Monday, June 25, 2012

Previews, Schedule, Tables

Boston GAA Previews

At the half way point of the championship the favourites are beginning to emerge. Donegal and Shannon Blues are on maximum points, while Kerry, Wolfe Tones and the Gaels are tied in third on five points each. Galway, Christopher’s, and McAnespies are in the lower half of the table, but along with Cork still look like there is a shot at the playoff spots. No team has an easy run in, and with Cork beating Wolfe Tones last Sunday nothing can be taken for granted this season. Should be an exciting July and August with every game counting for something and it starts next Sunday.

Kerry will be looking to get their playoff run back on track following their defeat to the Connemara Gaels. The Kingdom face Armagh-Notre Dame who have yet to win a game. Based on current form there is a great opportunity for Kerry. There are some good players scattered throughout the field. Kieran O’Connor at center back, Laoisman Ian Whelan in the middle, and Donnacha Fenton up front give Kerry a balanced look. Armagh-Notre Dame have had their struggles of late, but there is some have some talent on the roster also. Old hand Frank Meehan, Conor McGee, Alan O’Donovan, and Kevin Marrow are as capable as any out there, but a win for the Orchard men would have to be considered an upset.

Galway and the Gaels will a huge showdown in the battle of the west. Each side will fancy their chances and I would venture to say, are evenly matched. The Gaels defence will have their work cut out against Galway’s quick forward line that contains Danny Reddin, Kevin O’Hara, and Graham Cullen. The Gaels might be a little bit stronger with the likes of Noel Graham, Daryl Hayden, and Graham Delaney in the half forward line, while Sean Conneely and Padraig Cunningham are playing very will at wing back. American Born Brian Joyce has also had some good outings this season for the Gaels, and based on form so far, I’d have to give the Gaels a slight edge.

The last game of the day is a massive one for Wolfe Tones. An early season favourite, the Tones have had to juggle with injuries and player availability. With all the cards in the deck the Tones are a match for any team, and have shown some character at crunch time in games this year. The Southie lads suffered an unexpected defeat at the hands of Cork last week, a game that could define their season either way. Donegal have yet to be beaten, but present an opportunity for the Tones to take a big scalp. The Tones forward line is as good as any out there which contains players of intercounty pedigree such as Cormac Joyce-Power (Limerick) and Barry Grogan (Tipperary).. Midfield is the achilles heal, and Charlie McCarthy a former Meath county footballer, has been shoring up that area of the field. Donegal are led by their midfield of the two Brian’s, Brian White and Brian Donnelly – their strongest point is the Tones weakest. Donegal are also well balanced throughout the field, and word on the street of the arrival of Westmeath’s Dessie Dolan will make them very hard to beat.

(All games at the Irish Cultural Center, Canton, Mass unless otherwise noted.)

Wednesday June 27
5:30 Junior A Football: Donegal v Shannon Blues

5:30 Junior B Football: Aidan McAnespies v Kerry

Saturday June 30
Portland, ME

3:00 Junior C Hurling: Portland v Hartford

Sunday July 1

11:30 Junior A Football: Aidan McAnespies v Wolfe Tones

12:45 Senior Football: Armagh-Notre Dame v Kerry

2:00 Youth Games

2:30 Senior Football: Galway v Connemara Gaels

3:45 Senior Hurling: Tipperary v Fr. Tom Burke’s

5:00 Senior Football: Donegal v Wolfe Tones

Field B

12:30 Junior B Football: Galway v Cork

1:45 Junior B Football: Mayo v New England Celtics

3:15 Junior B Football: Aidan McAnespies v Donegal

4:45 Junior B Football: Armagh-Notre Dame v Shannon Blues



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