Category Archives: Gaa

Robert Cox’s GAA Weekend Treble

Robert Cox’s GAA Weekend Treble – July 13th & 14th

The Super 8s are finally here this weekend and apart from a few expected one-sided and dead rubber games over the course of the next month, we can now actually start to look forward to some close encounters and high quality football.

All eight teams are in action over the course of this Saturday and Sunday and I have taken a look at three of the games, opting to leave the Donegal v Meath game well alone!!

 

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ROSCOMMON v TYRONE

Tyrone -2

First up is the meeting of Connacht Champions Roscommon and perennial qualifier experts Tyrone at 5pm in Dr. Hyde Park at 5pm on Saturday evening. Once again I expect Mickey Harte’s men to come away with a relatively comfortable victory. Ever since their disappointing Ulster semi final loss to Donegal, the Red-Hand men, lead by their instrumental full forward Cathal McShane have racked up routine wins away to Longford and Kildare and against Cavan in Clones. The Cavan win was particularly impressive, given its margin, 16 points in the end. In McShane and Harte they have two of the best players in the country at the minute but they are more than just a two man team, as the Rossies will find out to their detriment come Saturday evening.

In fairness to Roscommon they do garner some respect given their exploits in the west, beating both Mayo and Galway enroute to claiming the Nestor cup but one fears that could be the highlight of their year. They have quality in their ranks in the shape of Conor Cox, Enda Smith and Diarmuid Murtagh but the month off since their success might leave them a bit rusty. In comparison Tyrone are flying, with three games on the spin of late. The sides met at the same stage last year, with Tyrone coming out easy winners on a scoreline of 4-24 to 2-12.

I expect a repeat of this, but not to the extent of 12 months ago so Tyrone -2 is my pick here.

 

DUBLIN v CORK

Dublin -8

It’s the clash of the two big cities at Croke Park on Saturday night at 7pm as Dublin take their next step in their quest for five in a row and I expect them to come through this one with some ease, without probably even needing to get out of the 2nd or 3rd gear in the process.

To reach this stage Ronan McGrath’s Cork side have only had to negotiate facile wins over Limerick and Laois and though they have been free scoring in both them ties and in their Munster final loss to Kerry, this will be a completely new challenge for them. They have improved somewhat since their poor league form seen them relegated to Division 3 of the league but unfortunately for them it won’t be enough to even come close to the Dubs on the wide open expanses of HQ. The Rebels have found the net 10 times in their 3 Championship games, thanks mainly to their top marksmen Brian Hurley and Mark Collins. Add to that the hard working and skilful Ruairí Deane on the half forward line and they will cause Dublin some problems by running at them. But only early on before the juggernaut takes over.

Dublin’s season only really gets going at this stage, having easily negotiated their way to their 9th Leinster title in 10 years, culminating in a final rout of neighbours Meath. Cormac Costello has been their main man in attack but they ooze strength all over the pitch. He is ably assisted upfront by Paul Mannion and Ciaran Kilkenny and the scoring return to action of Dean Rock v Meath makes for ominous viewing for the rest. Brian Fenton is still the best midfielder in the country and they don’t give up too much at the back either. Jim Gavin knows tougher ties lie ahead in the shape of Donegal and maybe a Tyrone or a Kerry but this is a nice tie for his side to ease themselves into the Super 8s.

Cork may live with the Dubs for a while but my selection of Dublin -8 looks a shoe in.

 

KERRY v MAYO

BTTS A Goal

 The last game of the weekend is surely the most mouth watering of the lot as Kerry play host to Mayo at 4pm at Fitzgerald Stadium. As when Mayo played Armagh a couple of weeks ago, I find the outcome of this one too hard to call, so like that evening I have gone for both teams to score a goal. One thing is for sure when Mayo are around you are always guaranteed plenty of action and drama and with two high class forward lines on display, I feel this Sunday will be no different, so expect the net to be rattled on a few occasions!

Kerry come into the Super 8s as Munster Champions having laboured to victories over Clare and Cork. Despite the talent at their disposal, Peter Keane’s side are yet to set their 2019 campaign alight and after their domination at minor level in recent years the people of the Kingdom expect. They do have serious firepower in attack and will look to star David Clifford to shin the Super 8s, where he shot to prominence in 2018. If they are to reverse their league final defeat at the hands of Sunday’s opponents they will look to Sean O’Shea, David Moran and Clifford to shine.

Mayo for their part are gathering pace. After a disappointing Connacht semi final loss at home to Roscommon, James Horan’s men have bounced back with wins against Down, Armagh and more impressively against Galway last weekend. In James Carr they have a very exciting prospect, with the wing forward banging in two goals in the Galway victory. Despite been plagued by injuries throughout 2019 and recently losing Captain Diarmuid O’Connor, Mayo still have a strong panel to pick from. Paddy Durcan and Donal Vuaghan are in fine form and if Cillian O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea perform to their abilities they may well leave Killarney with a famous win.

