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Marc Ó Sé: Galway can cover handicap in Leitrim clash

| 07.05.2022

Marc Ó Sé previews three matches in the All Ireland Senior Championship this weekend.

Cork v Kerry (Sat, 19.00)

Sean Powter being back training is a huge boost for Cork going into this game and if he is fit to start he will certainly bolster their defence. However, Ian Maguire’s loss will be massive as he has always had great battles with David Moran over the years. With Moran, Paul Murphy and Seanie O’Shea fit again, there will be serious intensity to the Kerry training sessions with the competition for places.

Much has been made of where this game was going to be played. It’s Pairc Ui Rinn now so both teams must just get on with it. The element of shock from 2020 in Pairc Ui Caoimh when Mark Keane got the late goal to beat Kerry is still fresh in Kerry’s minds and having watched Derry overcome All Ireland Champions Tyrone last weekend, complacency certainly won’t be an issue for Kerry.

I expect Kerry to win by double figures so I see value in the 12/1 on offer about the draw in the handicap.

Galway v Leitrim (Sun, 15.30)

Galway will take huge confidence from beating Mayo in their back garden in Castlebar a few weeks ago and will fancy their chances of winning their Connacht Football Championship semi-final.

Andy Moran’s Leitrim came through a tough assignment against London durng which Ryan O’Rourke was outstanding, scoring two goals and two points.

With the in-form Paul Conroy, Galway hold all the aces here, though. If he can continue to score from midfield and kick a good supply of ball into the dangerous inside full forward line, Galway should win this comfortably.

Galway to cover the 14-point handicap is my pick.

Donegal v Cavan (Sun, 16.00)

Cavan will be delighted to have broken the Croke Park hoodoo. They had won just one match at Croke Park at all levels in 10 attempts since 1997 but they put that to bed when they beat Tipperary in the National League Division 4 final recently. Young Paddy Lynch certainly is a breath of fresh air for Cavan having scored two goals for them in the final.

Declan Bonnar’s Donegal were totally dominant against Armagh in the Ulster quarter-final. Armagh did have a few goal opportunities after half-time though and Cavan may try to kick long ball into their inside line where Thomas Galligan might drift in at times.

However, Donegal have too much quality not to win this match with players like Micheal Langan, Ciaran Thompson, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Paddy McBrearty and Michael Murphy.

Donegal to win but expect a right battle from Cavan. I think Donegal -5 could be tight, so my bet is Paddy McBrearty for first goalscorer at 11/2.

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Warren Barner