Having spent the week on a joly in Aintree it’s unlikely that I’ll get a pass to go to Croker on Sunday, but I’ll still be glued to proceedings.
Last year’s National League final between the sides was a bit of a damp squib with the Dubs overrunning Kerry to win with ease and if I’m perfectly honest I can’t see the Kingdom living with Jim Gavin’s side this time around either.
Earlier in the campaign the Munster side were unlucky not to hold out for the win on home ground, however I’ve a feeling that the Boys in Blue have another gear in them that we’ll see tomorrow.
The All-Ireland champions have unearthed more talent during this campaign and had the luxury of springing three former footballers of the year (Brogan, McCaffrey and Macauley) and the best footballer in the country, Diarmuid Connolly, from the bench on Sunday.
They were easily the best side in the round robin, despite the fact they didn’t use many of their stars who only returned in the later rounds. In short, I just can’t see them being stopped.
Yes, I’m seeing the world through the bluest of glasses and my cockiness has been my downfall in the past, but I’m going to go full steam to back Brogan and the lads -5 on the alternative handicap which is a 21/10 shot.
In the Sunday’s other game we have the Division 2 final between two sides who could conceivably break into the top tier – Galway and Kildare.
I expect this one to be tight, but I’m going to back the Tribesman to emerge at 10/11 on the basis that they’ve a stronger forward line and will therefore benefit more from the massive Croke Park pitch
Finally, delving into the lower reaches of the League last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists Tipperary meet a Louth side who’ve even raised my bushy eyebrows this year.
The Premier County will be flying high after a last second victory in Armagh to win promotion last week and I’m going to ‘Tipp’ my cap to them to claim the Division 3 title -2 points at 11/10.
Last but not least, we have the Division 4 decider between a Séamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney-led Wexford and a Westmeath outfit who’ve finally learned how to avoid being relegated in the National League (not that you can be from Div 4 anyways).
I’m laying my money on The Yellowbellies at 13/8, mainly because their manager has ‘bant’ in his nickname.
* All prices correct at time of posting