1 p.m.: JF Celtics vs. FDNY
A rare opportunity to see the junior teams play at the Mecca. The ladies have been in this slot for most of the year with the intermediate sides.
Celtics had a very good win over Cavan two weeks ago and have a large panel to choose from. Aiden Traynor, Derek McKenna and Danny O’Sullivan give them a wealth of experience. Rory Creegan, Shane and Chris O’Connor bring a youthful exuberance.
The Fire Department has been much improved this year, with the Flynns, Jack Meaney and Popsy Maguire all playing leading roles. John Walsh should be available for this game also. The battle between McKenna and Walsh in the middle of the field will be intriguing.
Celtics should be able to get the win here but don’t count out the city agency. It will be close.
2:30 p.m.: SH Galway vs. Tipperary
Thesenior hurling has served up some very good contests already this year between the four sides on show. The best individual performance award goes to Liam Costello last Sunday when he clocked in with 5-03 against NJ/K.
Tipp were sublime in that outing, with David Crimmins, Gerard Maguire, Tadgh Glavin and Niall Curtain having excellent hours. Kieran Bergin was at center half back and it fit him like a glove.
They have a strong panel assembled as they look to get back to the top of the tree. Gary Donahue on the 40 is very adept at coming down with the long ball and gives the side a physical presence.
Galway did well in their first outing against Offaly. They put 1-14 on the board, with free taker Thomas Gillane excellent.
Fergal Tarpey and Michael Costello in the full forward line will do damage if the ball gets there consistently. Dave Simms was absent the last outing, but his return would certainly help the scoring output.
When all is said Tipp will be favorites, especially after the huge win last Sunday over New Jersey. They should be able to prevail be six.
4:30 p.m.: IF Armagh vs. Kerry
Two of the main challengers for the intermediate title this year face of in the last contest of the holiday weekend. Some would ask why play these three games at all, give all players the weekend to enjoy the summer. But here we are regardless.
Kerry are sitting on top of the intermediate table unbeaten to this point. They have a strong panel assembled as they look to regain a title they won two years ago.
Eoghan O’Mahoney is one of the few Kerry up and down players this year that actually went to Kerry seniors; he is a very determined defender akin to Anthony Glacken. Paddy Brennan, Tommy Quaid and Niall Moran give them a strong look at this level, with summer player Martin Coady from Oughterard in Galway a flying forward.
Armagh in baseball terms are one of the toughest outs you can get. They consistently show up with championship caliber teams each year, and 2009 isn’t any different.
Aiden Morton, Alan Hearty, who plays out the field for this squad, Patsy Martin, Kevin McGeeney and Sean Kelly are their core group. The jewel in the Hudson is Johnny Hanratty, however. A brilliant full forward, he has played in All-Ireland club finals alongside Johnny Murtagh for Crossmaglen. If he gets enough of quality ball he can destroy a defense.
The bank took a shot to the lower regions last week, with Tyrone’s complete and utter victory over Kerry. Add to the mix Murtagh’s scoring 1-10 to Kavanaghs 0-1 and it was a lost weekend. To quote a New York senior player, “You got that wrong Eugene!”
Back on the horse, however. Was told by Donnie O’Sullivan that he is working on the All-Ireland tickets so here goes.
We are now at plus 75, after the 40 ticket loss. Twenty on Armagh to take the points in a close contest, another 10 on Hanratty out-doing Coady in the scoring in a second Galway vs. Cross matchup.
In other New York GAA news,Cork had a 0-17 to 2-7 win over Cavan last weekend as they continued their pursuit of Leitrim and Tyrone.
Indeed it now looks like a four horse race, with those three and Down the favorites to take four of the six playoff slots.
J.P. Boyle was clinical again from frees, with Conor Hunter effective in open play. The form of Alan Rafferty and Rory Stafford continues to be the diesel behind the engine.
In a hurling contest Tipperary had a terrific showing when they annihilated New Jersey/Kilkenny. Liam Costello as mentioned elsewhere had 5-3, a terrific haul.
That being said, Finbarr Flood in the NJ/K goal was one of the better players for the combination squad.
The New York Minor Board under 14 boys headed for Ireland this week. We wish manager Tom Bennett and all the panel the very best in Kildare this weekend.
Keep track of their progress on www.feilechilldara2009.ie.