Category: Archive

GAA Previews: Two senior semis to be decided

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Minor Football Game

12.30 p.m.

Senior Football Semi Final

Stamford vs Kerry

2 p.m.

Two of the best supported sides in New York come face to face in a semifinal matchup that should really not be missed.

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Kerry have surprised a lot of people this year, not only by winning the second division championship, but by defeating a strong Tyrone side a couple of weeks ago at Gaelic Park.

Kerry have proved their worth in this year’s championship, particularly in the Tyrone match where they adjusted their style of play to overcome the physical threat of the Ulster side. Throughout their side they have an excellent mix of youth and experience, from the dependable Robbie Dowd in goal to the likes of Paddy O’Connor, Willie O’ Donnell, Bingo Driscoll and Darren Reddy up front.

Paddy Kearney has blended this side into one which, with a little luck, could surprise everybody and go the distance this year. It says a lot for the side when you notice the New York panel now includes Dowd, O’Donnell, Driscoll and O’Connor.

Stamford are a side which has come close in recent years, and their fanatical support always brings an air of excitement to Gaelic Park. They defeated Westmeath in their last outing at the Park, and if the star of that game, Paul Clancy, is available for selection, the Kingdom’s backline will have to be on their toes throughout. Mike Martin has been playing well recently, and if he along with the likes of Richie Purcell, Keith Hennessy, Ted Steede and Justin O’Halloran are on form, it should be a fantastic tie.

Donegal vs Leitrim

3.30 p.m.

Frank Brady’s team has reached the semifinals despite not always playing to it’s full potential.

Thrashing Cork, and pulling off some important victories over the likes of Westmeath and Monaghan, along with a draw with Stamford and a quarterfinal victory over Sligo, Leitrim have come good at exactly the right time. Possessing the hugely talented forward Alan McFadden up front, and players of the calibre of Cookie Meehan, John and Jim Donaghue, Sean Jones, Neville Dunne, Mike Brosnan and Malachy McHugh, they thoroughly deserve their place in the final four. Attempting to win yet another championship, the "Team of the Nineties" must go in to this tie with all guns blazing if they are to reach another final versus this strong Donegal side.

The Ulster men, under the guidance of Lawrence McGrath and Paul Timoney, haven’t played in a while, so they may be a little rusty coming into this tie. Their last game was the hard fought victory over their provincial rivals Tyrone, where they clinched their semi final place.

Donegal have a number of potential match winners in their lineup. Forwards such as Tadhg Donovan, Edmund Cleary, Kieran Keaveney and Stephen Cassidy have all been chipping in with vital contributions and, in midfielder, Gary Dowd, is a player who will surely rise to the occasion.

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