By Mike Fitzpatrick
Jr. Football Div. A
Rockland vs. Down
The opening tie at Gaelic Park this Sunday features two sides who have endured varying degrees of success this season. Rockland have won three of
their five games so must surely be favorites for this tie. Down, following a shaky start to the campaign, have won two and lost three.
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Down’s last outing at the park saw them put up a fine victorious display versus Westput, which put them in good stead for a playoff spot, and left the lads from Westput hoping for a Rockland win. Down simply must win to avoid any late season playoff game to make the latter stages of the season. Grab two points here, and Down are in. Lose the game, and it gets a little more confusing, leaving them on equal points with Westput. Rockland have already qualified, so Down may hope that their rivals appetite for the game does not exceed their own. Damian Gormley, Marty McGivern and Martin Middleton have all had fine seasons for the Ulster club, and if they perform to the best of their abilities, we could well see a somewhat surprising result.
I feel that Down will attack from the off, and their hunger for a berth among the final four will see them through. Rockland, as usual, will prove to be no pushovers, and down must carefully watch the Rockland forward line carefully.
Jr. Hurling Semifinal
Connecticut vs. Galway
Sr. Football Div. 2 Final
Kerry vs. Sligo
Bosco Walsh’s Sligo side will enter this tie versus Paddy Kearney’s Kerry team fully aware of what they are up against. Kearney’s princes from the Kingdom have proved themselves time and again this season that they have the talent to succeed not only in this division, but perhaps in next year’s Div. I race too. Sligo will enter the fray as underdogs despite having defeated Kerry a couple of weeks back at the park. On that occasion, many observers felt, perhaps unfairly, that Kerry did not give their absolute all in a tie, which meant less to them as they had already qualified for the playoffs.
No side likes to lose, however, and Kerry will surely be out to prove that on Sunday. Possessing such determined stars as Bingo O’Driscoll, Darren Reddy, Willie O’Donnell, Kieran Cull and Dave McCarthy in their side, Kerry certainly have what it takes to go a long way this season.
Sligo, on the other hand, contain the considerable scoring talents of New York player Enda Henry, Noel Fitzgerald, and Stephen and Conor Healy among their ranks. A tie which has all the potential to be one of the games of the season. Sligo will be out to prove the doubters wrong, whereas Kerry must avoid any complacency. Though having already been beaten by Sligo this season, surely they won’t fall for any traps such as that. It should certainly be a fascinating game, though I feel that despite the certain presence of a number of home-based footballers over for the occasion, Kerry will emerge triumphant in what will be a thoroughly exciting affair.
Under 21 Final
St. Barnabas vs. Rangers