Tourlestrane v St Brigids preview

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    Roscommon champions St Brigids make the trip to Sligo this Sunday to face the Yeats county champions Tourlestrane in the AIB GAA Connacht club semi-final at Tourlestrane. Throw in 2.30pm.

    The back-to-back Roscommon champions received a bye into the semi-final while Tourlestrane produced a confident second-half display to overcome a resilient Glencar/Manorhamilton side of Leitrim, 1-15 to 2-7 in the quarter-final. Gary Gaughan’s goal before half-time levelled up matters for the Tourlestrane men, who then proceeded to score ten points in the second period to secure a semi-final berth.

    ‘Brigids, led by the evergreen Frankie Dolan, secured their second county title in as many years against Elphin at Hyde Park in early October. A poor game over-all, due mainly to the horrendous conditions, saw the 2010 champions using all their experience to hold out to win 1-09 to 0-07.

    St Brigids won last year’s Connacht final, after extra-time, beating Galway’s Killererin 1-10 to 2-14 and have been one of the best teams in the Connacht club championship in recent years.

    Tourlestrane maybe without talisman Eamon O’Hara but have talented youngsters coming through the ranks and, coupled with county players like Brain Kennedy, will relish the underdog tag.

    However, the Sligo men have never made much of an impact outside their home county in previous attempts of winning the Leo Kenny cup. They suffered defeats in the early rounds of 2007 and 2009 and, facing the reigning Connacht champions, a similar fate is the likely outcome on Sunday given the healthy state of Roscommon football.

    Verdict: St Brigids

    Preview
    St Brigids have scored 2 goals or more in exactly half of their matches
    in the Roscommon SFC this year. They are priced at 13/8 to score over 1.5 goals in this weekend’s match against Tourlestrane.

    Following Dr Crokes victory in last weekend’s Kerry SFC Final, UCC will be shorn of the talents of Johnny Buckley and Daithi Casey for this weekend’s match against Monaleen. The Limerick champions have a potent full forward line of Ger Collins, Mike Crowley and Muiris Gavin and are priced at 15/8 to score the first goal in the match.

    The last time Ballinacourty played in the Munster Club SFC in 2007 they beat Kilcummin of Kerry in the semi final before only losing by 3 to Nemo Rangers in the final. Inspired by the Hurney brothers they’ll certainly put it up to a Dr Croke’s team that may well still be feeling the effects of last weekend’s Kerry final. Ladbrokes are priced Ballinacourty 11/10 plus 4 points.

    Any team with the Brogan brothers and Jason Sherlock is always going to be a goal threat. St Oliver Plunketts ER are potent going forward but questions remain about their defence. There have been 10 goals in their 5 Dublin SFC matches so far this year. We are priced at 4/5 that there will be Over 1.5 goals in this weekend’s final versus St Brigids.

    The loss of Jackie Tyyrell will mean that Oulart-The-Ballagh will certainly fancy their chances against a James Stephens team that must be tired after their exertions of the last fortnight. Last year Oulart lost by 3 points to O’Loughlin Gaels and the year before they lost in extra time to Ballyhale Shamrocks. If you fancy a repeat scenario Ladbrokes are priced 8/11 that the match will be a close call ie. the match will either end in a draw or that either team will win by less than 4 points.

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