Sunday, June 14
1 p.m.: IF, Brooklyn/Long Island vs. Mayo
This matchup will be the first opportunity to see these teams on a Sunday opener, and both have been very competitive to start the season.
Mayo had a win over Brooklyn in the John Brady Cup after they lost to Kerry by a point. Darren Lynch from Sean Connollys in Longford joins Dermot Keane, Billy Curtain and Liam McDonald in the lineup. Curtain is a very good target man who will win his share and pop any frees over.
B/LI has changed dramatically since their first outing and gave Dublin a run for their money last week after a terrible opening. Daniel and Niall Byrne from St. Dominic’s, and Paul Daid and David Rooney from St. John’s in Sligo give them divine quality to line up beside the Lallys and Co.
A combination win for the B/LI side.
2:30 p.m.: SF Donegal vs. Tyrone
Both sides had contrasting starts to the season in the special league, with Donegal reaching the semifinal while Tyrone went out early.
The form of Aiden Downes has been top quality for Donegal, with the Na Fianna man winning all of his one-on-one battles thus far. Tony McMahon from Killydasert in Clare is a tight defender, while Tom Hardwick from St. Vincent’s will improve after a game under his belt.
Tyrone has the largest home base in town with players like Steve Keating, Aiden Power, Paul Mulherne and Joe Bell in the lineup each week. They will need help from afar, however, to stay with the big guns.
This game has all the markings of a draw—1-9 apiece.
4 p.m.: SF, Down vs. Four Provinces
Down return to the fold after the league final loss to Leitrim, and while they will be disappointed to have lost their second county final at senior level they will certainly be happy with the fact that they are more than competitive at this level. They are one of the top three teams in New York.
The play of Mark Connolly and Pakie Downey from Drumgath has been very impressive. Robbie Moran, Paul Higgins and Michael Sloan all had good displays in the final, and they will relish a chance to get back in the winners column immediately.
Four Provinces have yet to get a win, but their sanctions will all be eligible this week which bodes well for them. Stevie Robinson, Mike Higgins and Paul McBrearty give them a very mobile attack which will look to pick off the scores this week. James Cannon is playing very well in Michael Grimes’ absence. Will it be enough?
Down to prevail by five.
5:30 p.m.: SF Sligo vs. Leitrim
Leitrim start their attempt at the double after the special league win with this encounter against Sligo.
They will be without the O’Connors but certainly have plenty of other weapons to call on. They have played their last three games in devastating form, and showed against Down and Cork that they can score with the best of them.
The play of Dan Doona and Donal Hartnett has been particularly impressive, with Doona back to top form. The addition of brilliant ball carrier Shane Doolin has given them a bona fide superstar at the back, if his first performance was anything to go by.
Sligo will have their hands full with this one. Sean Pender and Brian Quinlan from Edenderry in Offaly are solid senior players, while Niall Moran has been a revelation from frees and in open play.
The bank is at +65 tickets after Na Fianna failed to cover last week. Thirty is the bet this week for Leitrim to win by six.