Preview: Rounders Senior and Intermediate All-Ireland finals
By Jamie Dowling
There is a huge weekend in store for GAA rounders as the Intermediate and Senior finals take centre stage in Kinnegad GAA Centre, Westmeath this Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of September.
In what should be a memorable weekend for the sport, the best of the best will battle it out to become All-Ireland 2023 champions.
There is a lot of sub-plots to the weekend in both the Intermediate and Senior finals, with the likes of Cavan’s Erne Eagles senior men looking to seal their third title in a row, with Breaffy senior ladies hoping to win back-to-back titles.
As for the Intermediate finals, Michael Glavey’s of Roscommon will be looking to do the double in the men’s and ladies’ competitions, with Monaghan’s Carrickmacross Emmets vying for their first intermediate mixed title.
First up on Saturday is the turn of the intermediate finals at 1:30pm, where Michael Glaveys of Roscommon take on Kevins of Dublin in the ladies final. Both teams are in good form with Kevin’s really shining in their first year at the grade.
This will go down to the wire, but a fast start is crucial and whoever perfects that will stand a great chance of winning on Saturday.
On the men’s side of things at 3:30pm, Michael Glavey’s face off against the Galway City Rapparees in an All-Connacht clash. Glavey’s will be hoping to go one better than last year and are going in as favourites for this one after coming out on top earlier in the year.
Next up on Saturday, and the last game of the day at 5pm, is the intermediate mixed where Carrickmacross Emmets take on St Clares of Cavan, this too will be a close one which was the case earlier in the season with St Clare’s edging out their Ulster rivals.
Carrick will be looking to raise their game for the final and potentially that will be enough to see them over the line for their first title.
Attentions turn to Sunday, where spectators can look forward to unmissable action. For the second year running there is six different clubs competing in the three finals showing how competitive the senior grade is.
The senior ladies take to the field first with Breaffy of Mayo and Glynn/Barntown of Wexford kicking off the action at 12pm.
Breaffy are looking to secure back-to-back titles along with their third ever ladies title, however, the Wexford side won’t be there to make the numbers as they ended Breaffy’s unbeaten run earlier in the season which spanned back to the start of the 2022 season.
This one will be tight, its hard to call. It could be all to play for coming down stretch and could even provide extra innings.
The second final on Sunday at 2:30pm is the turn of Limekiln of Dublin and The Heath of Laois. Both sides have a very proud tradition in this competition with The Heath looking for their fifth mixed title while Limekiln are looking for their tenth.
These two teams are no strangers to each other as they have done battle over the years at underage and adult level. It’s another hard one to call with experience and talent all over the field.
Whoever gets off to a fast start might make the difference but expect a thrilling game either way.
Then the game that brings the curtain down on the 2023 season is the senior men’s final which pits Carrickmacross Emmets against Erne Eagles of Cavan.
Both teams have done battle in the final for the last two years running with the Cavan side running out winners on both occasions.
The Monaghan men will be going into the final full of confidence having not lost a game all season including a win against Sunday’s opponents.
We are in for a classic to close out the season and don’t be surprised if Carrick finally get the job done over rivals Erne Eagles.
It’s an all-ticket affair and here are the links for each day: