There’s plenty of action on this coming Sunday, aside from the climax of the current series of Love/Hate. West of the Shannon, the two provincial semi-finals in the senior club championship are down for decision, with both matches getting underway at 2pm.
Newly-crowned Mayo champs Ballintubber take on Roscommon champions St Brigid’s at MacHale Park, a match that will be reffed by Leitrim’s Ray McBrien. This one is the deferred coverage game on TG4. Brigid’s are 4/5 favourites to prevail, with Ballintubber on offer at 11/8 – Paddy Power odds here.
The other semi-final takes place up in Carrick-on-Shannon where Leitrim’s Aughawillan – who recorded a shock win over Tubbercurry in the opening round – square up to Galway’s Corofin. Mayo’s Jerome Henry has the whistle for this one, in which Corofin are 1/66 favourites to advance (match odds here).
I’m only planning to venture as far as O’Moore Park in Portlaoise on Sunday myself, where St. Vincents begin their defence of the Leinster club title when they face Portlaoise in a tricky quarter-final tie at the midlands venue. The two clubs met last year in the Leinster decider, a rip-roaring early December contest which Vinnies eventually prevailed in by 3-12 to 3-9. The home team will be able to call on the bearded and tatooed Zach Tuohy, who is reportedly at home from Australia at the minute, to bolster their forces for Sunday and while the Marino lads as favourites to win, Crossmaglen’s early exit in Ulster last Sunday provided clear evidence that this competition really has to be viewed one game at a time.