With a double dose of Ulster replays
We rang Colm O'Rourke, the RTE pundit and three time All Ireland winner, to give us his bets for Sunday
Last Sunday summed up for me what’s wrong with the GAA Championship.
Once Dublin got to 5 points ahead they started to take the foot off the pedal and eventually won by nine, which has been the story of the Leinster Championship for the last couple of years. I think there’s an inevitability about an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ Championship and people still continue to resist it.
Run the provincial Championships off early in the year. Then have groups of four with an A and B championship, 16 in both. Playoff the groups with two qualifying for quarter finals. It gives teams more games in the summer and it’d give the weaker counties an opportunity to play football in Croke Park. That’s been denied to people that’ve served their county for maybe 10 or 15 years. It’s not fair.
The top 16 could be seperated from the weaker ones as well. Things can’t hold as they are. The start of every year we have the same contenders – Dublin, Kerry, Mayo and Donegal or Tyrone. It’s always the same and it’s not right.
Nevertheless, I’ve got a 3/1 double of Tyrone and Kerry both to beat the handicaps against Cavan and Tipperary respectively
Kerry vs Tipperary – Munster Football Final (2pm)
Tipperary have done incredibly well to get this far. They’ve had possibly their biggest Championship win of the last few decades in beating Cork in the semi final but I don’t think they’ll have enough quality to topple the other big side of Munster football.
You look at Kerry and you see All Ireland winners everywhere. The likes of Kieran Donaghy, Gooch Cooper, Bryan Sheehan all have multiple Celtic Crosses at club and country level. Tipperary do have some underage medals but that doesn’t transfer to senior unfortunately.
Tipperary pushed Kerry last year in the semi final – they got within six points at the end. But with injuries and emigration they do not have the same team as last year. The handicap is ten points and I reckon that they’ll possibly beat that handicap. Go for one of Gooch or Sheehan to be the first goalscorer.
Tyrone vs Cavan – Ulster semi final replay (4pm)
Cavan forced a replay because of three goals and I think Tyrone will have learned their lesson. David Gibney proved a difficult handful in the first game, and if Cavan get up and support him they could have a chance.
But Tyrone had more possession, created more chances and had more scores. They put over 17 points, and Cavan only put nine over the black spot. I think Mickey Harte’s team are the best bet to cause Dublin a problem in the All Ireland series and a simple repeat of the first game with a slightly tighter defence should be more than enough to set up an Ulster final appearance.
Look to Ronan O’Neill to get the first goal because he’s been threatening to do it for the last couple of games and is always a danger when Harte moves him in closer to the goal. Back Tyrone to cover the six point handicap at odds of.