Still, this one is too hard to call so my selection of both teams to score a goal in what promises to be a good open game of football looks the best bet in this one.

Tyrone -2,   Dublin -8   &   Kerry v Mayo BTTS A Goal 

 

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GAA Qualifier Picks July 6th & 7th

Round 4 of the football qualifiers takes place this weekend with some very interesting ties as the last 4 remaining places in the Super 8s look to be filled come Sunday afternoon.

After giving our customers (Bruce Betting) a very tasty 10/1 enhanced winner in round 3 of the qualifiers last weekend, I hope to follow that up with the enhanced price of 7/1 for Meath, Galway, Cork and Tyrone to all be victorious in their respective games.

Andy McEntee’s Meath team will have more than just a strong Clare team to contend with at 2pm on Sunday, as history will also be against the Royals, with teams from Leinster not faring too well in round 4 following heavy defeats to Dublin in Leinster finals in the last few years.

The two teams come into the tie off the back of contrasting performances in a game that is still difficult to call.
Meath will have done plenty of soul searching after notching just four points in a Leinster final pummelling at the hands of Dublin, but manager Andy McEntee will be adamant that they can recover from that loss and join the final eight.

Clare are worthy adversaries however, the Banner men were narrowly beaten by Kerry in a Munster semi-final and have enjoyed wins over Leitrim and Westmeath in the backdoor to make the final twelve, however I am going for the Royals to recover, find their shooting boots and prolong their season into late July,early August.

Next up is the battle of the west (in Limerick). The GAA have placed the Galway v Mayo Round 4 qualifier in Limerick as they deemed that no other venue in Connacht could hold the expected attendance the game will attract. The GAA offered the teams a coin toss for home advantage but sides refused. So, this is where we are now and a massive game to decide who goes to the Super 8’s will take place in Limerick. I am going with Galway to bounce back from their disappointing provincial final loss to Roscommon. Kevin Walsh’s Tribesmen have won the last three battles between the sides in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Mayo have been very unlucky with injuries so far in 2019 and with the news that Lee Keegan and Aidan O’Shea are likely to miss out, I think the ball is now certainly in Galway’s court.

For Galway to progress, they will need massive performances from Fiontan O’Curraoin Shane Walsh, Ian Burke and Michael Daly. And if their talisman for the past few seasons Damien Comer makes his return from injury, as rumours suggest he will, then this will be a major boost for the men in maroon.

For the 3rd selection a row, I am going with a beaten provincial finalist, in this case Cork. Despite been very disappointing earlier on in the year enroute to relegation to division 3 of the league, their demolition of of Limerick in the Munster championship and their decent performance in a narrow Munster final loss to rivals Kerry, gives them high hopes of reaching the Super 8s at Laois expense. In Brian Hurley, Mark Collins and Ruairi Deane the Rebels have the firepower to find the net at ease, remember they have scored 6 in their last 2 games.

In contrast Laois have had a fine 2019 to date, replacing this weekend’s opponents in division 2 of the league for 2020. John Sugrue’s men come into the game on the back of four championship games. They beat Westmeath 0-12 to 0-10 in the Leinster quarter-final, before losing out to Meath in the semi-final 3-13 to 0-11. John Sugrue’s men have turned things around since then though with a 1-13 to 0-12 win over Derry and then last weekend a 0-20 to 0-15 win over Offaly. They will surely fancy their chance of winning this one as well. In defence, Denis Booth, Stephen Attride and Robert Piggott will need to have big games. In attack, much of the scoring will likely be done by Paul and Donie Kingston who kicked 0-10 between them in the win over Offaly, Colm Murphy could also have a big say on proceedings.

I tipped Laois up to overcome Offaly last weekend but I feel their fine season will come to an end at the hands of Cork on Saturday evening in Thurles. This is the first meeting of the sides in championship football and Cork will reach the quarter-final for the first time since 2014 come the end of play.

Last up is the meeting of the two Ulster sides Cavan and Tyrone in Clones on Saturday evening. Cavan exceeded all expectations in reaching their first Ulster final for a number of years, where they fell short against an impressive Donegal. Mickey Graham’s side are the one provincial final losers that I don’t think will recover as I fancy Tyrone a resurgent Tyrone, arguably back playing some of their best football, to catch the Ulster finalists cold, with the Red Hand men knowing that a place in the final eight with Dublin and Roscommon looming will be their reward.

Mickey Harte’s men were dumped out of the province by eventual winners Donegal last month, but are back on track after a labouring victory over Longford and a more finely-tuned display over Kildare last weekend.

But Cavan have been one of the surprise packages of the summer, dispatching of favourites Monaghan in the provincial quarter-final and eventually getting the better of Armagh in a replay before losing to Donegal themselves in the decider.

In Cathal McShane and Peter Harte, Tyrone have two of the most in form players in the country at the moment and I feel their firepower will send them on their way to Dr.Hyde Park the following week and a meeting with Roscommon in their opening Super 8s tie.

