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Dublin's Drive for Five? GAA 2019

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    If you're still interested Ray, London have been drawn at home to Offaly, historically successful county on the skids ,good chance of a upset there.


      Roscommon caused the biggest upset of last weekend, defeating Mayo in injury-time, so the League champions will have to negotiate three rounds of qualifiers.


        Munster Football Championship: Clare v Kerry:

        Cork v Limerick:

        Both games are rather similar, in that neither of the Old Firm should be troubled unduly on Saturday. Clare have generally restricted the Kingdom to single-digit margins in recent years, but never threatened victory, and while Limerick have been buoyed by success over Tipperary, it's highly unlikely that they will upset the Rebels.

        Ulster Championship Semi-Final: Cavan v Armagh

        A rare spot of favouritism for the Breffni County, after their shock defeat of neighbours Monaghan recently. The Orchard were pushed to extremis in their extra-time triumph over Down, and while the tie could go either way, Cavan will probably edge through.

        Leinster Championship Replay: Longford v Kildare

        With recent talk this week of tiered Championships, Longford made the best defence case for the minnows with a spirited performance against the Lilywhites. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the Midlanders will prevail, but underdogs usually only get one bite at the cherry.


          Leinster Hurling Championship: Carlow v Dublin

          Wexford's surprise draw away to Galway last week leaves both sides with no room for slippage here, in order to secure a top three finish. Carlow will have viewed this fixture all year as their best opportunity of a provincial victory, but the Dubs have suggested to date that they are in a different class to Sunday's rivals.

          Munster Hurling Championship: Waterford v Limerick

          After a promising home display against Clare, the Déise were brought down to earth by a shellacking from Tipp. Limerick were similarly humbled by Cork, but appear to have greater capacity for improvement.

          Clare v Tipperary:

          This neighbourly clash is always keenly contested, and a strong argument can be made for both sides here. Still, Tipp have looked rather imperious in their opening two matches, and are favoured to continue in such fashion.


            In hurling, Offaly lose again, this time to Antrim, the netherworld of the Christy Ring beckons


              Limerick destroy Waterford by 20 points - the Déise's season is already over, unless they defeat Cork, and the latter lose to Clare.


                As predicted by yours truly,Limerick give Waterford an almighty hiding, 2.24 to 0.10. Waterford,who reached the all Ireland final 2 years ago and the league final this year, are in danger of exiting before July.


                  Tip are currently mullering Clare. Pity the cricket's not on...


                    Tipperary are looking awesomely good this year.


                      Bizarrely, they could still miss out on the Munster final on points difference, if Limerick and Cork won all their remaining games, but both would have to rack up incredible margins.


                        To begin, the first round of football qualifiers, where the emboldened sides should all advance:

                        Offaly v London
                        Leitrim v Wicklow
                        Wexford v Derry
                        v Antrim
                        Monaghan v Fermanagh
                        Down v Tipperary
                        Carlow v Longford
                        v Wexford

                        Ulster Semi-Finals:

                        Cavan v Armagh:
                        As last week, there should be little to separate the opponents, but I stick with Cavan to ultimately prevail.
                        Donegal v Tyrone: A football game on RTE - mirabile dictu! It's not as though other games haven't merited such an honour, those involving Cavan, Kildare and Roscommon being the most notable examples. This is in effect the "real" Ulster final, and I would expect the Red Hand to triumph, but only by the minimum.

                        Leinster Championship:

                        Dublin v Kildare:
                        The recent provincial finals between the pair proved to be turkey shoots, and while one would expect some narrowing of the margins, a dozen points seems the probable gap this Sunday.

                        Laois v Meath: Both are on upward trajectories, earning promotion this spring, but with Meath playing Donegal and Kildare, among others, they appear to have the greater quality potential.


                          Munster Hurling:

                          Cork v Waterford:
                          Waterford could, theoretically, face a relegation play-off if Kerry win the Joe McDonagh, but also have the tiniest sliver of a top three finish, should they cause an upset here. The Rebels know points difference could determine Munster final placings, so need to inflict a punishment beating here.

                          Limerick v Clare: Like the Rebels, the current champions are far from guaranteed progression to the All-Ireland series, but given the poverty of the Banner display against Tipp, they have to be favourites this weekend.

                          Leinster Championship: Wexford v Carlow

                          Mathematically, Carlow could avoid relegation on points difference should they defeat their neighbours, but demonstrated little likelihood of this against Dublin. Wexford will almost certainly finish in the top three with a success in this fixture.

