambitions that the substitutes did a training session shortly after the trophy was handed out.

 

Mullinalaghta (Longford) v St Loman's (Westmeath)

Will it be third time lucky for St Loman’s? The three-in-a-row Westmeath champions have met their Waterloo when faced by the Longford winners for the last two years (Killoe in 2015) and their opponents Mullinalaghta last year. Mullinalaghta have only lost one match in the last 18 months (to Dublin champions St. Vincent’s in the Leinster semi last year) and were impressive when disposing of Carlow kingpins Éire Óg in the first round two weeks ago. A tight encounter is expected at Pearse Park, with St Loman’s relying on county stars John Heslin and Paul Sharry to get them over the line. However with Rian Brady and the McGivneys currently in such good form, Mullinalaghta will fancy reaching the semi-finals for the second year on the trot.

 

Starlights (Wexford) v Simonstown Gaels (Meath)

Simonstown are strong favourites after winning a second Meath title in a row. Conor Nash, he of AFL fame, has returned to Australia so he can no longer help drive their middle-eight. But with Shane O’Rourke, 37-year-old Seamus Kenny, Padraig McKeever and Conor Sheridan, there’s a wealth of class in the side. Starlights denied St Martin’s an amazing Wexford hurling-football double in the county final, and won’t be going along to make up the numbers. Model County full-back Liam Ryan runs the show at midfield, while centre-forward Nick Doyle and Darragh Pepper in the corner bring a huge threat. With pace all over the team, and really attacking half-backs, Starlights could cause an upset. Though with Meath clubs winning just one game in the AIB Leinster club SFC across the last six years, and no title in 15 years, it might not be seen as such.

 

Portlaoise (Laois) v Moorefield (Kildare)

Zach Tuohy isn't part of the Portaloise push this year as he chases glory with Ireland in the Rules  clash with Australia. But the O'Moore champions don't lack quality with Brian 'Bruno' McCormack still in form after winning a record 13th Laois county title. Ex-Celtic star Paul Cahillane is playing well, while former pro golfer Gareth Dillon is the 2017 Laois Footballer of the Year. Port' hammered Ballylinan in the county final, and beat Rhode by three points after doing the damage in the first half. They’re up against a Moorefield side that overcame Celbridge 0-11 to 0-09 in the Kildare decider, despite being down to 13 men after 21 minutes. Captain and former Lilywhites midfielder Daryl Flynn was shown a straight red before half-forward David Whyte was also dismissed. The sons of former Kerry manager Jack O’Connor, Eanna and Cian, both played their part in this year’s success and have been an integral part of the Moorefield setup since joining the club from St Michael’s Foilmore in 2014. Moorefield last won Leinster in 2006, while Portlaoise haven't done so since 2009.

 

 

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Starlights (Wexford) v Simonstown Gaels (Meath)

Simonstown are strong favourites after winning a second Meath title in a row. Conor Nash, he of AFL fame, has returned to Australia so he can no longer help drive their middle-eight. But with Shane O’Rourke, 37-year-old Seamus Kenny, Padraig McKeever and Conor Sheridan, there’s a wealth of class in the side. Starlights denied St Martin’s an amazing Wexford hurling-football double in the county final, and won’t be going along to make up the numbers. Model County full-back Liam Ryan runs the show at midfield, while centre-forward Nick Doyle and Darragh Pepper in the corner bring a huge threat. With pace all over the team, and really attacking half-backs, Starlights could cause an upset. Though with Meath clubs winning just one game in the AIB Leinster club SFC across the last six years, and no title in 15 years, it might not be seen as such.

