Dunloy (@1.53) vs Loughgiel Shamrocks (@2.75)

Our Prediction:

Dunloy will win

Dunloy – Loughgiel Shamrocks Match Prediction | 15-09-2019 10:30

Most people would have fancied the young Cuchullains to be back in the final again this year, but I have no doubt they will figure strongly in the years to come. In the mean time we will watch these two great rivals go toe to toe, and may the best team win. Dunloys return to the top table last year saw a new young team emerging.

McCambridge was complimentary of the Ruairi Og management set-up this year when he added: Looking from the outside in this year, its great to see the lads have been given a bit more freedom. After the semi-final they went out and had a couple of pints and people were saying they shouldnt be doing that but I thought it was brilliant. Its still an amateur sport at the end of the day and these boys are out training three or four nights a week. They need that release and I thought it was refreshing.

Having played in all seven of the recent finals between the Shamrocks and Cushendall, there are few better placed than Barney to have his say on the two sides. Hes been there, done that and wore the shirt for the Shamrocks and when it comes to matches against the Ruairis, Barney told us: Its always a tough, tough battle between us and them through the years. Out of them seven finals, I think there was nothing more than a goal in five of them. In 2008 I think it was, we were winning at half time before they beat us by seven or eight points but we beat them well in 2013.

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The Shamrocks have been improving as the season has progressed. Theyve had their own injury problems with losing Barney McAuley and Liam Watson to long term injuries earlier with Neil McGarry, Seamus Dobbin and Tony McCloskey also rated as doubtful. The injuries have given Loughgiel manager Johnny Campbell the chance to have a better look at a few other players. Theres no doubt James McNaughton has made the most of others misfortunes this year. Hes been in excellent form for the Loughgiel men and shone while wearing the Antrim shirt. Cathal McMullan looks to be showing the sort of form once again that lead to him receiving a couple of college All Stars before a freak injury cut short his season in 2017 and gives Campbell options with his versatility in defence.

Being a fan and not part of the playing or management squad for the first time in 24 years has been a learning experience for the Harrys Restaurant manager: I never got nervous playing. I always enjoyed playing in the big games. The bigger, the better. To me there was no better feeling playing in front of big crowds whether it be at home or in Croke Park but the butterflies are setting in and as the week goes on its only going to get worse. Working where I do people will be coming in and talking about the match so Id definitely prefer to be playing thats for sure.

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No doubt the interviews from various camps that well read over the next few days will give very little away. Loughnane had given his half time team talk and as Clare went back onto the field Marty Morrisey grabbed Ger for a quick word. There isnt much about Ger Loughnane I like but one thing that sticks in my mind was a quick interview during the 1995 All Ireland Final half time break. Ye are two points down against the All Ireland Champions, do you think you can do it Ger? The boul Loughnane with the intensity etched all over his face, eyes bulging stared through Morrisey and in his booming Clare brogue bellowed WE ARE GOING TO DO IT. I loved it!! Attitude, confidence and will to win. None of this Hopefully the boys will hang in there and well see! rubbish. Theyll trot out the politically correct lines Two good teams Never more than a poc of a ball between us blah blah blah. Offaly, the reigning All Ireland Champions with the likes of the great Brian Whelehan, Kevin Kinahan, Johnny Pilkington and the three Dooley brother on the team were leading Clare by 2 points at half time.

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2005 was the Ruairis second final in six years. Since, theyve been in every final but two (2007 and 2012). It was the start of something special in Cushendall and McKeegan sees similarities between the class of 05 and the current Ruairi Og squad: Theres a good mix in the squad at the minute as there tends to be with Cushendall. That experience is important with the likes of Sean Delargy, Natty, Neil and Graffin but its good to have the younger players about as well. Theres four or five boys there that havent looked out of place in the senior team this year.