                          Kilkenny v Galway:

                          Promises to be the most attractive match of the weekend, and a potential rehearsal for the Leinster final. The Tribesmen underwhelmed against Wexford in Salthill, and will be keen to make amends against the Cats.


                            Incidentally, the GAA have launched a new streaming service called GAA Now, that can be watched for free worldwide - no major fixtures, but they are currently showing hurling from the Joe McDonagh Cup live:



                              Meath beat Laois in the Leinster semi final 3.13 to 0.11, Dublin or Kildare awaiting them in the final.


                                A rip-roaring match between Kilkenny and Galway - the Tribesmen led by 7 at one point, before the Cats narrowed the margin to the bare minimum at the finish. It also proved to be a rather tempestuous affair, ending as 13 v 14. Looking at the current table, not inconceivable that the top four could all finish on 5 points, but distinctly improbable:



                                  Interesting - Dublin only four ahead of Kildare at the break, 0-11 to 0-7.


                                    Dublin predictably pull well clear of the Lilywhites in the second half. Limerick slaughtered Clare in the hurling, leaving the Banner needing to defeat Cork to avoid the earliest possible exit.


                                    Elsewhere, the qualifiers largely followed expectations (Antrim defeating Louth being the only upset), Cavan dispatched Armagh relatively comfortably in the replay, and Meath had little trouble in defeating Laois in the first Leinster semi.
                                    Last edited by Diable Rouge; 09-06-2019, 17:29.


                                      Only one member of the last Mayo squad to win the All-Ireland in 1951 remains, after Pádraig Carney died over the weekend. The second round qualifier draw looks tailor made for the three Division One teams:

                                      Down v Mayo
                                      Longford v Tyrone
                                      Monaghan v Armagh
                                      Leitrim v Clare
                                      v Limerick
                                      Derry v Laois
                                      Antrim v Kildare
                                      v Offaly

                                      In truth, Laois v Derry is somewhat of a toss-up that I could have called either way.



                                        Kildare pushed Dublin hard for large parts of the first half but then the Dubs upped the pressure in the second half and won easily. Not sure where this leaves Kildare,they've some decent players and Kevin Feely is one of the best midfielders in the country but they could just as easily lose in the next round, depends on the draw I suppose.


                                          A quiet GAA weekend, with only three fixture periods over the two days.

                                          Football - Connacht Final: Galway v Roscommon

                                          The first provincial decider of the season occurs for the fourth consecutive occasion, as the Tribesmen aim to return to the Super 8s. Former Kerry junior, Conor Cox, has been the star for the Rossies this season, and will be the focal point of their attack. That said, Galway will be expected to prevail, if only by a narrow margin.

                                          Munster Hurling Championship - Final Round:

                                          As the decisive round begins, Tipp lead on 6 points, followed by Cork and Limerick on 4 each, and Clare trailing on 2. With Tipp virtually guaranteed a final berth ahead of their tie against Limerick, and Cork expected to defeat Clare, points difference makes a Tipp v Limerick final the probable outcome if all three finish level.

                                          Leinster Hurling Championship - Final Round:

                                          Very hard to call this section, with Galway top on 5 points, Kilkenny and Wexford on 4, and Dublin currently having 3. The clash of the Cats and the Model County will be crucial, with Galway expected to defeat Dublin, but I tentatively tip Kilkenny to join them in the provincial showpiece.

                                          In the Joe McDonagh, Laois have booked their final berth, and Westmeath should join them in the decider. Kerry have home advantage against Offaly, so may escape the drop.


                                            Kerry are currently beating Offaly in Hurling.

                                            The world has gone mad.


                                              We were talking about Offaly last night and as one of my friends pointed out Offaly is one of the most economically destitute counties in Ireland, even more so than Leitrim, it's economy was totally dependent on the huge Bord na Mona turf fields and the power station. When they went tits up there was nothing else and migration from Offaly is at 1950s levels. That being said its a huge fall from grace for them. Well done Kerry if they pull it off.


                                                And Offaly are gone, Kerry win by 2 points.


                                                  With minutes remaining, the top four in Leinster would finish on 5 points, as Kilkenny and Wexford are level, and Galway trail Dublin.
                                                  Last edited by Diable Rouge; 15-06-2019, 19:35.


                                                    And so it ends, Galway out on points difference: