Kilmacud Crokes v St Brigid’s, Parnell Park, 2.15pm
Neither of these two sides have had much time to celebrate their quarter-final victories on Wednesday night with the focus quickly switching to these semi-final battles.
Youngster Paul Mannion has proved a lethal scoring weapon for Kilmacud of late while Mark Vaughan is a recognised forward and a defence of the O’Carroll brothers, Ross and Rory, Cian O’Sullivan and Kevin Nolan will give little away.
St Brigid’s, the reigning champions, knocked Kilmacud out of the championship at the fourth round stage last year to gain revenge for their defeat in the 2010 decider. Paddy Andrews, Barry Cahill, John O’Loughlin and Sean Murray will ensure they battle ferociously to hold onto their crown.
Verdict: Kilmacud Crokes
Betting: Kilmacud Crokes 8/13, St Brigid’s 7/4, Draw 13/2
St Judes v Ballymun Kickhams, Parnell Park, 4pm
St Judes were defeated in the 2009 final by Ballyboden St-Enda’s and reached this stage after getting the better of Na Fianna in their quarter-final tie. Kevin McManamon, Declan Donnelly and Enda Dalton ensure they have plenty of scoring power.
Ballymun Kickhams prevailed against St Vincent’s in their last eight clash with Dean Rock slotting home their winning point while Philly McMahon, Alan Hubbard and James McCarthy are other influential figures in their side.
Verdict: Ballymun Kickhams
Betting: Ballymun Kickhams 1/2, St Judes 11/5, Draw 13/2
Final: Carbury v Sarsfields, St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, 3.30pm
Carbury go in search of their first title since 1985 here and have suffered plenty of disappointment along the way, including a final defeat to Athy last year. They gained revenge though in their recent semi-final with county star Eoghan O’Flaherty notching 0-10 in a 0-15 to 0-12 success.
Sarsfields last claimed honours at this level in 2005 and since then have lost finals in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Attacker Alan Smith is their main man up front and struck a vital goal in their semi-final win over St Laurence’s.
Betting: Carbury 7/4, Sarsfields 4/7, Draw 7/1
Paths to final
First round: Carbury 0-13 St Laurence’s 0-10, Sarsfields 1-8 Naas 0-12.
Second round: Carbury 3-13 Maynooth 0-14, Sarsfields 1-15 St Kevin’s 0-13.
Third round: Sarsfields 1-16 St Mary’s Leixlip 1-5.
Quarter-finals: Carbury 1-14 Confey 0-11, Sarsfields 2-15 Naas 0-4.
Semi-finals: Carbury 0-15 Athy 0-12, Sarsfields 1-11 St Laurence’s 1-9.
Final: Portlaoise v Arles-Kilcruise, O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 3.45pm
Having won the last five titles, Portlaoise are the clear front-runners in the Midlands county and they confirmed that dominance with a resounding 19-point success over St Joseph’s in their recent semi-final clash.
With Brian McCormack and Paul Cahillane both firing 1-5 apiece in that game plus the likes of Cahir Healy, Craig Rogers and Hugh Coghlan in their side, they possess a formidable team.
Arles-Kilcruise will look to talisman Ross Munnelly to inspire their challenge while midfielder Kevin Meaney and forward duo David and Chris Conway are others to look out for.
Betting: Portlaoise 1/5, Arles-Kilcruise 9/2, Draw 9/1
Paths to final
First round: Portlaoise 6-20 Crettyard 1-3, Arles-Kilcruise 0-13 Killeshin 0-8.
Second round: Portlaoise 1-10 Portarlington 1-10, Arles Kilcruise 0-12 Graiguecullen 0-6.
Second round replays: Portlaoise 2-12 Portarlington 0-4, Arles Kilcruise 2-7 Graiguecullen 1-11.
Third round: Arles-Kilcruise 2-8 Killeshin 0-12.
Quarter-finals: Portlaoise 3-8 Stradbally 1-6, Arles-Kilcruise 1-15 Graiguecullen 0-4.
Semi-finals: Portlaoise 2-17 St Joseph’s 0-4, Arles-Kilcruise 0-11 O’Dempsey’s 0-7.
Final replay: Longford Slashers v Emmet Óg Killoe, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 3.30pm
It’s round two for these sides with Emmet Óg Killoe digging deep to rescue a draw courtesy of a late Seanie McCormack free. Considering McCormack notched six out of his team’s seven points last week, they will need to assist him in that department for this replay.
For Longford Slashers, Colin Smith and Stephen Phillips showed up well in the drawn game. Despite the presence of county star Michael Quinn in the Emmet Óg Killoe line-up, Longford Slashers may enough resolve to win with the likes of Barry Gilleran and Dermot Brady on board.
Verdict: Longford Slashers
Betting: Longford Slashers 8/13, Emmet Óg Killoe 7/4, Draw 6/1
Paths to Final
Group stage: Longford Slashers 0-18 Sean Connolly 0-4, Emmet Óg Killoe 2-7 Ballymahon 0-6; Longford Slashers 1-16 Ballymahon 0-3, Emmet Óg Killoe 4-17 Sean Connolly 0-4; Longford Slashers 3-13 St Brigid’s 0-4, Emmet Óg Killoe 2-12 Edgeworthstown 0-4; Longford Slashers 1-10 St Columba’s 0-10, Emmet Óg Killoe 2-17 Abbeylara 1-9.
Quarter-finals: Longford Slashers 1-13 St Columba’s 1-7, Emmet Óg Killoe 2-8 Abbeylara 2-5.
Semi-finals: Longford Slashers 2-13 Clonguish 0-13, Emmet Óg Killoe 0-13 Dromard 0-13.
Semi-final replay: Emmet Óg Killoe 2-7 Dromard 1-8.
Final: Longford Slashers 0-7 Emmet Óg Killoe 0-7.
Patrick Mulvihill will be in action for Garrycastle. Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Final: Garrycastle v Mullingar Shamrocks, Cusack Park, Mullingar, 3.30pm
There is a familiar look to the final pairing in the Westmeath with these sides having contested the last two finals. Garrycastle have won both titles, in 2011 after a replay, and indeed are chasing a fourth consecutive title.
Mullingar Shamrocks, last victorious in the final in 2000, will hope captain Kieran Gavin can inspire them while attackers Lorcan Smyth and Paddy Joyce can also be influential.
But there is plenty experience in the Garrycastle line-up with John Gaffey, Doran Harte, Paul Dillon, Dessie Dolan and Paddy Mulvihill all on board.
Betting: Garrycastle 2/5, Mullingar Shamrocks 5/2, Draw 15/2
Paths to Final
Division A: Garrycastle 1-11 Tyrrellspass 3-5; Garrycastle 2-13 Castledaly 1-13; Garrycastle 2-9 Coralstown-Kinnegad 0-13; Garrycastle 3-13 Killucan 0-8; Garrycastle 0-12 Bunbrosna 1-9.
Division B: Mullingar Shamrocks 0-10 St Loman’s (Mullingar) 2-13; Mullingar Shamrocks 4-10 St Malachy’s 0-12; Mullingar Shamrocks 0-15 The Downs 0-9; Mullingar Shamrocks 2-4 Maryland 0-12; Mullingar Shamrocks 4-12 Athlone 1-7.
Quarter-final: Mullingar Shamrocks 1-10 Tyrrellspass 0-10.
Semi-finals: Garrycastle 4-10 Maryland 0-12; Mullingar Shamrocks 2-12 St Loman’s (Mullingar) 2-12.
Semi-final: Mullingar Shamrocks 3-7 St Loman’s (Mullingar) 1-10.