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Calling the shots

 

Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

ALL-IRELAND CAMOGIE SENIOR CLUB FINAL

SLAUGHTNEIL v ST MARTIN’S

(Tomorrow, Croke Park, 3.30pm)

St Martin’s are loaded with county experience and have one of the most recognisable players in the sport in goalkeeper Mags D’arcy, but the sheer effort and input Slaughtneil have put into themselves over this past year means only one winner is likely. 

If the Derry girls can mine enough scores, it needn’t be a nervy finish.

VERDICT: Slaughtneil

ALL-IRELAND CAMOGIE

INTERMEDIATE CLUB FINAL

CLONDUFF v GAILLTÍR

(Tomorrow, Croke Park, 1.30pm)

Clonduff are stuffed with plenty of experience in the likes of Paula O’Hagan and Carr sisters Fionnuala and Sarah-Louise. They also have significant Croke Park experience and have been to this stage before a few years ago.

Gailltír’s story is not one without its own romance given where they have come from. 

VERDICT: Clonduff

NFL DIVISION ONE

TYRONE v CAVAN

(Today, Healy Park, 7.00pm)

There is possibly a lot less between these two than their traditional relationship would indicate.

Tyrone are breathing a little more easily after their win over Monaghan, but their difficulties remain.

They still need a point of reference at the head of their attack and must be impatient for the return of Connor McAliskey to full fitness. 

VERDICT: Cavan

KERRY v MONAGHAN

(Tomorrow, Fitzgerald Stadium, 3.00pm)

Top plays bottom as Malachy O’Rourke’s men threaten to go down to Division Two for the first time since winning promotion to the top flight in 2014.

It was all looking so different a few weeks ago, but there is the impression of a staleness creeping in and a long journey down to Kerry, who have a 100% record so far under new boss Peter Keane, will hardly help.  

VERDICT: Kerry

NFL DIVISION TWO

DONEGAL v ARMAGH

(Today, Balybofey, 7.15pm)

Whoever wins this will be right back into the promotion race, while the losers will almost certainly be spending 2020 in Division Two and could have a nervous glance over their shoulders at Division Three.

Armagh, who were in many observers’ considerations for promotion off the back of a positive Dr McKenna Cup campaign, just do not look likely to prevail. With manager Kieran McGeeney serving yet another sideline ban, they will be up against it in a venue that Donegal guard jealously.

VERDICT: Donegal

FERMANAGH v CLARE

(Tomorrow, Brewster Park, 2pm)

Win this game and Fermanagh would leave themselves in with a marvellous chance of winning promotion to the top flight (they spent time in Division 1B when the leagues were in that format) for the first time in their history.

Playing a very deliberate style, they have confounded all expectations and have established a strong home record under Rory Gallagher.

VERDICT: Fermanagh

NFL DIVISION THREE

DOWN v OFFALY

(Today, Pairc Esler, 7pm)

A regular fan at Down home games noted recently how the crowd in Newry have really started to get behind their team in this campaign. Manager Paddy Tally’s pragmatism hardly strikes a chord with the traditional Down fan, but maybe they have seen enough naivety to do them for now.

Opponents Offaly are in a mess, their best forward walking off the panel this week after a disagreement with manager John Maughan.

VERDICT: Down

NFL DIVISION FOUR

WATERFORD v ANTRIM

(Today, WIT Arena, 12.30pm)

After losing their three opening games by small margins, Antrim’s footballers finally got their first win of the season by beating London last weekend.

Waterford were marooned at the bottom of the league before facing the wretched Wexford last weekend and planting 5-4 past them for a rare win.

It’s a long journey, and a terrible throw-in time, but the Saffrons should make good on the points. 

VERDICT: Antrim

LIMERICK v DERRY

(Today, Gaelic Grounds, 1pm)

After two opening wins, Limerick’s season has stalled badly and the last time out they fell to their second successive defeat at home to Leitrim.

Derry are making heavy weather of some of their opponents but those who watch a fair bit of Division Four football can confirm that it is a slog from start to finish and the only thing is to escape it. 

VERDICT: Derry

NHL DIVISION 2A

ANTRIM v LONDON

(Tomorrow, Corrigan Park, 1pm)

With all the Cushendall hurlers and those involved with Jordanstown’s Ryan Cup bid back, Saffrons manager Neal Peden has his strongest hand to play all season. The great pity is that the league season is all but over with defeats at home to fellow promotion chasers Westmeath and Kerry. London are on no points from three games so far, so Antrim should be targeting their scoring difference in the hope of a chink of light in the promotion race.

VERDICT: Antrim

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