Seamus Duke’s Weekend Previews
Hodson Bay Hotel Group SFC Play-Off
St. Brigid’s v Western Gaels on Sunday in Dr. Hyde Park at 2.30 pm
What a match this promises to be with so many sub-plots lurking beneath the surface, not least Frankie Dolan coaching the Gaels against the club with which he won so much over his glittering career.
Brigid’s were very poor in their opening game against Elphin and while they improved slightly against Fuerty in round two, they were lucky to get a draw. But last Saturday evening they certainly found their shooting boots and ran riot against St. Croan’s.
It’s a Brigid’s team in transition but they can still call on the likes of Niall McInerney, Ronan Stack, Ian Kilbride, Padraig Kelly, Gearoid Cunniffe and Brian Stack. I am also reliably informed that Senan Kilbride could make a surprise return this weekend after his recent illness. That would be very welcome and would be a massive boost for the Kiltoom club.
Western Gaels have played well in the championship this year and were involved in the game of the championship so far against Boyle last Sunday. They have an impressive attacking unit led by Cathal Cregg, Niall Higgins and Finbar Cregg who are in great form, while further back Seanie McDermott, Ciaran Cafferky, Aidan Dowd and Kevin Higgins have been playing well.
This could well be another very close game. On the basis that Western Gaels have played well in all their games against the likes of Pearses, Boyle and St. Faithleach’s and put up big scores too, they look to have enough to account for a Brigid’s team who are certainly in transition. It remains to be seen if that high-scoring performance last weekend from Ger Ahearne’s men can be trusted in terms of form.
Prediction: Western Gaels
Mulryan Construction Services IFC Relegation Play-Off
St. Aidan’s v St. Barry’s on Sunday in Knockcroghery at 2 pm
There won’t be much between these two either. Both sides have struggled for form this year. St. Aidan’s’ draw against St. Dominic’s looks to be the best performance that we have seen from either side thus far. On that basis I am giving them a very hesitant nod to win narrowly. The losers will play Kilglass Gaels.
Prediction: St. Aidan’s
Mulryan Construction Services IFC Play-Off
Kilmore v Shannon Gaels on Sunday in Elphin at 2 pm
What a game this promises to be between two clubs who are not alone neighbours but who are amalgamated at under-age level also. You can make a case for both sides and Shannon Gaels are capable of putting up a big score. But Kilmore look the more consistent side. It might take extra-time to separate them though.
Hodson Bay Hotel Group SFC Relegation Play-Off
Clann na nGael v St. Croan’s on Sunday at 4.15 pm in Dr. Hyde Park
Clann displayed plenty of spirit against Pearses last Sunday after their implosion against Boyle. If they can do that again here they should be able to account for a Croan’s side who admittedly scored 4-7 against St. Brigid’s last Saturday but who were losing 1-16 to 0-2 at half-time. It would be a major shock if Clann were to come unstuck here. St. Faithleach’s will play the losers.
Prediction: Clann na nGael