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Calling the shots

 

By Declan Bogue

Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup Semi-final

DONEGAL v ARMAGH

(Today, Ballybofey, 6.00pm)

There is little enough glory that goes into winning a Dr McKenna Cup for managers, as much as players wish to win, as pointed out by Diarmuid Marsden elsewhere on these pages.

If it means risking any players, then it will simply not be tolerated by Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney, given his long injury list at the present time.

Donegal may have more impetus, with Declan Bonner setting about trimming his panel for the National League.

The game will be subject to a pitch inspection this morning at 9.30am. If Ballybofey is unplayable it will be moved to the Athletic Grounds. Check social media for updates.

VERDICT: Donegal

ALL-IRELAND INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL SEMI FINAL

MOY v AN GHAELTACHT

(Tomorrow, Portlaoise, 2.00pm)

Uncharted territory for the Moy, who know that given the age profile of their squad the fact they will be moving up to the senior ranks from next year, know that this chance may not come around again as long as they have the Cavanagh brothers Sean and Colm as leading lights.

The problem for them is that this An Ghaeltacht squad is probably better than their status of an Intermediate club, by any stretch of the imagination.

Powered by Marc ÓSé as one generation on the pitch, Dara ÓCinneide on the sideline as a selector, the backbone of their team have won Hogan Cups under the tutelage of current Kerry coach Eamonn Fitzmaurice.

VERDICT: An Ghaeltacht

ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR FOOTBALL SEMI FINAL

NAOMH COLMCILLE v KNOCKNAGREE

(Today, Mullingar, 2.00pm)

Anything Ryan McKinley’s men have done this year, they have done it the hard way.

Their Ulster final win over Belnaleck took a huge second half effort but they eventually got over the line, and it was something similar in the All- Ireland quarter-final win over Dunedin Connollys of Edinburgh.

Knocknagree’s last outing was a win over Dromid Pearses in the Munster final of December 3. The standard of Munster teams this year would indicate the Corkonians are ready to make the next step.

VERDICT: Knocknagree

ALL-IRELAND INTERMEDIATE HURLING SEMI FINAL

MIDDLETOWN v KANTURK

(Tomorrow, Newbridge, 2.00pm)

Middletown have been here before, reaching an All-Ireland final where they came up against Mount Leinster Rangers of Carlow who then later went on to reach an All-Ireland senior final themselves.

Anthony Nash features for Kanturk and the Corkmen are favourites.

VERDICT: Kanturk

ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR HURLING SEMI FINAL

SETANTA v ARDMORE

(Tomorrow, Navan, 2.00pm)

Seamus Prendergast, the driving force of Waterford hurling, is the most high-profile Ardmore player, and they come up against Setanta of Killygordon, Donegal.

Ardmore will have too much quality for Paul Campbell’s men here, who will need free-taker Kevin Campbell at the very peak of his powers to force a shock result in Navan.

VERDICT: Ardmore

ULSTER U-21 CLUB FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

GAOTH DOBHAIR v DONAGHMOYNE

(Tomorrow, Creggan, 2.00pm)

Donaghmoyne arrive at this competition as total dark horses with little known about the south Monaghan club.

They will look to David Garland to lead the attack, having made his inter-county debut in recent weeks with Monaghan.

However, as strong as Gaoth Dobhair were in their facile win last weekend over Antrim’s O’Donovan Rossa, injury returnees are set to make them even stronger.

VERDICT: Gaoth Dobhair

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