The ‘GAA Gods’ play tricks on us sometimes, writes Ciarán McGowan.
Last weekend they messed with our heads and conjured performances and results that saw Leitrim’s footballers lucky to draw with London and GAA All Ireland Hurling Champions Kilkenny lucky to draw with Dublin. Both matches will be replayed next weekend and while conventional wisdom would argue that Leitrim and Kilkenny will prevail, there’s no telling what can happen when Gods are in this mood.
Also last weekend, All Ireland Gaelic Football Champions Donegal were somewhat lucky to get past a resilient Down team that lacked self-belief to take their chances. Cork roared past Clare into Munster Hurling final and as expected Wexford advanced to next stage of qualifiers with a 10-point win over Antrim. The other game in hurling qualifiers saw Waterford beat Offaly, latter will not see any competitive action for next eight months – surely this is not good for a county trying to build a team.
Next weekend has busiest championship fixture list so far this year with first ever Friday evening fixture when Carlow take on Laois. There are 8 football qualifiers, aforementioned replays, Leinster football semi-finals and an Ulster semi-final between Cavan and Monaghan to be decided.
So where to start – I think Monaghan will beat Cavan but this will be a very close game. At stake is an Ulster final place against Donegal and while Cavan have impressed this year, Monaghan are an experienced outfit and I expect this experience will be difference.
In Leinster, I think that both Dublin and Meath will overcome Kildare and Wexford respectively to set up classic Leinster GAA football final. But as always, ‘ GAA Gods ’ may have other plans…
GAA fixtures this weekendGA
Saturday 29nd June
Kilkenny v Dublin (19:00 GMT) Prediction - Kilkenny
Friday 28th June
Carlow v Laois (19:45 GMT) Prediction - Laois
Saturday 29th June
Monaghan v Cavan (19:00 GMT) Prediction – Monaghan
Offaly v Tyrone (19:00) Prediction – Tyrone
Galway v Tipperary (19:00) Prediction – Galway
Westmeath v Fermanagh (19:00) Prediction – Fermanagh
Louth v Antrim (19:00) Prediction - Louth
Longford v Limerick (19:00) Prediction - Longford
Sunday 30th June
Meath v Wexford (14:00 GMT) Prediction – Meath
Armagh v Wicklow (15:00) Prediction – Armagh
Dublin v Kildare (16:00) Prediction – Dublin
Derry v Sligo (17:00) Prediction - Derry
GAA results last weekend
Saturday 22nd June
Wexford 3-18 Antrim 0-17
Offaly 0-21 Waterford 1-14
Sunday 23rd June
Kilkenny 1-14 Dublin 0-17 Draw
Clare 0-15 Cork 0-23
Sunday 23rd June
Donegal 0-12 Down 0-09
Leitrim 0-13 London 2-07 Draw