By Mike Fitzpatrick
Senior Hurling Final
Tipperary vs Limerick
The two giants of New York hurling come face to face in a mouthwatering tie at Gaelic Park on Sunday.
Having brushed aside the likes of Offaly, Waterford, Clare, Westmeath and Kilkenny, the two top dogs will slug it out in an effort to crown themselves as the last senior hurling champions of the millennium.
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Both sides have proven themselves time and time again this year against quality opposition, and each side has an abundance of skill, talent and excitement oozing through their ranks.
In Dave Sims, Limerick have a forward capable of turning a game in an instant. Tipperary have their own lethal marksman in Kevin Kennedy, and given even an inch of space, here’s a player who is capable of punishing any hurling side.
Earlier in the season, these two sides fought out a thrilling high-scoring draw, when either side could really have clinched victory. It’s the final matchup that perhaps everyone predicted, and two high profile clubs such as these should give the crowd at Gaelic Park a hurling contest to remember.
Donegal vs Kerry
Senior Football Championship
It was always likely that Donegal would reach the football finals such is the depth of talent at their disposal.
Defeating Leitrim last week by such a colossal score Donegal probably displayed one of their more polished and all round complete performances of the season. With the likes of Edmund Cleary, Tadhg Donovan, Raymie Kane and Gerry Kelly on the bench, here was a side with an unbelievable amount of top notch footballers amongst their ranks. Expect to see a number of inter county stars over for the Ulster side, though with the players of the calibre of Stephen Cassidy, Gary Dowd, Owen Cummins, Donal Breslin, Dave McSweeney and Eunan Doherty in their side, one may wonder whether Donegal even need any high profile imports.
Paddy Kearney has done a magnificent job in moulding this young Kerry side into potential champions. Winning the second division title at a canter, losing only their final game versus Sligo when they had already qualified for the playoffs, Kerry have surprised many at Gaelic Park this year. Defeating high flying Tyrone in the quarter finals, and pulling off a major shock last week when they inflicted a heavy defeat upon much fancied Stamford, Kearney’s boys are out to prove something this year.
In Robbie Dowd, they have a splendid goalkeeper capable of pulling off phenomenal saves on big occasions, a backline including the talented trio Paul Gallivan, Paul Dillon and Louis Holland, the quick Paddy O’Connor and Willie O’Donnell in the middle of the park, and forwards such as Dave McCarthy, Bingo Driscoll, John Crowley and John Sexton, and it’s no wonder that they have upset the form book by reaching the final.
A potentially fantastic game of football between two sides representing north and south, with their own inimitable styles of football awaits us.