A provincial decider and seven All Ireland qualifiers. The track is weaving in and out for some of the big names that’ve gone through the back door like Mayo, Derry and Monaghan and it could get a whole lot trickier on Saturday evening. Then to top it all off we’ve a Connacht final not featuring Mayo for the first time since 2011.
So let’s get to it – my 7/1 treble is for Mayo to beat the hanidcap against Fermanagh, Laois to beat Clare and Roscommon to win the Connacht Championship.
Mayo couldn’t have asked for a trickier fall after their defeat to Galway. Fermanagh got to the All Ireland quarter final last year and although they were beaten well by Dublin, they put up a good fight.
Mayo need to recover and they need to do it fast. The performance in the semi final against the Tribesmen was absolutley pathetic and if they repeat it tomorrow then they will be heading out of the Championship four rounds before people would think.
But they’re All Ireland contenders for a reason. I think home advantage will be enough to blast Mayo through with their fitness. The handicap is set at seven points and I think Mayo will beat it at.
Take a look at that scoreboard above. It’s from Division One where Roscommon held their own and then some earlier on in the year. They were playing quality opposition week in week out and doing well, even reaching the semi finals.
Galway on the other hand were languishing in Division Two and will spend next season there. The win against Mayo was impressive, but it was their first major win for the last few years.
Over the last six months the Rossies form has been consistent. I cannot understand how they are the outsiders. Back them at odds of – it’s my NAP of the week.
Colm’s qualifier quickpicks
Can’t split them. Two very evenly matched teams. Derry with maybe just a slight advantage of a rest, but pick your own bets.
The handicap is set at 12 points, and while Cork are good enough to win, they will not beat Limerick by more than 12. Limerick +12 at
It’s the same handicap for Cavan against Carlow but I think the Ulstermen will do the business. Carlow are in the basement of gaelic football right now, there’s no interest in either code and it just furthers the call for a split Championship. Cavan -12 at
Monaghan will still believe that they can win the Sam Maguire despite exiting Ulster in a replay. The climb back up the hill starts in Clones on Saturday evening against Longford. The handicap is seven points and I do think that Longford will fall within that. Longford +7 at.
Kildare have gone downhill since getting to the Leinster final a couple of years ago. A couple of big retirements haven’t been replaced and the coaching situation isn’t the best either. Offaly have already got a couple of wins under their belt this year and I think they’ll get a third here. Offaly win at
The easiest game I have to predict all week. Clare are on the rise in Munster but are still a bit behind the rest of the country. Laois win at