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SFC Final: Fermanagh v Donegal - Calling the shots

By Declan Bogue

ULSTER SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

DONEGAL v FERMANAGH

(Sunday, Clones, 2.00pm)

A Fermanagh Ulster title would equate to something along the lines of a Mayo All-Ireland win.

In all the various supplements and features for the build-up to this final, this observer has not seen anybody from outside the county giving them a realistic chance. But that will be music to their ears.

Donegal are coming in fancied and are reckoned to have too much quality in the forward ranks — with Michael Murphy and Patrick McBrearty, along with Odhran MacNiallais to come in — for Rory Gallagher’s men to hold out forever.

It’s impossible to argue with that logic, but at the same time a Fermanagh win simply would not be the shock of the century. VERDICT: Donegal

ULSTER UNDER-20 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

DERRY v ARMAGH

(Sunday, Clones, 11.45am)

A game that has taken on a life of its own, nobody in either county will ever forget the tumultuous beginnings of the Under-20 grade after Armagh received a raft of suspensions following the scenes against Tyrone in the semi-final.

With their hearings tomorrow, the chances are some more will get off the hook and are free to play on Sunday.

However, there can be no doubt their preparation has been compromised and manpower will be down.

VERDICT: Derry

MUNSTER SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

CORK v KERRY

(Saturday, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 7.00pm)

A game not set to get the pulses racing and former Rebels ace Joe Kavanagh said this week that the new Pairc will hardly be half full.

Hard to see anything other than a routine Munster title for Kerry.

VERDICT: Kerry

LEINSTER SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

DUBLIN v LAOIS

(Sunday, Croke Park, 4.00pm)

One word; Dublin.

VERDICT: Dublin

ALL-IRELAND QUALIFIERS ROUND TWO

CARLOW v TYRONE

(Saturday, Carlow, 5.00pm)

Carlow will be organised, feisty and in-your-face as they test themselves against a side from the top flight, but looked distinctly average in defeating Meath a fortnight back.

Carlow have progressed well again this year, but Tyrone will have too much discipline to slip. The home side to put up a brave, but ultimately doomed effort here.

VERDICT: Tyrone

CAVAN v DOWN

(Saturday, Brewster Park, 5.00pm)

Down’s effort in the Ulster semi-final speaks of a team that want out of county football for the year and it may appear difficult for Eamonn Burns to sufficiently rouse his men to go on a run through the back door.

Cavan recovered from their own personal horror show against Donegal to wallop Wicklow, and should edge this.

VERDICT: Cavan

SLIGO v ARMAGH

(Saturday, Sligo, 6.00pm)

Annihilated by Galway in the Connacht semi-final, Sligo are hardly a team that appear to be going places.

In that respect, Armagh and Kieran McGeeney appear to have been lucky in their qualifiers draw, beating the hapless Westmeath in the last round.

VERDICT: Armagh

WATERFORD v MONAGHAN

(Saturday, Dungarvan, 2.00pm)

The road to redemption begins here for Monaghan, who will take their first steps to the Super 8s.

VERDICT: Monaghan

TIPPERARY v MAYO

(Saturday, Thurles, 5.00pm)

Tipp will make life uncomfortable for the great survivors, but they will prevail.

VERDICT: Mayo

LEITRIM v LOUTH

(Saturday, Carrick-on-Shannon, 7.00pm)

VERDICT: Louth

LONGFORD v KILDARE

(Saturday, Navan, 5.00pm)

VERDICT: Kildare

OFFALY v CLARE

(Sunday, Tullamore, 1.30pm)

VERDICT: Offaly

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