Douglas (@1.83) vs Sarsfields (@2.2)

Our Prediction:

Douglas will win

Douglas – Sarsfields Match Prediction | 31-08-2019 14:45

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Brian Turnbull,Shane Kingston and Mark OConnor did the bulk of the Douglas scoring, with RossHowell, Donnchadh Murphy and Cathal Sheehan ensuring Douglas remained on coursefor victory. A rather lacklustre start to the game saw Douglas pull away fromCharleville without every really getting out of second gear. In the end a 7 point win was secured, the only blot on thecopybook being a couple of late goals conceded that caused the scoreboard to reflecta game that was much tighter than it was in reality. The secondround saw Douglas travel to the Mallow GAA complex to face Charleville. Managing the balance between preparing teams for assaults on both senior and 21grades is no easy task, but the management ensured, that the players were freshand focused.

The West champions will carry favouritism into this one but Kildangan will be happy with a draw that sees them avoid the big guns and gives them a real chance of making the final. The second semi certainly has novelty; I cant recall a past meeting of Clonoulty and Kildangan at any stage in a county championship though Im sure Ill be promptly corrected on that if there was a previous clash.

With so much to gain on the line, there are obvious consequences with defeat. Masvidal is in an even more perilous position, as he only just recently returned to the win column a loss could push him out of title contention entirely. For Askren, a big part of his appeal is his undefeated record and trash talk, but a loss ruins the former and makes the latter less interesting.

Willem II / Emmen Prediction

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Classy scores complimented byferocious defending ensured that Douglas would book their spot in the final. Douglas welcomed back tenacious defender, Nathan Walshback for the game. Douglas saw this not only as anopportunity to reach their second ever Under 21 Hurling final, havingpreviously qualified in 2005, but also as an opportunity to avenge their defeatto the same opposition. Douglas soon found their strideafter throw in and began to dominate the Glen. The final score was 1-20 to 1-10 and so a final against near neighboursBlackrock beckoned. Thesemi-final brought a familiar foe, Glen Rovers. Others toimpress that day were Eoghan OBrien, Diarmuid OMahony and Shane Donegan, whohad also received from an injury hit year. Nathan had missed the win over Na Piarsigh, but was flawlessin the semi-final battle.

Also, one ofthe officers and many of the players, work south of the border; a hard border,with possible delays might make living and working different sides of theborder impossible and therefore isolate these people from the rest of the Irishnation and eroding freedoms that should be enjoyed by all Irish people on thisisland. When I met the two officers we firstlydiscussed the day to day effects a so called hard border would have on theirclub. Their teams andplayers cross the border every day, for instance the day after I visited theywere going to Omagh for the Ulster Club semi-final; if there was a hard borderthey would either have to take a longer route or risk uncontrollable delays forthe team and supporters. If that happens it will reinforcepartition, control the movement of Irish citizens on the island of Ireland andof cause serious delays. All this would undermine theachievements and progress made by the Good Friday Agreement.

For further progress in this series Clonoulty will look to their attack for a more cohesive impact. Defensively James Heffernan and John Devane supply the spine, though some worry about their flanks especially if they get past Sunday. Theres potential there if Conor Gleeson can get them to click. Timmy Hammersley carries a lot of responsibility but sharper form from the likes of John ONeill and Thomas Butler would be a major fillip too. The return of John OKeeffe to midfield is a major boost he was quite influential against Burgess.

RKC Waalwijk / PSV Prediction

HavingSenior Manager Willy Coveney spearheading the under 21 management team provedcrucial as it meant from early in the season the 21 team was allowed to geltogether and work on aspects of the game that simply are not possible when themanagement teams are separate. Willy was joined by fellow senior selector DaveMcSweeney as well as Brian Boyle, Patrick Scannell and Ray Keating who had allbeen involved with Minor teams around that period of time.

First to those semi-finals and that clash of the titans from Thurles and Toomevara. This surely is the one to decide if indeed a new order has been established in the county. In a sense it would have been the perfect final but in any case its a pairing thats certain to whip up interest at whatever stage of the series it happens. The rivalry between this pair has been the story of our domestic championship since the early nineties when Toomevara made the big breakthrough. The greyhounds have been top dogs in every clash between the pair, apart from 05 when Sars finally had their day.

The Blues then may be favourites on Sunday but theres a lot of background baggage that will make them jittery defenders of the crown. There was one draw, the 1992 final, and Sarsfields solitary win over Toome was in the 05 quarter-final. That was the year when Ger Cunningham finally convinced Sarsfields that they could do it. The teams have collided ten times in the county championship since 1992 with Toomevara winning on eight occasions. The raw statistics here dont make pleasant reading for Sarsfields.