Meath, Galway, Cork and Tyrone all to win are priced at 11/2 but we are enhancing that to 7/1 for our in shop (Bruce Betting) customers.

Kilcock Ladies end their hunt for new manager with appointment of Carlow native.

Kilcock Ladies have appointed Carlow man Stephen Hunter as their new senior football manager for the 2019 season.

Hunter collects a Senior league cup on behalf of his Kilcock team mates.

Hunter, who was a member of the men’s senior football panel in the club from the start of the century until a couple of years ago, takes over from the outgoing Shane Smullen and will be joined on the sideline by Val herbert, Pat O’Connor and Louise Keane.

The former Carlow panelist, also spent a number of the last few years training an underage team in Kilcock, one that his son was and continues to be a prominent part of. In addition to that Hunter has previous coaching experience in the LGFA from his time involved with Leixlip. Kilcock LGFA are thought to be delighted to get their man but are also sad that Shane Smullen had to step down due to work committments. A spokesperson for the club thanked Shane for his time, effort and dedication during his year in charge.

Hunter, 4th from the right, in Croke Park last February as Kilcock LGFA’s Sheena Byrne collected her Overall volunteer of the year award.

According to sources, Hunter has already met with the players along with his management team and plans are afoot to tackle the 2019 season head on. One thing is for sure if he puts half as much effort into his managerial career as he did on the pitch, then Kilcock LGFA will have no room for excuses come the years end.

Scoil Dara Kilcock v Enniscorthy

South Leinster Junior Football Q/F

Kilcock 7-17 Enniscorthy 0-5

Kilcock duo named on Maynooth Sigerson Cup panel

Kilcock Gaa Club players Jason Gibbons and Daniel Courntey have been named on a 31 man panel for Maynooth University’s upcoming Sigerson Cup campaign.

Gibbons comes into the panel on the back of three substitute appearances for the Kildare senior footballers in the O’Byrne Cup, not to mention helping the Kildare u20s to All-Ireland glory last year with victory over Mayo in the final.

Courtney on the other hand has had the winter free from any inter county action and will no doubt be itching to see action in what is one of the highest levels of Gaa around.

Both men are sure to feature prominitely for the North Kildare college, who start with a very tricky tie away to Queens University college this coming Sunday, January 20th. They are joined on the panel by a whole host of fellow Kildare players including Jimmy Hyland, Mark Hyland, Niall O’Sullivan, Kevin O’Callaghan, Podge Fogarty, Paddy Brophy, Jack Cully, Robbie Hyland, David Malone, Joey Higgins, Stephen Comerford and Ruadhan O’Giollain.

Meath’s sole representative is the talented Ethan Devine from Na Fianna.

Despite been named on the panel, Johnstownbridge man Daniel Flynn is unlikely to feature at any stage as he is currently in America.

Check out the full panel below.

Kilcock man joins club only a stones throw away

Former Kilcock GAA Club goalie Shane Stone has put pen to paper on a deal that will see him play for fellow Kilcock and Newtown Parish side Cappagh GAA in 2019.

Stone, who captained Kilcock in 2017 as they reached the Kildare GAA IFC final before losing to Raheens, will hope to help his new club to Junior Championship glory in the year ahead.

The experienced netminder made his adult debut for Kilcock back in 1996 and has been one of the most iconic players in the club up to his retirement at the end of 2017.

Speaking to Extra Time Sport earlier today, Stone explained how he is excited with the new challenge, while at the same time he said it will be strange not pulling on the green and gold jersey before a game; “I am looking forward to getting into it with my new team mates. It wasn’t an easy decision after all my years with Kilcock. Kilcock are my hometown club and they will always have a place in my heart. But the chance to play some first team football was too hard to turn down. I retired at the end of 2017 and I thought that was my lot in terms of my Gaa career but when Cappagh came calling I couldn’t refuse. I would like to thank Kilcock for all they have done for me since I was a young lad but for now my focus is help Cappagh win some silverware in 2019. They have some great young lads up there and I am mad to get going”

Stone will bring a wealth of experience to Newtown having played in Senior Championship and league finals as well as managing numerous teams in his time at Kilcock. One thing is for sure thet Cappagh defenders will know he has arrived!

Kilcock man nets in last win on Kerry soil

Larry McCormack (back row, 1st from the right) with Kildare in 1956

A goal from Kilcock man Larry McCormack helped Kildare to a 1-7 to 0-7 win over Kerry on the one and only ocassion they defeated the men from the Kingdom in their own backyard back in 1954.

Cian O’Neill and his current crop of Lilys head South to face Kerry today knowing anything less than a victory would send them straight back down to Division 2 and as you can see history is not really on their side!

Despite Kildare beating today’s opponents more recently in St.Conleth’s Park and famously beating them in the 1998 All-Ireland semi final, 1954 still remains the one and only time they left The Kingdom with victory. Maybe St.Patrick’s Day can stir up something special. It will have to if Kildare are to have any chance of avoiding relegation. Ohh to have Larry McCormack back in the ranks!!