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Barry Coughlan, Ballygunner, and Kevin Downes, Na Piarsaigh, during the 2017 AIB Munster Club SHC Final at Semple Stadium.
Barry Coughlan, Ballygunner, and Kevin Downes, Na Piarsaigh, during the 2017 AIB Munster Club SHC Final at Semple Stadium.

Preview: Weekend's Club Championship action


Sunday November 18

Hurling

AIB Munster Club SHC Final

Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) v Ballygunner (Waterford), Semple Stadium, 2pm

Na Piarsaigh's willigness and craft at delivering in Munster is well documented, but they face a pumped up Ballygunner.

The Waterford club shaded a thriller against Ballyea to book a spot in this eagerly anticipated decider.

Having lost an All Ireland club final replay against Cuala, Na Piarsaigh did what was required in Limerick before blasting a statement of intent when beating Tipperary standard bearers Clonoulty-Rossmore.

Peter Casey mined a couple of goals, Adrian Breen and Kevin Downes were a threat, while the Dempseys and Mike Casey were other prominent contributors.

Injury concerns, though, exist with Ronan Lynch and Shane Dowling forced off in that encounter.

Ballygunner's panel is nicely stocked with top quality performers too with Stephen O'Keeffe, Barry Coughlan, Wayne Hutchinson, Brian O'Sullivan, and the Mahony's heavily involved.

AIB Leinster Club SHC Semi-Finals

Naomh Eanna (Wexford) v Ballyhale Shamrocks (Kilkenny), Innovate Wexford Park, 1.30pm

Naomh Eanna followed up their historic Wexford win by defeating Camross in Leinster.

That it was achieved with an assured display ensures Naomh Eanna are heartened ahead of a daunting challenge against Henry Shefflin's Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Conor McDonald is a potent attacking threat for Naomh Eanna, who will also hope that David O'Brien - scorer of two goals in the Camross match - can be equally effective.

Shamrocks' talisman TJ Reid will need to be minded, but with Joey Holden, Michael Fennelly, and Colin Fennelly also playing there is no shortage of Kilkenny guile.

Ballyboden St Enda's talisman Conal Keaney.
Ballyboden St Enda's talisman Conal Keaney.

Ballyboden St Enda's (Dublin) v Coolderry (Offaly), Parnell Park, 2pm

On an emotional evening in Donnycarney Clonkill produced a defiant display, but Ballyboden St Enda's just did enough to advance.

Coolderry overcame a similarly spirited Mount Leinster Rangers with goalkeeper Stephen Corcoran's free-taking a key feature of the game.

Brian Carroll also landed vital scores for Coolderry, who won the Leinster title in 2011.

Ballyboden St Enda's watched Cuala produce on the provincial and national canvas so Joe Fortune's charges, with Conal Keaney still a critical player, will want to impress.

Galway SHC Final

Liam Mellows v St Thomas', Pearse Stadium, 2pm

A decent crowd is expected in Salthill where holders Liam Mellows face favourites St Thomas.

Mellows ended a 47 year search for a Galway Championship in 2017, but Thomas' panel includes Eanna Burke, David Burke, and Conor Cooney.

Former county players David Collins and Aonghus Callanan are important players for Mellows with Tadhg Haran, who also wore maroon and white, an accurate attacker.

Louis Mulqueen had Mellows primed for the decider against Gort and will be striving to ensure the progressive city club can achieve that type of performance once more at Pearse Stadium.

Scotstown goalkeeper Rory Beggan.
Scotstown goalkeeper Rory Beggan.

Gaelic Football

AIB Ulster Club SFC Semi-Finals

Scotstown (Monaghan) v Coleraine (Derry), Healy Park, 1.30pm

Having recently completed a four in a row in Monaghan, Scotstown's ambition is now to deliver on the Ulster stage.

A team flecked with prominent inter-county players means Scotstown head for Omagh with equal measures of hope and expectation.

Scotstown did lose an interesting provincial decider against Crossmaglen Rangers in 2015, but reaching another final is the ambition.

Rory Beggan is an accomplished goalkeeper, while the Hughes', Conor McCarthy, and Shane Carey supply plenty of class and experience.

Coleraine, though, should provide a stern test, especially following a hard earned success in Derry.

That was a hugely satisfying victory for the McGoldrick powered outfit, who blasted a couple of important goals to shrug off Castlerahan's spirited resistance.

Gaoth Dobhair (Donegal) v Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh), Healy Park, 3.30pm

Considering Gaoth Dobhair's rich history in Donegal it is suprising that they haven't made a huge impact in Ulster.

That will surely be a huge motivational factor for a talented team against the most decorated northern team of the lot, Crossmaglen Rangers.

The splendid Armagh club have accumulated 11 provincial crowns since 1996, a reminder of their ability and consistency.

Following a couple of barren years in the County Championship Cross returned to prominence this year and they are gunning for glory again.

Crossmaglen had the guile to carve out a 0-12 to 0-10 triumph over Coalisland, while Gaoth Dobhair survived a gritty late Cargin rally.

Gaoth Dobhair include the McGees, Cian Mulligan, Kevin Cassidy, Michael Carroll, and Odhran MacNiallais.

Aaron Kernan remains an influential figure for Crossmaglen, while the O'Neills, Oisin and Rian are highly regarded players, delivering when it counted against Coalisland.

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