Crosserlough (@1.25) vs Lavey (@4.5)
15-09-2019

Our Prediction:

Crosserlough will win

Crosserlough – Lavey Match Prediction | 15-09-2019 13:00

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No team can meet each other twice in the group stage. A random draw determines which teams face each other in each of the four rounds. The top 8 teams go into a random unseeded draw for the Quarter-Finals while the bottom 4 teams will enter a Relegation Playoff. All 12 teams enter the competition at this stage. If teams are level on points and a place in the Quarter-Final is at stake, a Playoff will be conducted to determine who goes through.

It's anyones championship this year. Midfield not mobile enough but caught good ball. Rahan used a smart tactic on having their water boy who had no bib and was wearing a maroon top stand ten yards in on the pitch for Ramors kick outs filling the space so half forwards couldn't use. I've seen this tactic a few times this year linesmen and refs should be stopping this. Rahan didn't waste much but started to play with the ball in the middle with 15mins remaining.Ref was a lot tougher on Ramor and disallowed a goal.Both teams would need to be a lot better to win the championship.I see James Mc togged for Ramor this could be the steal they are missing and James brady played too.Rahan panel seems a lot stronger than other years and have 20 strong players. I was at the castlerahan/Ramor game today castlerahan looked very good in the first half but couldn't handle high balls on the square.Ramor backs were poor in my opinion.

It's also worth noting, however, that a draw will do both sides nicely and stalemates have a way of happening in such scenarios. Kingscourt will pose a different challenge. At their best, they are a hell of a side and word from Down is that Burren were extremely impressed by their pace and skills when they met in a recent challenge. This is a big test for Darragh McCarthy's young side and will tell us a lot about their title credentials but, for now, anything is possible. As Ballinagh's Padraic O'Reilly noted at a pre-championship final chat night a couple of years back, when a team has Kingscourt beaten, they have a mighty day's work done. It's thus difficult to make a confident prediction about a side who are capable of such inconsistent levels of performance. But yet, they have slumped alarmingly at times, too, not least against Cootehill when they lost by a point and last weekend, when they went 10 up after 24 minutes against Ballinagh and ended up fighting for their lives in the second half. Not that we are suggesting any impropriety of any sort but when games are level in the dying seconds, both teams can be content with their lot and become risk-averse. That said, they are certainly lacking a bit of guile up front, Barry Reilly aside. For all their physical power and big game nous, they may find that Crosserlough have just too much speed about them. Kingscourt v CrosserloughSun, 3pm, BailieboroughCrosserlough have shown glimpses of form that suggest they are dark horses to make the final or even win this competition outright. They are physically strong up the centre - Joe Dillon was a revelation last Friday - and are a very difficult side to beat in championship football regardless of the form lines.

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here goes...see If I can keep 100% record going (not a hope)....

Ballinagh should be fired up to make a statement but it could be the end of the road this team having an impact at Senior.Cavan Gaels v Gowna - Cavan Gaels by 3 - But I expect Gowna to give the Gaels a real scare Lavey v Killygarry - Killygarry by 6 - Expect Killygarry to bounce back over a Lavey who miss Cullivan badly.Junior Football Championship quarter-finalsMountnugent v Drumalee - Drumalee by 1 - I would expect Drumalee rested a few last week and Mountnugent haven't bet anyone worth talking about yet.Denn v Shannon Gaels - Shannon Gaels by 1 - Bit like Shercock K'court. Who is Liam McCabe?I think they changed the rules from last year because Breffni and Mullahoran are out of action for floodlit games this year on a Wednesday night for playoffs, with both under redevelopment.Predictions for the weekend:SeniorKingscourt v Shercock - Shercock by 1 - Think Shercock having the few higher quality individuals might get them over the line despite K'scourt having the better overall team/panel.Cootehill v Lacken - Cootehill by 1 - Lacken just don't convince me in the c'shipCastlerahan v Ramor United - Ramor by 2, Castlerahan lacking in the ff department I feel, and that might be the difference.Crosserlough v Ballinagh - Crosserlough by 2. Expecting the better individuals to trump the more balanced team. Drumlane v Templeport - Drumlane by 6 - Templeport's results don't really indicate they have a team who can compete for the title.Killinkere v Munterconnacht - Killinkere by 9 - Group results indicate this should be easy for KK.

