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All Ireland quarter-finals group two: Calling the shots

 

By Declan Bogue

ALL-IRELAND QUARTER-FINALS GROUP TWO

ROSCOMMON v DONEGAL

(Today, Dr Hyde Park, 5pm)

This should be a routine win for Donegal against a side that are suffering a crisis of confidence having fallen by such a huge margin against Tyrone.

VERDICT: Donegal

ALL-IRELAND QUARTER-FINALS GROUP TWO

TYRONE v DUBLIN

(Tonight, Healy Park, 7pm)

It’s finally here. The most keenly anticipated fixture of the Super 8s has Dublin coming to Omagh. Although the hype and the fuss has been something to behold, there is nothing we can base an argument on for a Tyrone win.

The match-ups look as if Tyrone are plugging too many gaps and they simply do not have a midfield to cope with the running power of Brian Fenton and Michael Darragh Macauley.

In the league fixture here in February, Dublin made certain alterations in-game by introducing two sweepers to win comfortably. It is difficult to imagine Tyrone not livening affairs up a bit, but the result should still be the same.

VERDICT: Dublin

ALL-IRELAND QUARTER-FINALS GROUP ONE

KILDARE v GALWAY

(Tomorrow, Newbridge, 2pm)

Just how much of Kildare’s momentum was punctured by defeat to Monaghan last week is unclear, but this is one group where it appears all sides could end up level on points.

Galway have had a fantastic year to date and will need to be wary of the Kildare running power, but they should be alright in the end.

VERDICT: Galway

ALL-IRELAND QUARTER-FINALS GROUP ONE

MONAGHAN v KERRY

(Tomorrow, Clones, 4pm)

Should Monaghan pull off what many are not expecting, then it would seem that they could quite possibly end not only Kerry’s involvement in the All-Ireland series, but Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s term as manager.

Kerry’s loss to Galway has seen knives being sharpened in the Kingdom, but Fitzmaurice is still a man to have in a tight corner. He should unleash Kieran Donaghy on the Monaghan defence here and get more out of the glittering array of talent he has in the forward line.

However, Monaghan seem to have their number over the last number of years and while they were workmanlike in getting over Kildare last week, this is the time to be ultra-efficient.

VERDICT: Monaghan

LADIES ALL-IRELAND

GROUP 1

DONEGAL v TIPPERARY

(Today, Castlerea, 2pm)

Managed by former senior team selector Maxi Curran, Donegal ladies have been motoring well, including a handsome win over Armagh five weeks ago. Tipperary have been competitive since coming up from Intermediate, but Donegal should have too much here.

VERDICT: Donegal

GROUP 4

CAVAN v DUBLIN

(Today, Lannleire, 2pm)

Despite facing a Mayo side that had a dozen withdrawals last weekend, Cavan still could not manage to defeat them.

It would seem a stretch to imagine that they can take care of Mick Boland’s All-Ireland defending Jackeens here.

VERDICT: Dublin

GROUP 2

CORK v MONAGHAN

(Today, Birr, 3pm)

Monaghan had their chances to take care of Armagh last week, and had to rely on a last minute free sent wide by Caroline O’Hanlon to draw the game.

Cork are perennial All-Ireland contenders and it would seem that in Sinead Noonan they have another ready-made star as she registered 2-2 in the Munster final against Kerry.

The Rebelettes will be looking to regain their place as the elite team in this code.

VERDICT: Cork

GROUP 2

DOWN v WEXFORD

(Tomorrow, St Margaret’s, 2pm)

Through the last number of years, Wexford have been a good barometer of progression for this Down side.

Wexford finished top of Division Three last year when Down ended up third, but the Mourne girls now have Carryduff dual player Jessica Foy to call upon.

However, Wexford have serious ambitions at this level and will not be stopped.

VERDICT: Wexford

INTERMEDIATE CAMOGIE GROUP 2

ANTRIM v KILDARE

(Tonight, Randalstown, 7pm)

AFTER losing their opening day fixture to Galway, Antrim were flung into a managerial mess, one that has become all too familiar to them in ladies’ football and camogie, when Joe Baldwin stepped down as manager.

However, Kildare have been struggling in the field with recent heavy defeats to Galway and Kilkenny and there is a chance the Saffrons can get something out of this.

It should be an intriguing contest.

VERDICT: Antrim

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