The 2017 AIB GAA Football Club Championship Final
March 17, 2017 (No Comments) by Dean Fitzgerald

Friday 17th March, on the traditional day of St. Patrick, is the date for the AIB GAA football club championship final, as Slaughtneil of Derry take on Dr. Crokes from Kerry in Croke Park (TG4, throw-in 5pm). This is the day when a year’s worth of blood, sweat, tears, mud, more sweat, and what feels like 5,400 laps of pitches culminates in the final battle to decide which team is the best in the nation in 2016/17, all while everyone else plays the next season’s league games. But let’s not focus on that.

the-2017-aib-gaa-football-club-championship-final

It has truly been a rollercoaster ride this season in the latter stages of the championship. Favourites were beaten, communities were lifted and hearts and souls of neutrals were captured. When the full-time whistle blows on Friday evening, we’ll know who reigns supreme, but the effects have already been felt.

Match Betting

Finals like these rarely have a strong favourite, and as such, Paddy Power have given a slight edge to Dr. Crokes. The Kerrymen are 8/13 to win, with Slaughtneil just behind at 15/8. A draw, at odds of 7/1, looks like a very enticing bet here. As does a 4/1 shot at Colm ‘the Gooch’ Cooper or Chrissy McKaigue being awarded the Man of the Match award by TG4.

In any case, this game is on the same day as the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so it’s possible that you’ll spend your money on one of the horses in that race rather than a two-horse race with low odds like this.

 Slaughtneil – Derry

The Cinderella story of the All-Ireland club championships this year, they proved many people wrong (including this writer in early February) with their defeat of St. Vincent’s of Dublin in the semi-final, behind one of the great all-time club performances by Chrissy McKaigue. Now, it wasn’t as good as Seán Hanlon in the Westmeath Junior semi-final last year, but he was absolutely imperious in his own right, marking Vincent’s talisman Diarmuid Connolly perfectly, and outscoring the Dublin forward 0-4 to 0-1 despite playing at centre back.

chrissy-mckaigue-slaughtneil

Not Like Other Clubs

McKaigue and basically the entire Bradley family have spearheaded a true team effort for this fantastic club’s men’s teams, as they also reached the club hurling semi-finals before falling to Cuala. The women’s camogie side even won the All-Ireland this year. To have all these teams win their county titles would be unbelievable to most clubs. But Slaughtneil aren’t like most clubs.

Driven by Community

This club is the essence of the GAA. A small community pulling together to make themselves a force to be reckoned with. It makes every rural club that has seen town teams dominate their championships in recent years believe. It’s not often that the neutral fans of football get behind a team from Ulster, but I think many will make an exception this year. Will that community spirit and passion be enough to bring home a second All-Ireland this year for the club (and first in men’s senior football)? Only time will tell.

Dr. Crokes – Kerry

The experience, the heartbreak of falling just short, the drive to succeed, Dr. Crokes have all of these in their system. 10 years ago, they were beaten by Crossmaglen of Armagh in a replay to the All-Ireland club title. In 1992, Colm ‘no nickname yet’ Cooper was the mascot for the last All-Ireland winning Dr. Crokes side. It’s now the only trophy the Gooch has failed to win in his distinguished career. That can all change on St.Patrick’s day.

colm-cooper

Arrogance Becomes Focus

Crokes may quite possibly carry a sense of arrogance within Kerry, but once they get into the All-Ireland series, everything changes. That arrogance becomes focus, determination, and a drive to succeed and bring the title home for the second time in their history. Being the very first Kerry club with multiple All-Ireland senior club football titles would cement their legacy as Kerry’s best club, and make them completely unbearable to listen to in the Kingdom. If they weren’t so focused, that is.

Calling On Past Performances

They dominated a very strong Corofin side in the semi-final, winning by 9 points behind Kieran O’Leary’s 0-5 and some very solid defensive work which allowed a tally equal to O’Leary’s from play. If they can replicate such a performance on the biggest stage, it may just be enough.

Match Predictions

It’s hard to choose either team without immediately thinking ‘but what about _____’, so when this type of situation occurs it’s best to just take in the event unfolding in front of you and appreciate one of our great sports being played on Ireland’s national holiday.

Since I have to choose a team though, I’ll go with Crokes by a slim margin. A very unconfident choice, not because Dr. Crokes aren’t great, but because Slaughtneil are. – Dr Crokes shade it.

Dean Fitzgerald
Can relate any life problems back to GAA. Has an interest in sport of all kinds, including even cricket for some reason.

