Ballyea (@1.36) vs Crusheen (@3.5)

Our Prediction:

Ballyea will win

Ballyea – Crusheen Match Prediction | 14-09-2019 11:15

They have made major strides in terms of their hurling and we saw that last year. Newmarket will just have a little bit too much for them I think. They will have to be a lot more disciplined this time around. If OCallaghans Mills are down the two Cooneys after their red cards the last day, it is a major blow to their hopes of taking out Newmarket. Their discipline and approach was spot on too but it dropped the last day.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid (Effin); Sean Finn (Bruff), Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Richie English (Doon); Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), Declan Hannon (Adare), Paddy OLoughlin (Kilmallock); Cian Lynch (Patrickswell), William ODonoghue (Na Piarsaigh); Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks), Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Tom Morrissey (Ahane); Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock), Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)Subs: Barry Hennessy (Kilmallock), Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), Tom Condon (Knockaderry), Aaron Costello (Kilmallock), Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh), Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon), Dan Morrissey (Ahane), Barry Nash (South Liberties), Darragh ODonovan (Doon), David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca), Pat Ryan (Doon).

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Five-in-a-row from Graeme Mulcahy, Gillane (0-2, one free), Diarmaid Byrnes, and Tom Morrissey between the 45th and 50th minute left the scoreline reading 0-21 to 0-9 and, from there, there was simply no road back for the visitors. Ahead by eight at the break, Limerick gave an exhibition of point-taking in the second-half as the scores rained in from all angles and distances. Aaron Gillane capped a fine individual performance with a 60th-minute goal, his final tally climbing to 1-11.

Even if Limerick were to lose away to Tipp next weekend, theyre a sure bet to finish in the top three such is their healthy score difference (+31) by comparison with Cork (+13) and Clare (-30). The current state of play is that Tipperary are out front on six points, Limerick and Cork both have four points, while Clare remain on two after this latest hammering.

Cuala for their part, were giving Kilmacud Crokes the hiding of all hidings in the Dublin final, leading by 1-5 to no score after 22 minutes, having put six other efforts wide. They would concede eight unanswered points in the opening seventeen minutes of the second half and, incredibly, would have to come from behind to win in the end.

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The half-forward line for Crusheen is a strong one too with Fergus Kennedy, Ross Hayes and Conor ODonnell and they can cause trouble for any defence when they click. I think Crusheen will be happy to have Feakle in Cusack Park because the space in there might not suit the Feakle defence. If they can curb their influence on the contest then they have a chance of having a right go at it. It might mean Feakle will need a sweeper back to deal with that threat and they will need to get their match-ups right. The full forward line of Cillien Mullins, Paddy Vaughan and Breffni Horner is really dangerous so that is going to be a major point for Feakle to deal with. If they get over Saturday, they might even emerge as dark horses for the Canon. They will be really spirited and are able to play with a bit of freedom now that relegation is out of the equation but I still think Crusheen will have too much up front, especially with the space in Cusack Park, and they should come out on top but not by much.

They are now facing a Clonlara team that are a little more psychical down the spine of the team and will have a big threat up front, so there will need to be a plan for that. Looking first at the Eire g v Clonlara tie, the match-ups here are going to be so vital. I think Clonlara have a lovely mix of youth and experience and have that siege mentality and are working for each other. They will be ready for another challenge and they should be moving on to a quarter-final spot. They were spirited and hungry against Kilmaley and worked to a game-plan and executed it brilliantly. The battle on the edge of the square with John Conlon and Aaron Fitzgerald will be vital and if Fitzgerald can break even, Eire g are in with a serious chance. It is the quarter-finals that are on the minds of the other eight teams this weekend and there will be some crackers in that winners round. Eire g wont be too put out about having the game on in Broadford either because it is a lovely surface and there is not that space for the Clonlara forwards to exploit like you would have in Cusack Park. The potential battles of Shane ODonnell v Oisn OBrien and Colm Galvin v David Reidy are also intriguing, but if I was over either team I would be trying to make sure those players are kept away from each other so they can do more damage. The thing I will be really looking for is can Eire g put performances back-to-back.

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They wont be happy about going to Sixmilebridge for it, even though they have won plenty at underage level down there so it wont be as daunting as a venue in deep East Clare. This could be the start of a renewed drive for them in terms of their championship ambitions. They will look at how Eire g set up and will try to make it as tight as possible and turn it into a dogfight. The way Eire g went about their business that day deserves huge credit, but the way Kilmaley performed will be something they need to address. The last two weeks will have really hurt them in terms of the way they performed against Eire g. Kilmaley wont want to be pulled back into that relegation mire that they found themselves in two years ago and they should have the quality to get by. While I think Kilmaley will have enough to get over the line, they will need to be ready for a Whitegate team that will come out with all guns blazing and ready for a battle. They will know that the safety blanket is now gone having already lost a game and that might help to refocus the minds and ensure that they are fully tuned in. Kilmaleys showdown with Whitegate is a really good chance for them to get back on track.

However, regarding OCallaghan, with 1-9 scored/fouled for scored frees in the Leinster final and 1-6 in the semi against Slaughtneil, not to mention 4-3 scored in the opening round of Leinster, he has been undoubtedly the marquee forward and all round player of the provincial/ All-Ireland championship so far and the one player most likely to swing things in his teams favour.

That is not a scenario they would have wanted to find themselves in so they now must deal with that and make sure they are ready. Would we have thought before the championship started that after this weekend, Kilmaley, Newmarket, OCallaghans Mills or Clooney-Quin could all be in the relegation pot? I know that the likes of Cratloe and Ballyea will be gunning to get the win this weekend so they can give themselves that four week break before the quarter-finals, because players in those clubs are also looking towards some really big games in the football championship.

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