Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boston Finals Schedule and Previews - Changed Due to Weather

Saturday August 29

2:30 Junior Hurling: Fr. Tom Burke's v Tipperary
4:00 Junior B Football: Galway v Shannon Blues
5:30 Intermediate Football: Connemara Gaels v Armagh-Notre Dame

Field B - 2:30 Ladies Junior Football: Tir na nOg v Boston Shamrocks

The Saturday finals were rescheduled due to Hurricane Danny and a day of heavy rain forecast. With 4 finals on Sunday, and the North Americans due the following weekend, the Junior Hurling and Junior B football games were played Friday night, August 28. The Ladies junior Final will be played at 11:30 Sunday and the Intermediate Football at 1:00 on Field B.

Fr. Tom's are Junior Hurling champions and Shannon Blues are Junior B Football champions for 2009.

Sunday August 30

12:00 Junior A Football: Aiden McAnespies v Donegal
1:30 Ladies Senior Football: Roscommon v Tir na nOg
3:00 Senior Hurling: Tipperary v Wexford
4:30 Senior Football: Christopher's v Shannon Blues

Entertainment between all the games will be provided by the Artane Band who are touring from Ireland. This should be a treat. Anybody who has attended a big game at Croke Park will attest that the band are an integral part of the unique atmosphere.

Senior Football: Christopher's v Shannon Blues

An exciting game is in store as two teams who put it all on the line meet in the senior football final. Christopher's, a club formed in 1988 in memory of Kildare native, Christopher Sweeney, who died in a car accident in West Roxbury, are in their first ever senior football final. Shannon Blues last made the final the year that Canton opened for business, 1999, and represented Boston in the North American Finals that year.

Defence - Even. Each side has a solid back line, though the Blues have been risking it a little by playing the injured Declan Hawes in goal. It has not hurt them so far, but lacking an agile goalkeeper is putting a lot of faith in the men playing in front of him. Each team plays it tight at the back, and in both semi-finals room was at a premium for their opponents as the backs defended in numbers.

Midfield - Edge Blues. Stephen Gilmartin gives the Blues and edge in the middle of the field. Gilmartin can score, as he showed in the semi-final, and covers plenty of ground in support of the forwards and back line. Christopher's have two good fielders in Dan Kenneally and Will Kennedy, but in the overall ebb and flow of the game I think that Gilmartin and Philip Lydon have a slight advantage.

Forwards - Edge Christopher's: Christopher's Sean Kelly is the key to the forward line, and he is not short on colleagues who can put the ball over the bar. Barry O'Driscoll, Eric Hegarty, and Ian Rowland can each score from any angle and have to be marked tight opening the space for Kelly, while Gerry Kenneally proves to be a valuable link to the back line. The Blues forward line contains dangermen David O'Callaghan and Colm McGee, while Stephen O'Mahoney and Alan O'Donoghue have shown flashes of what they can do, they will need to bring their A game Sunday if the Blues front men are to match their counterparts.

Bench - Even: Each side has experienced players to bring in. The Blues can call on the wily Ken Kileen to settle matters down around the middle of the field, while Christopher's have Mark O'Sullivan to put on the edge of the square. O' Sullivan is brought in to score goals, and the former Cork county player has done just that when introduced.

My Prediction: Christopher's to edge it.

Senior Hurling: Tipperary v Wexford

Wexford are going for four in a row of senior hurling championships while Tipp are trying to bridge that gap, their last senior honours being the 2005 North American Championship. The teams took a game off each other this year and Wexford do not hold the aura of invincibility of previous teams.

Defence - Edge Tipp: The Tipp back line is anchored by center back David Young. The Toomevara clubman is a towering presence and can dominate that area of the field. Flanked by Eoin Ryan and Brian Howley, the performance Tipp half back line could prove critical in the final outcome. Lavey native and longtime Wexford clubman, Dominic McGill, has been a major contributor to the cause of the Brighton club since it's formation. McGill is a key player on the 40 for Wexford, and along with John Walsh and Brian Dalton will have their work cut out on Sunday.

Midfield - Edge Wexford: Corkman Stephen White gives the edge to Wexford in the midfield battle. A prolific scorer, White can score from the dead ball or play, and has the ability to carry the ball and open up the opposing defence. Tipp will need to figure out a way to nullify the influence of White.

Forwards - Edge Tipp: Ryan O'Dwyer was absent from the Wexford lineup in the semi-final due to injury, and if unfit to play in the final will be a big loss to Wexford. Tipp will still have to contain with Tony Murphy and Sean Herlihy, amongst others, who will need to step up. James McCarthy is a huge asset in Tipp's forward line, and along with Shane Menton and Pat Howard can clock up the scores very quickly.

Bench - Edge Tipp: Tipp seem to have a little more depth on the line if the game needs the introduction of fresh legs or experience.

My Prediction: Tipp by no more than a score.

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