12:30 p.m., JFA
Derry vs. Kerry
Another great Junior A Football match up to start the Gaelic Park Sunday. Derry are riding high after their victorious showdown against St. Barnabas, while Kerry continued theirs Thursday at Fermanagh’s expense.
John Fogarty, Tim Foley, Pat O’Driscoll and Barry Kavanagh lead a strong defense. Kerry have a number of contributors up front, with Miley O’Connell and Barry Clifford showing good form.
Anthony Power and Gary Rock lead the Derry strike force, Ruari O’Neill wins a lot of possession at midfield, and the solid back six is anchored by Mike Conway and Kevin Heaney. This should be an exciting toss up.
2 p.m., Senior Hurling
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Limerick vs. Connecticut
Two defending champions meet in Sunday’s Senior Hurling pairing when last year’s promoted Junior title winners Connecticut State take on the reigning kingpins of the New York division, Limerick. Limerick are led by Tom and Dave Simms, goalkeeper Finbar Flood, Donal Fitzgibbons, and Callaghan McCarthy, among others. Limerick dropped their opener back in April, but have since gotten back on track.
Connecticut opened with a big victory against Clare and gave Tipperary a close run recently. Phil Wickham, Richie Purcell and Fintan O’Shea lead a determined defense. Hennessey is strong in the middle. Fergus Flynn led Connecticut’s scorers versus Tipp along with center back Declan Ryan’s 0-3 contribution. Connecticut will need more scoring from the forwards, so I think Limerick will take the points.
3:30 p.m., SFA
Leitrim vs. Tyrone
Leitrim are cruising atop the Senior Football division after their recent thriller versus Rangers. Their rugged back line is led by Jim Donoghue, Keith Murray and Pa Murphy. Their huge midfield of Larry Keenan and Ken O’Connor win a lot of balls, although Keenan may face suspension after his ejection versus Rangers. Their forwards are led by the dynamic Alan McFadden and sharp shooting full forward Tommy Gee.
Tyrone stumbled against Kerry after an impressive opening win over Donegal. Tyrone are a tough, fit side that won’t back down from Leitrim. Phil Sloan and Collie Fearon and Kieran Doyle do the job at the backs. If Jody Gormley is available, he can turn the tide in the middle of the park. Up front Noel McPartland makes it happen for Tyrone and he will have to do the job versus Leitrim. Leitrim may be too well balanced.
5 p.m., SFB
Cork vs. Sligo
Sligo are a bit of a mystery at this point in the season. Sligo’s first match was against a depleted Longford side, who eventually disbanded and Sligo won easily. They have some good young players and will be interesting to see what they can do.
Cork have had a rough go of it so far in ’02, but maybe this is the week that they turn it around.