With the All-Ireland Hurling final teams confirmed this past weekend, rivals Kilkenny and Tipperary will restore their renewed rivalry. Who can now progress to the Football semi-finals?
The ‘Super 8’s’ as they are known have not really proven their worth as a format to get the top eight teams involved in a round robin tournament in competitive football. It’s the usual suspects who currently top the table in both groups.
In group 1 the standings are as follows:
Kerry v Meath-Saturday 6pm
Kerry sit top the table in group one going into the last game of the Super 8’s and will be faced with an away trip to Pairc Taileann to take on Meath, who currently sit bottom of the pile.
Kerry have recorded victories over Mayo and drew with Donegal two weeks ago in an excellent game that had it all. Their own fate is in their hands and shouldn’t have much difficulty progressing to the next round of the championship.
Seen as one of the teams who can put up the challenge to Dublin, manager Peter Keane will be happy how his forwards including Paul Geaney, David Clifford and Sean O’Shea are firing on all cylinders.
Prediction-Kerry to win
Mayo v Donegal-Saturday 6pm
In the game of the round, Ulster champions Donegal will face the long trip to Castlebar to take on James Horan’s Mayo at 6pm on Saturday.
There is not much else that needs to be said about this match-up, other than whoever wins will qualify and the looser will be dumped from the championship. All eyes will be on this match for sure!
Donegal have been a team riding the crest of a wave, beating Meath and drawing with Kerry along the way. I’m not sure drawing with Kerry was that great of a result for Declan Bonner’s men, who now are faced with a potential Banana skin away trip on Saturday night.
You don’t know what type of Mayo team will turn up on the day, and if Aidan O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor can be at their best. With Mayo’s home support Donegal will have it all against them.
But I think the experience of Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh and Neil McGee mixed with youthful talent of Stephen McMenamin and Jamie Brennan should be enough for them to cross the line.
Prediction-Donegal to win
Standings in group 2:
Tyrone v Dublin-Sunday 4pm
With the dominant-Dublin currently sitting nicely at the top of the tree with Tyrone joint-top, this game dosen’t mean much apart from bragging rights as both are guaranteed a place in the quarter-final.
What can be taken from this game is how close are Micky Harte’s Red Hands to grasping the grip of Jim Gavin’s Dublin? Can Tyrone really pose a threat to their five in a row?
Tyrone will have home-field advantage when Dublin roll into Healy Park in Omagh this Sunday. Beating Roscommon and overcoming a tricky Cork test will please the management, but will this momentum aid their attempt at a Dublin downfall?
It’s hard to see with the Dubs scoring a total of 7-44 over two games and look to have hit their stride just at the right time. Micky Harte will need to conjure up a master-plan, it will be tough but never say never.
Prediction-Dublin to win
Cork v Roscommon-Sunday 4pm
Anthony Cunningham’s Roscommon take the trip to Pairc Ui Rinn in a game that has no impact in group two. In fact there’s absolutely nothing at stake in this match, but the pride of the two teams taking part.
Connacht champions Roscommon had a tough start to the campaign facing the top two teams in Dublin and Tyrone back to back, the luck of the draw hasn’t been kind to the Rossies.
Cork respectively were also always on the back foot up against Dublin and then Tyrone on consecutive weekends. They played reasonably well in both but unable to snatch a result and are out of the competition with a game still to play.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh is closed at the moment as the troublesome pitch is relaid, meaning this game is to take place at the nearby smaller Páirc Uí Rinn. This probably puts the nail on the coffin for both sides in a total dead rubber game.
Prediction-Cork to win
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