Bear in the Square are a GAA tipping duo who share a common love of Junior B and Ciaran McDonald. Our tips are weighted from 1-5 with a 5 point stake being our max bet.
Here we are in the third week of August and the football championship is just about to start! The so called ‘top four’ teams have managed to navigate their way into this year’s semi-finals. This Sunday sees the Kingdom of Kerry go up against the Green and Red of Mayo, and what a game we have in store!
It would be impossible to preview this game without mentioning those two epic semi final battles in 2014. Mayo looked home and hosed the first day only for Kieran Donaghy to rescue a draw for the Kingdom.
The replay was fixed for the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick and the game had everything.
Mayo started brightly and raced into a 2-03 to 0-02 lead. During this period, referee Cormac Reilly forgot to send off Shane Enright after brandishing him with a yellow and then a black card. He was quickly hauled off by Eamon Fitzmaurice, and replaced by Marc O’Shea who had a huge game.
O’Donoghue and the Star were starting to cause havoc and within a blink of an eye, Kerry were ahead and looking comfortable.
Mayo fought back as they always do and game went to extra time. Robbie Hennelly had a late free caught just under the bar by non other than Kieran Donaghy. The game went to extra time and Mayo started brightly, but Kerry scored the last five points of the game to end up winning by three.
The Build Up:
So much talk this week has been about who will mark Kieran Donaghy. It’s a really difficult one to call but Mayo do have a few options. Donie Vaughan matches up well to Star, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Barry ‘Big Bird’ Moran play as a sweeper.
2016 Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan will come back into the Mayo side, but it’s not clear who will drop out. Stephen O’Brien has been pushing hard for Kerry and may well take the place of Mikey Geaney. Will Kerry leave Mark Griffin on Andy Moran after being roasted during the league?
The Betting Preview:
The Kerry backs looked vulnerable in their quarter-final matchup against Galway, especially when the Tribesmen ran at their defence. Galway could easily have scored four goals that day.
Cork also had some joy at this in the Munster final, leaving two goals behind them. Mayo showed against Roscommon what they do best when they run at the opposition. In the two games against Roscommon, they scored five goals and conceded two. In the 2014 games, a total of eight goals were scored over both games.
With both sides capable of scoring and conceding, the 6/5 on offer for over 2.5 goals looks to be the way to go here.
2pts on Over 2.5 Goals at 6/5 Paddy Power
Club Championship Accumulator:
1pt stake at around 5/1 – Mullinahone (2/7), Thurles Sarsfields (2/5), Holycross (4/11), Rathdowney-Errill (4/7), St Molasie Gaels (4/7)
Following on from last weekend’s winning 5/1 accumulator, we look to see if we can land another this week.
We start with the Tipperary club hurling where champions Thurles, Mullinahone, and Holycross all look likely to win. In Laois, we fancy Rathdowney-Errill to beat an out of sorts Clough Ballacolla. While in Sligo, we like St Molaise Gaels in the football championship.
All Ireland U21 Hurling
Derry’s reward for winning the Ulster title is a matchup with no other than Kilkenny. Ulster teams have not fared well over the past few years in the U21 grade. Excluding Antrim’s win over Wexford in 2013, they have lost five of their last six semi-finals by an average of 24.4 points.
Kilkenny have powered through Leinster and look to have the scoring power to blow Derry away.
Boylesports have the handicap at -19pts at 10/11 and we will have a 2.5pt stake on this.
Make sure to check out our preview of Kerry vs Mayo on The 16th Man podcast.