NY GAA: Gaelic Park weekend previews
Junior football and Senior hurling finals set
7:30 p.m.: SF Leitrim vs. Down
The final game of the day is akin to the best to last, and on any other Saturday that would be true.
Both sides are coming off big wins, Leitrim over Kerry, Down over Cavan. Both are in contention for second place in the group which allows teams the luxury of a bye into the semifinal.
Leitrim rebounded from a loss to Tyrone with a brilliant win. Jamie Doolin and Scott Conroy returned to their former form after a couple of lackluster performances and showed their skills.
Pat Madden continues to impress in the middle. A huge target man when he runs with the ball, he is very difficult to dispossess.
John O’Neill is also due a breakout day, while the defense is back on track with Alan Foley and Owen O’Neill the cream of the crop. O’Neill is an excellent footballer, strong in possession, a good ball carrier and hard-hitting marker.
Down will not be intimidated by any tough man tactics, and former Leitrim players James Mitchell and Robbie Moran are far too experienced to get dragged into anything this close to playoff time.
Declan Traynor, Richard Dalton and Sean Munnelly, who does a lot of work in the back line form a formidable defensive quadrant, while Pakie Downey, Mark Dobbin, Michael O’Rourke and Mickey Sloan are all able to score or set up.
The bank is at 200 tickets after Four P’s let me down last week against Cork, or was it Cork that rubbed my nose in it! Back to the grindstone however.
Going creative again as the trip home gets closer. Need to be awful foolish to clean out the bank now. All the same, you have to speculate to accumulate. Twenty-five on Down to get the win in this contest by three.
A day for the attacks also. A further 15 on the game going over 25 total points.
3:00 p.m.: Tipp Meets Offaly in Flannery C’Ship
While the senior hurling championship was rocked this year with the amount of teams depleted to three after the beginning of the season, it was an exciting and entertaining series of games to get to the final Sunday afternoon between Tipp and Offaly at 3 p.m.
Galway battled to the best of their ability but were outshone by the two big guns, Tipperary and Offaly over the course of the season The top two now repeat their battle of a year ago when Offaly were the victors for the second year in a row.
They are now looking to emulate the Galway side of ‘82-‘84 which was the last hurling side in New York to achieve a three in a row.
Donal Broderick looks to follow Philip Wickham (Matt Mitchell actually received the cup and Wickham was injured) and Richie Gaule as the captain of the winning side. Offaly’s streak of wins is unheralded for the recent past, as before 2007 they had to look back to the forties for their last win. Tipperary of course have had success across the New York history, and they stand at the top of the ladder with 25 overall titles. Wins in 2000, 2002 and ‘03 leave them needed one more to allow them to say that they are the team of the decade. A club steeped in the GAA annals they would like nothing more than to break the Offaly dominance.
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