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N.Y. GAA Previews Limerick, Offaly serve up championship hurling

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Junior Football Division A

Donegal vs. Rangers.

12.30 p.m.

These are two sides disappointed to have been forced to remain another season in the junior ranks. Last year, Denis Tuomey’s Rangers surprised quite a few of the regulars at Gaelic Park with their exciting brand of football. Becoming one of the first teams of either code to qualify for their respective playoffs, Rangers eventually lost out to Rockland.

Rangers have been the nearly men of junior football for a few years, and I feel they’ll go out to prove a few points versus Donegal on Sunday. Donegal’s side has changed quite a bit since they annexed this crown a few years ago, but you can be sure that manager Lawrence McGrath will do his best to clinch another crown.

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Senior Hurling

Limerick vs. Offaly

2 p.m.

The first hurling championship game comes to us this Sunday with Offaly coming up against 1988 champions Limerick.

Limerick relinquished their crown to Tipperary in what was a disappointing season for them last season, and will obviously be out to grab the points here. Sean Guinan’s side had a hugely disappointing last season, finishing bottom in the division, though if Sean Guinan and his Offaly selectors have, as is rumored, found a couple of new players, then they’ll certainly fare better than they did in the corresponding tie last year.

Limerick, is still considered amongst the top dogs in New York hurling, and I fancy them to grab the first of their season’s points here.

Senior Football Division 1

Sligo vs Stamford

3:30 p.m.

Perennial dark horses Stamford become the first side to entertain Sligo as a Division I side.

Sligo, promoted from the lower division last year, will obviously need at least a point to prove to themselves, and indeed their support, that they have what it takes to remain in this division. Having done very well throughout last year in the regular season, indeed finishing top, they lost out in the playoffs versus Paddy Kearney’s Kingdom side.

I feel Stamford has a lot to prove this year; they are tipped for greatness each season, but so far, have failed to reach the heights they so often suggest.

Sligo will certainly be out to grab at least a point, and if they can catch Stamford off guard, they could swing something. The Connecticut side though, if they stick to their guns and go out and play as if it was the championship final, should pull through.

Senior Football

Leitrim vs. Westmeath

5 p.m.

It’s difficult to say who enters this game at more of an advantage. Westmeath have already performed at the park, but then again, that particular experience was not a good one as they were well beaten by Cavan.

It’s difficult to predict how Leitrim will get on this year, having lost such a vital defensive lynchpin as Neville Dunne who has left the United States, and with Kieran Traynor having joined Celtics, their side will certainly have something of a new look.

Leitrim, having won the 1998 championship, fared poorly by their standards last year, and will be hoping to get back amongst the honorees this year. If Westmeath can take advantage of the upheavals in the Leitrim camp, they could come through, but I reckon Frank Brady’s men will grab the points.

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