All Ireland

PREVIEW: All Ireland Intermediate & Junior Hurling Finals

All Ireland Final day is almost upon us with both Carrickshock and Mooncoin putting final preparations together for Saturday’s club deciders

It’s a very exciting weekend of Sport on KCLR with no fewer than five Live Commentaries coming your direction.

Two of those will be coming from Croke Park on Saturday with both Carrickshock and Mooncoin looking to become All Ireland Club Champions.

Since the Intermediate and Junior Club Championships were introduced back in 2003 a Kilkenny team has been present almost every year and often in both finals on the same day.

Last year was a glorious day for Kilkenny Hurling at Croke Park with Glenmore and Bennettsbridge taking home All Ireland titles.

And there is every chance that the same result can occur on Saturday.

All Ireland Junior Club Hurling Final – Mooncoin v Mayfield 3pm Saturday at Croke Park

Mooncoin come into this game against a Mayfield side who have progressed steadily in Cork.

This will be Mooncoin’s toughest test to date no doubt and at the time of writing the bookmakers have priced both teams at evens.

Mooncoin are a team that I think will make an impression at Intermediate level in Kilkenny this year but this doesn’t mean that they are nailed on to win this game on Saturday.

In Nicky Kelly Mayfield have a very potent free taker while David O’Neill and Shane Duggan have been scoring freely throughout their campaign so far.

They have been racking up some big scores but also concede a fair amount too as illustrated in their Munster Final win over Ballyduff lower when they conceded 3-10.

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Obviously those attackers will take a bit of minding, but as I have wrote many times this year, Eamonn Hennebry is a serious handful at Full Forward for Mooncoin and he is aided and abetted by Kevin Crowley and Cormac Fleming slightly further back the field.

This one is difficult to call and I think it will go right down to the wire and the sides could well be level at after the 60 minutes.

I think if Mooncoin can keep the shackles on Kelly, O’Neill and Duggan then they might edge this one.

Verdict: Mooncoin.

We will have Full live commentary of Mooncoin V Mayfield in the All Ireland Junior Hurling Final from 3pm on Saturday with thanks to Tennyson Grass Machinery

All Ireland Intermediate Club Hurling Final – Carrickshock V Ahascragh-Fohenagh 4.45pm Saturday at Croke Park

As was the case in 2016 the Intermediate decider is between Kilkenny and Galway opposition.

However unlike Abbeyknockmoy last year, Ahascragh have two well known inter county hurlers in Cathal and Padraic Mannion.

Wager that up against the quality that Carrickshock possess in their ranks and you the feeling that this could be a cracker.

At this stage we are all well aware of the experience and talent within the Carrickshock ranks and a good chunk of the panel would have played in Croker already at some stage.

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Tommy Shefflin’s charges never looked troubled against Robert Emmetts last time out despite going through a slack period in the game and they come into this game as 8/11 favourites with the bookies with the opposition priced at 13/10.

A friendly warning was issued on Kclrfanzone.com earlier this week by Dan Shanahan who played against Ahascragh in the All Ireland Semi Final with Lismore.

He spoke very highly of them and many people actually fancied Lismore to nick that one so Carrickshock will be fully aware of the task ahead of them.

I personally think that Carrickshock have too much quality in their ranks to slip up here and teams from Kilkenny have won this competition previously with panels that wouldn’t have been as strong.

The key thing here is that they don’t go off the boil like they did for long periods of the Celbridge game and if they take their eye of the ball here they will be caught.

I don’t see that happening though and I think Carrickshock will leave Croke Park on Saturday evening as All Ireland Champions.

Verdict: Carrickshock

We have live commentary of Carrickshock v Ahascragh-Fohenagh in the All Ireland Intermediate Club hurling Final from 4.45pm on Saturday

 

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