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It will be great to have a crowd back at 5pm on Saturday for this National League Division 3 final. Hopefully, those that can attend will create a bit of an atmosphere as Croke Park opens its doors to supporters once again, with 2,400 people allowed in.
These are two teams clearly in form, with both having won all their matches to date in the League. Offaly are making a big jump into Division 2 after securing their promotion against Fermanagh last weekend. The Faithful County have been marooned in the bottom tiers of the League for quite some time, so it is pleasing to see them getting back towards the big time. John Maughan has done a great job in charge of Offaly, it has to be said.
Derry are a team who all GAA people would feel were in too low a division given their history. But, they’ve had their struggles over the last number of seasons. That’s mainly because of big inter-club rivalries within their county. However, at least their manager Rory Gallagher seems to have gotten them together as a unit.
It’s fantastic that we are seeing a National League final at all, as the other three divisions will not have a decider because of the proximity they would have had to the Championship starting. I believe this is Derry’s game to lose, they’ve been by far the most impressive team in the whole League for me. They’ve won their matches easily in the main, and I believe the northerners have enough class in their squad to beat the handicap as well.
The two best players Derry have had this year so far have been Conor Glass and Shane McGuigan. McGuigan, in particular, has been running up some huge scoring totals in every game he’s played. He’s mainly left-footed, but can be an excellent kicker of the football off either side.
I see him as the biggest goal threat to Offaly in this final. McGuigan is a player you are going to hear a lot about in this season’s Championship and I fancy him to find the net first in this contest.
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