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Prolific Ballintubber forward Cillian O'Connor.
Prolific Ballintubber forward Cillian O'Connor.

Preview: Weekend's Club Football Championship action


Saturday October 19

Mayo SFC Final

Ballaghaderreen v Ballintubber, Elverys MacHale Park, 7pm

Ballintubber returned to the Mayo summit last year and are eager to earn a fifth title.

Kevin Johnson's mixture of emerging and established players have set the standard again in Mayo with the O'Connor brothers prominent figures.

Ballaghaderreen, who last triumphed in 2012, have made significant progress in recent months with Andy Moran still a key figure.

Sunday October 20

AIB Ulster Club SFC First Round

Cargin (Antrim) v Derrygonnelly Harps (Fermanagh), Corrigan Park, 2.30pm

Having edged a gripping Antrim SFC Final replay, Cargin now want to make an impact in Ulster.

Derrygonnelly Harps claimed a fifth Fermanagh crown in a row last month so they are also anxious to deliver on the provincial stage.

There is no shortage of footballing talent in either camp so both teams will fully believe that a victory is attainable.

Exciting Crossmaglen Rangers forward Rian O'Neill.
Exciting Crossmaglen Rangers forward Rian O'Neill.

Armagh SFC Final

Ballymacnab v Crossmaglen Rangers, Athletic Grounds, 4pm

A blistering finish ensured Crossmaglen Rangers defeated Ballymacnab in the 2018 Armagh SFC Final.

In the last quarter Cross outscored Ballymacnab by seven points to secure a 0-24 to 1-15 success.

The Grugans remain key performers for Ballymacnab, but Cross aren't short on experience or class with the O'Neills emerging as formidable players at this level in recent campaigns.

Clare SFC Final

Kilmurry-Ibrickane v St Joseph's Miltown-Malbay, Cusack Park, 3pm

Eoin Cleary's sharp accuracy guided Milltown-Malbay to Clare glory in 2018.

Now they are back intent on securing further silverware, but the Kilmurry-Ibrickane challenge will be treated with the utmost respect.

Between 2002 and 2017 Kilmurry-Ibrickane secured eight Clare titles and have repeatedly produced solid outfits.

It is why the meeting of the last two champions in the county promises to be interesting.

Derry SFC Final

Glen v Magherafelt, Celtic Park, 4pm

Glen's willingness to invest so much time and energy in the underage ranks is now being reflected on the senior stage.

Four Derry and Ulster minor titles in a row between 2011 and 2014 brought hope and Glen are now beginning to deliver at senior level.

Having defeated Slaughtneil, Glen are viewed as slight favourites, but Magherafelt also feel that silverware can be secured.

Magherafelt have defeated Coleraine, Ballinascreen, and Banagher demonstrating admirable character en route to the decider.

Kevin Cassidy remains an influential figure for Gaoth Dobhair.
Kevin Cassidy remains an influential figure for Gaoth Dobhair.

Donegal SFC Final

Gaoth Dobhair v Naomh Conaill, MacCumhaill Park, 4pm

Goath Dobhair's Donegal and Ulster triumphs in 2018, confirmed the talent and ability which exists in the proud club.

The enduring excellence of the McGee brothers and Kevin Cassidy dovetails nicely with the craft of Odhran MacNiallais and the emergence of Odhran McFadden Ferry.

Gaoth Dobhair continue to manufacture able footballers, but Naomh Conaill's win over St Eunan's was worthy of the utmost respect.

Galway SFC Final

Corofin v Tuam Stars, Tuam Stadium, 3.30pm

AIB All Ireland club champions Corofin are looking to secure a seventh Galway title on the spin.

Corofin make the short journey to Tuam for a clash with the Stars, who are managed by former Galway forward Tommy Carton.

Mikey Mannion and Jamie Murphy's finishing helped Tuam, with Gary O'Donnell influential, back to a first county showpiece since 2012 when losing to Salthill-Knocknacarra.

In the intervening spell Corofin haven't been beaten in Galway so Tuam's task is mammoth.

Kildare SFC Final

Moorefield v Sarsfields, St Conleths Park, 3.30pm

Rivals Moorefield and Sarsfields collide once more in the Kildare SFC Final.

Amazingly since 2002 they have played seven finals, including one draw.

Jack O'Connor's appointment as Kildare boss has added to the interest levels in the county with Moorefield managed by Ross Glavin, who will be a selector for the Lilywhites in 2020.

Ben McCormack kicked two important points for Sarsfields against Celbridge, while Caoimhin McDonnell nailed three vital frees.

Fulham Irish manager Owen Mulligan.
Fulham Irish manager Owen Mulligan.

London SFC Final

Fulham Irish v Tir Chonaill Gaels, McGovern Park, 2pm

A replay was required before Tir Chonaill Gaels prevailed against Fulham Irish last year.

So a similarly hard fought game is expected to materialise in Ruislip with Fulham Irish now managed by former Tyrone star Owen Mulligan.

Coggins has helped bring through several promising homegrown Tir Chonaill Gaels players, but Fulham Irish are an emerging force too.

Fulham Irish defeated TCG by the narrowest of margins in 2017.

Louth SFC Final

Newtown Blues v Naomh Mairtin, Gaelic Grounds, 3.30pm

Newtown Blues are hoping to claim a third Louth title in a row against Naomh Mairtin.

In a dramatic finish to the 2018 final Newtown Blues came storming back to overcome Naomh Mairtin.

At half-time Newtown Blues trailed by six points, but a Ross Nally goal proved decisive after the restart.

Scotstown and Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan.
Scotstown and Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan.

Monaghan SFC Final

Clontibret v Scotstown, Clones, 3.30pm

These are encouraging times for Scotstown, who have won the last four Monaghan Championships.

Clontibret, though, bring a competent team to St Tiernach's Park with Vinny Corey, Dessie Mone, and Conor McManus hugely productive figures.

Scotstown's panel is flecked with top inter-county stars too, though, with Rory Beggan, the Hughes brothers, Shane Carey, and Conor McCarthy all involved.

Sligo SFC Final

Coolera-Strandhill v Tourlestrane, Markievicz Park, 4.15pm

Tourlestrane have won three Sligo Championships in a row so enter this weekend's final armed with hope and expectation.

Gerry McGowan and Eamonn O'Hara have kept Tourlestrane relevant in Sligo, but Coolera-Strandhill enjoyed a fine 2-14 to 0-16 triumph over St Mary's in the semi-final.

Niall Murphy impressed for Coolera-Strandhill, who last won a Sligo title in 2005.

Waterford SFC Final

Ballinacourty v Rathgormack, Fraher Field, 3.30pm

This should be an interesting encounter between two proud clubs intent on claiming glory.

Rathgormack haven't won a Waterford football title since 1999, while in the intervening years Ballinacourty have triumphed in 2007, 2011, and 2013.

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