Ballyea (@1.36) vs Crusheen (@3.5)
14-09-2019

Our Prediction:

Ballyea will win

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

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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Lucan Sarsfields did it in Dublin and gave us a game only a tactician could enjoy. Any side who are going to topple Cuala are going to have to be prepared to play puck-outs to their own half back line, as Cualas forwards drop off into their own half. In the end, though slightly tactically out-manoeuvred, they probably didnt have the quality to beat Cuala.

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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.

Its virtually impossible to call which side will get the upper hand in this regard, and more than likely, it will be this which will be the key element. Saying that, except for those final ten semi-final minutes, Ballyea have more finesse than any side Cuala have faced with regards the capacity to keep the ball away from Mark Schutte at number six and/or their spare defender when they have one.

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.

Both did well which is timely considering the performance of some referees has left a lot to be desired. Now more than ever the performance of referees at local and national level is facing more scrutiny, Shannons Chris Maguire was handed his highest profile game at club level in Clare taking charge of the meeting of Sixmilebridge and Ballyea, another young referee Niall Malone was the man in the middle for Newmarket-on-Fergus versus OCallaghans Mills.

History[edit]

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Cillian Duggan might be back too and he is an option for them at either end of the field and he will add strength. They might also look at deploying Jonathan Clancy as a sweeper to add another layer of protection to the backs, and that is a move they should maybe have considered the last day too. It is a massive game but if Clooney-Quin get back to their best and place their team to their strengths, they can get that forward line moving. They will realise that Clooney-Quin have made better progress than them in recent year but they wont fear them. Are they going to sacrifice Steven OHalloran to pick him up, or will they look at double marking him with OHalloran and Patrick Kelly and take that chance of leaving one of the other Clooney-Quin forwards free? The key question for Clarecastle is who they will put on Peter Duggan. The group will have that mentality that they have a chance to pick up the win here but if Clooney-Quin are organised and are hurling well, then I expect they will have just a bit too much. Match-ups will be vital for Clarecastle and I do know that they wont fear Clooney-Quin too much. In those losers round games, I think Clooney-Quin will have too much for Clarecastle.

I think whoever is beaten in the game between Tulla and Wolfe Tones are really staring down the barrel of relegation. The manner of both their opening round defeats means there will be questions about how they have recovered, what kind of mind-frame are they in, and the draw for both teams might have accelerated that recovery process. It is a massive game and it should be a titanic struggle. Both know that this is 50/50 game to either stay in the championship or face down that relegation road. Of all the games this weekend, this is the one that both teams will feel they have a chance of winning.

What eventually swung things in their favour on the day was the same thing which allowed them to dominate the opening half in that game against Crokes, partially dominate Ballyhale Shamrocks in the Leinster final throughout and crucify Slaughtneil from start to finish in their All-Ireland semi-final. They dominated the space in their own half back line/midfield area, particularly from opposition puck-outs.

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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.

The Patrickswell inside forward was proving a major headache for the Clare defence under the dropping ball and it didnt come as too much of a surprise to see the Banner management switch David McInerney onto Gillane midway through the first-half such was the handful he was making of himself in the company of Banner captain Patrick OConnor. The half-forward pair of Gearoid Hegarty and Tom Morrissey had both contributed a pair of white flags, while Gillane, as well as throwing over two from play, nailed four frees.