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Calling the shots: Down Senior Football Championship

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Gerry Quinlan

Gerry Quinlan

Gerry Quinlan

Our Gaelic Games corrospondent, Declan Bogue, shares his views on all the latest matches. Burren St Mary's v Kilcoo Eoghan Ruadh (Sunday, Pairc Esler Newry, 4pm)

Since his involvement with Kilcoo, manager Jim McCorry has made three county finals in five years, winning all three. They also beat Burren in last year's final, so there will be no lack of context for this encounter.

Probably for that record alone, and not to mention their dethroning of Crossmaglen Rangers in last year's Ulster club series, Kilcoo are favourites in most people's eyes. However, Burren have shown how resilient they are with an impressive win over Longstone in the knock-out stages after succumbing to them in the group section.

Kilcoo will look to release the pace of Jerome and Ryan Johnston in attack, while the ever-inventive Conor Laverty will once again be a handful.

Nobody can say for sure what, if any, effect McCorry's appointment as the new Down manager has had on the group and a ready-made example is available in how obtaining a county job did not prevent Mickey Harte from winning the Ulster club with Errigal Ciaran in 2002.

Burren on the other hand are driven by the power of Kevin McKernan, captain Eamon Toner and the scoring potency of Donal O'Hare.

VERDICT: Kilcoo

Fermanagh Senior Football Championship final

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Teemore Shamrocks v Roslea Shamrocks

Sunday, Brewster Park, 3.30pm

County champions three times in the last four seasons, many were expecting Roslea to go through a period of instability after their legendary clubman Peter McGinnity stepped down from the manager's job at the end of last season.

Instead, Mark Harte and Aidan O'Donnell of Errigal Ciaran have come in and you cannot see the join. They have not re-invented the wheel but when it consists of the elegant James Sherry acting as a supply line for the outrageously-gifted Quigley brothers, Sean and Seamus, they didn't have to.

In the semi-final, St Joseph's placed Marty McGrath on Seamus to good effect, but that robbed them of a presence in midfield.

It would seem certain that two-time All-Star Barry Owens will go to midfield to frustrate Sherry. If he and Declan Reilly can gain a foothold in this area and supply the forward ranks of Gerry Quinlan and Declan Fitzpatrick, they could make it an interesting contest.

However, Roslea's greater spread of talent makes them deserved strong favourites. Their defence has steel and skill in the likes of Niall Cassidy and Conor Quigley, and experience with Peter Sherry. Should they blunt Teemore's attack sufficiently, they would be fairly sure the Quigley boys will do the business again up top.

VERDICT: Roslea

Monaghan Senior Football Championship final

Scotstown v Clontibret O'Neill's

Sunday, St Tiernach's Park Clones, 4pm

In an interview this summer asked about Monaghan's role as favourites possibly upsetting them after they drew with Armagh, Scotstown's Kieran Hughes replied that he came from a big club where expectation is part of life.

Bearing in mind they won their first Monaghan championship in 20 years last season, you get a flavour of how they see themselves even in comparably lean eras.

Clontibret have scooped five titles in the last dozen years and will not fear them. Conor McManus has continued his amazing form, with 0-20 of the team's 3-26 in their games against Latton and Ballybay.

Last year's final finished in a 15 points difference between these two. It won't be as big, but the result should remain the same.

VERDICT: Scotstown


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