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The 2017 AIB GAA Football Club Championship Final
March 17, 2017 (No Comments) by Dean Fitzgerald

Friday 17th March, on the traditional day of St. Patrick, is the date for the AIB GAA football club championship final, as Slaughtneil of Derry take on Dr. Crokes from Kerry in Croke Park (TG4, throw-in 5pm). This is the day when a year’s worth of blood, sweat, tears, mud, more sweat, and what feels like 5,400 laps of pitches culminates in the final battle to decide which team is the best in the nation in 2016/17, all while everyone else plays the next season’s league games. But let’s not focus on that.

the-2017-aib-gaa-football-club-championship-final

It has truly been a rollercoaster ride this season in the latter stages of the championship. Favourites were beaten, communities were lifted and hearts and souls of neutrals were captured. When the full-time whistle blows on Friday evening, we’ll know who reigns supreme, but the effects have already been felt.

Match Betting

Finals like these rarely have a strong favourite, and as such, Paddy Power have given a slight edge to Dr. Crokes. The Kerrymen are 8/13 to win, with Slaughtneil just behind at 15/8. A draw, at odds of 7/1, looks like a very enticing bet here. As does a 4/1 shot at Colm ‘the Gooch’ Cooper or Chrissy McKaigue being awarded the Man of the Match award by TG4.

In any case, this game is on the same day as the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so it’s possible that you’ll spend your money on one of the horses in that race rather than a two-horse race with low odds like this.

 Slaughtneil – Derry

The Cinderella story of the All-Ireland club championships this year, they proved many people wrong (including this writer in early February) with their defeat of St. Vincent’s of Dublin in the semi-final, behind one of the great all-time club performances by Chrissy McKaigue. Now, it wasn’t as good as Seán Hanlon in the Westmeath Junior semi-final last year, but he was absolutely imperious in his own right, marking Vincent’s talisman Diarmuid Connolly perfectly, and outscoring the Dublin forward 0-4 to 0-1 despite playing at centre back.

chrissy-mckaigue-slaughtneil

Not Like Other Clubs

McKaigue and basically the entire Bradley family have spearheaded a true team effort for this fantastic club’s men’s teams, as they also reached the club hurling semi-finals before falling to Cuala. The women’s camogie side even won the All-Ireland this year. To have all these teams win their county titles would be unbelievable to most clubs. But Slaughtneil aren’t like most clubs.

Driven by Community

This club is the essence of the GAA. A small community pulling together to make themselves a force to be reckoned with. It makes every rural club that has seen town teams dominate their championships in recent years believe. It’s not often that the neutral fans of football get behind a team from Ulster, but I think many will make an exception this year. Will that community spirit and passion be enough to bring home a second All-Ireland this year for the club (and first in men’s senior football)? Only time will tell.

Dr. Crokes – Kerry

The experience, the heartbreak of falling just short, the drive to succeed, Dr. Crokes have all of these in their system. 10 years ago, they were beaten by Crossmaglen of Armagh in a replay to the All-Ireland club title. In 1992, Colm ‘no nickname yet’ Cooper was the mascot for the last All-Ireland winning Dr. Crokes side. It’s now the only trophy the Gooch has failed to win in his distinguished career. That can all change on St.Patrick’s day.

colm-cooper

Arrogance Becomes Focus

Crokes may quite possibly carry a sense of arrogance within Kerry, but once they get into the All-Ireland series, everything changes. That arrogance becomes focus, determination, and a drive to succeed and bring the title home for the second time in their history. Being the very first Kerry club with multiple All-Ireland senior club football titles would cement their legacy as Kerry’s best club, and make them completely unbearable to listen to in the Kingdom. If they weren’t so focused, that is.

Calling On Past Performances

They dominated a very strong Corofin side in the semi-final, winning by 9 points behind Kieran O’Leary’s 0-5 and some very solid defensive work which allowed a tally equal to O’Leary’s from play. If they can replicate such a performance on the biggest stage, it may just be enough.

Match Predictions

It’s hard to choose either team without immediately thinking ‘but what about _____’, so when this type of situation occurs it’s best to just take in the event unfolding in front of you and appreciate one of our great sports being played on Ireland’s national holiday.

Since I have to choose a team though, I’ll go with Crokes by a slim margin. A very unconfident choice, not because Dr. Crokes aren’t great, but because Slaughtneil are. – Dr Crokes shade it.

Dean Fitzgerald
Can relate any life problems back to GAA. Has an interest in sport of all kinds, including even cricket for some reason.

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