League openers: Who will be first out of the blocks in 2008?

Previews by Seamus Duke  O’Rourke Cup Saturday Kilmore v St. Aidans at 4.15 pm The results of a lot of these games will depend on who is availabe to line out for each team. Kilmore are very hard to beat on their own patch and I take them to edge out Aidans in this opening senior football league game of the year. Prediction: Kilmore.  Sunday St. Brigids v Western Gaels at 11 am An early start for these two talented teams. Brigids will not be taking things too seriously as of yet and they might get caught against an improving Western Gaels outfit. However Brigids have a huge panel and if they get anything close to a full muster they should shade the outcome.  Prediction: St.  Brigids.  Padraig Pearses v  Elphin at 2.30 pm These two teams have flattered to deceive over the past two years but both clubs have very talented players. Elphin were disappointed at how they performed last year but then so were Pearses. When in doubt, go for the home team, especially this early in the year. Prediction: Pearses.  St. Barrys v St.  Faithleachs at 2.30 pm A local derby that will be well contested and a contender for the match of the day. Barry’s will not be easily beaten but if Faithleachs get all their first choice players on the field they should be good enough to win and ensure the local bragging rights for another couple of months! Prediction:  St. Faithleachs.  Roscommon Gaels v Kilbride at 2.30 pm Another local derby. Kilbride will be hoping to put a disastrous 2007 behind them and a win over their old and local rivals would be the perfect way to start the year. The Gaels have very little work done so far so they could be vulnerable. I know I will be accused of being biased but the Gaels should be good enough to win – narrowly. Prediction:  Roscommon Gaels.  Castlerea v  Strokestown at 2.30 pm Another contender for match of the day. Castlerea will be determined to improve on last year’s showing and they have a very talented team on paper. Strokestown are great battlers but I fancy Castlerea to start with a win.  Prediction:  Castlerea.  O’Gara Cup  Saturday St. Brigids v St. Ronans at 7 pm Ronans should be good enough against St. Brigids’ second string.  Prediction: St.  Ronans.  Clann na nGael B v Shannon Gaels at 4.30 pm A long journey for Shannon Gaels but they should be too good for Clann’s second fifteen. Prediction: Clann na nGael.  Tulsk v Creggs at  4.30 pm This could be a very close game but Creggs are usually slow to get started every season while Tulsk will be hoping to do well this year. Prediction:Tulsk.  St. Croans v St. Michaels at 4.30 pm Game of the weekend in the O’Gara Cup. Croans should edge it but if they field a weak team, Michaels will take full advantage. Prediction: St. Croans.   Sunday Michael Glaveys v St. Dominics at 2 pm A repeat of last year’s Intermediate Football final. Dominics will be desperate to hold on to their senior status this year while Glaveys will want to get into the senior ranks. I think that Glaveys, with home advantage, will win it. Prediction: Michael Glaveys.  Eire Og v Clann na nGael A at 2.30 pm A baptism of fire for Clann’s A team in the O’Gara Cup. They will be very competitive but Eire Og look too strong in this game and home advantage should count. Tight game in prospect. Prediction: Eire Og.