 

Munster Camogie Senior Final

Burgess/Duharra (Tipperary) v Inagh/Kilnamona (Clare)

Inagh/Kilnamona's Munster semi-final win was a little bit overshadowed by factors outside their control. Inniscarra had just won a second Cork championship in a row but their meeting with the Banner side was a fourth outing inside a gruelling eight days. Back with the stuff on the field, this will be a first ever provincinal final for Inagh/Kilnamona, and will be led out by Siobhan Lafferty. Burgess/Duharra were crowned Munster champions one year ago and will be eager to get back to an All-Ireland semi-final, and atone for that agonising defeat to Slaughtneil. The Tipp side are in great form after winning the All Ireland Camogie 7s. Jenny Grace, Caoimhe Maher, Ciara McKeogh and Tara Kennedy all come into the game in top form.

 

Munster Camogie Intermediate Final

Newcestown (Cork) v Lismore (Waterford)

A trip to Tipp for the clash of the Cork and Waterford champions. Lismore saw off Silvermines of the Premier County by 4-06 to 1-10 to get to this stage, and that after seeing off Gaultier in the Deise final. Caithriona McGlone and Aoife Hannon are the stars turn in the Lismore attack. Newcestown needed a stirring second-half comeback in their county final win over West Cork rivals Enniskeane, who had led by 3-3 to 0-6. Colette Desmond and Colleen Twomey will again provide the threat.

 

 

Saturday 11 November

Ulster club SFC semi-final

Slaughtneil (Derry) v Kilcar (Donegal), Healy Park, 6.30pm

 

AIB Leinster Club Intermediate Football Semi Final

Kilanerin (Wexford) v  St Marys Rochfortbridge (Westmeath), Pairc Ui Suiochan Gorey, 2pm

 

AIB Leinster Club Intermediate Football Quarter-Final Replay

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

 

AIB Leinster Club Junior Hurling Final

St Mogues Fethard (Wexford) v  John Lockes (Kilkenny), Wexford Park, 12pm

 

Munster Camogie Senior Final

Burgess/Duharra (Tipperary) v Inagh/Kilnamona (Clare), Gaelic Grounds, 2pm

 

Munster Camogie Intermediate Final

Newcestown (Cork) v Lismore (Waterford), Cahir, 2pm

 

 

Sunday 12 November

Connacht club SFC semi-finals

Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) v Tourlestrane (Sligo), MacHale Park, 2pm

Corofin (Galway) v St Brigid's (Roscommon), Galway venue, TBC

 

Leinster club SFC quarter-finals

Rathnew (Wicklow) v St Vincent's (Dublin), Aughrim, 2pm

Portlaoise (Laois) v Moorefield (Kildare), O'Moore Park, 2pm

Mullinalaghta (Longford) v St Loman's (Westmeath), Pearse Park, 2pm

Starlights (Wexford) v Simonstown Gaels (Meath), Innovate Wexford Park, 2pm

 

Munster club SFC semi-finals

Dr Crokes (Kerry) v Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare), Dr Crokes GAA, 2pm

Nemo Rangers (Cork) v Adare (Limerick), Mallow, 2.45pm

 

AIB Munster Club IFC Semi-Final

St Senans (Limerick) v Kilmihil (Clare), Newcastlewest, 2pm

 

AIB Munster Club JHC Semi-Final

Ardmore (Waterford) v Boydke (Clare), WIT Carriganore, 2pm

 

Ulster club SFC semi-final

Derrygonnelly (Fermanagh) v Cavan Gaels (Cavan), Clones, 2pm

 

Ulster Club Junior Football Championship Semi Final

Belnaleck Art McMurroughs v Doire Trasna, Clones, 12:45pm

Naomh Colmcille v Tattyreagh St Patrick’s, Celtic Park, 2:30pm

 

Ulster Club Intermediate Football Championship Semi Final

Moy Tír na nÓg v Sean O'Leary GAC Newbridge, Athletic Grounds, 12:45pm

Milford v Rostrevor, Athletic Grounds, 2:30pm

 

AIB All-Ireland Junior Camogie Championship Semi-Finals

Athleague (Roscommon) v Clanmaurice (Kerry), Newmarket-on-Fergus GAA, 2pm

Crosserlough (Cavan) v Kilmessan (Meath), Coralstown/Kinnegad, 2pm

 

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