Still, though, surely the Gaels - who couldn't find a way to lose for 18 months - will find a way to win one game in the group. A team, one of whose main characteristics is work-rate, can suffer when the motivation dips so Lacken must beware.Whatever happens, the Crowe Park men are through to the knock-out stages while the Gaels must win and hope results elsewhere go their way. Jason O'Reilly's men have been squndering goal chances galore (it's as if they're trying to miss them! joked one Gaels follower of long standing this week) but the positive for them is they are creating the opportunities and proven goalscorers like Dunne, Paul O'Connor et al are bound to find their groove at some stage. Thomas Galligan and Co should have the edge at midfield - they certainly did in the league semi - and in the tight confines of Pirc Naomh Fionn, that will be a huge advantage, as will Niall McKiernan's left boot which makes him a scoring threat anywhere within 50 metres. A backlash is expected but Lacken will have a big say in that. No team works harder and what they lack in a little bit of quality in some positions, they make up for in desire and honesty, which was evident in how they ground out a win while missing a hatful of chances in a real stinker of a game against Cootehill last Saturday. Lacken will feel that this column has it in for them given that we have tipped them to lose rounds 2 and 3, which they won, although they were our selection against Ramor first time out, a game which ended in a draw. The Gaels' famed siege mentality - which is based in logic as success usually breeds contempt and nobody has won more this century - will be cranked up this week as the county hums with talk that the champions may crash out. This near-annual town v country clash usually follows a familiar pattern: Lacken push the Gaels all the way in an ill-tempered game but are undone by a late goal or flurry of scores, with Sean Johnston and Martin Dunne the Celtics' tormentors-in-chief. Cavan Gaels v LackenSun, 3pm, CornafeanIt's interesting that after playing the majority of their championship matches in Kingspan Breffni in recent years (last year, they had a big win over Arva in Ballinagh and beat Crosserlough by a couple of points in the quarters in Cornafean), Cavan Gaels have not yet picked up a win away from the county grounds this year. That was the way of it in the recent league semi-final, which could have gone either way, and could re-occur here.

First thing first, before our prediction column loses whatever smidgen of credibility it has remaining: reports of Crosserlough's challenge match win over Burren, which we referenced last week, were greatly exaggerated. Whether their progress has stalled or if they are back on track remains to be seen - we will know, probably, by Sunday evening. Given their age profile when they won a breakthrough championship title in 2016, Ramor were expected to emerge as the dominant force at senior level but it didn't happen for them last year. It would be premature to call this one a changing of the guard if the Lough were to win - Ramor are going nowhere - but it would be a huge result for an up-and-coming side and is not beyond the realms of possibility provided they can be more clinical in front of goal. Regardless, though, the Lough have been impressive, even if they squandered countless scoring opportunities against Kingscourt last weekend. They say a team should ideally be getting stronger as it approaches the business end and Ramor certainly have, with James McEnroe and Damien Barkey coming into the side to help shore up a leaky defence last time out. Crosserlough are a side with a similar profile (MFC medallists, county underage graduates), just younger again. This column is aware of a few punters who got on board the Lough at 20/1 for the championship before they beat Kingscourt - then again, there is plenty of confidence in the Ramor camp too and with good reason and at least one hefty wager behind them. And yet they showed their ability, too, by grinding out the victory in spite of it. Darragh McCarthy's young side showed their inexperience as they wasted chance after chance, blazing wide from easy positions on a few occasions. Star man Dara McVeety - who may be carrying a knock? - wasn't nearly as influential as he has been in other matches and yet Crosserlough still got it done, with Pierce Smith excellent and goalscorer James Smith's fielding a feature throughout. you just can't get the sources these days so mea culpa on that one. The presence of those two, who bring toughness and experience, will be a big help while Conor Bradley is in Breffni All-Star form up top - the county player brought his tally for the championship to 2-19 (0-13f) against Gowna. Or, to be more specific, the game never happened... All of that said, Crosserlough haven't been in a SFC semi-final since 2013 and of the team who played against the Stars, only Dara McVeety, Pierce Smith and David Shalvey remain from that loss to Ballinagh five years ago.

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Castlerahan v BallinaghSun, 3pm, BallymachughIt is proof of what a good championship structure we have that this match is the only dead rubber of the round. Castlerahan are top of the table and will qualify for the quarters regardless; Ballinagh are bottom and won't. It's to the 2013 champions' credit that they did not down tools last week. They showed enough to suggest that they will retain their senior status.

Shercock v LaveySun, 3pm, StradoneIf Killian Clarke is unfit to take his place in the starting line-up, it will be an incalculable loss for Shercock, who were disappointing last Friday night after earning a good point against Gowna in the previous round. Last year's intermediate winners just don't seem to be up to senior level in terms of conditioning yet and it's hard to see them pulling off an upset when they have nothing to play for against a Lavey side who played well against Killygarry without getting the win.

6.21 (4) If a Championship is partly organised on a League basis, the following Regulations shall apply:(a) League Results shall be credited as follows: 2 points for a win, and one for a draw. (b) If a Team is Disqualified or Retires during the course of a League Stage, its played games shall stand and its un-played games shall be awarded to the opposing teams. (c) As provided for in this Competition Regulation, when teams finish with equal points for Qualification for the Concluding Stages, or for Promotion or Relegation, the tie shall be decided by the following means and in the order specified: (i) Play-Off.

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