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Sunday 17 December 2017

Boylan to have final say after stand-off win

LEINSTER v MUNSTER

(Parnell Park, Tomorrow, 2.0)

YOU'VE got to hand it to that feisty featherweight, Seán Boylan. You don't accumulate four All-Ireland titles in two different decades without being able to fight your corner ... something the CCCC discovered after being left nursing a bloody nose last Monday, metaphorically speaking of course!

The thing is, if the GAA is serious about reviving that long-comatose dodo that is the Interprovincial series, then they simply had to go along with Boylan. To refix the Mayo/Dublin NFL clash for today would have, to quote the man himself, "made a mockery" of the interpros.



Message

After all, there are 10 Dublin players on Boylan's Leinster panel -- Stephen Cluxton, Rory O'Carroll, Ger Brennan, Kevin Nolan, Michael Darragh Macauley, Alan Brogan, Bernard Brogan, Kevin McManamon, Bryan Cullen, and Diarmuid Connolly. They are skippered by Alan Brogan. They are the All-Ireland champions. And tomorrow's semi-final is being hosted by them.

In such circumstances, fielding a Leinster team either mostly or totally devoid of Dubs would have sent out the message loud and clear: we can pretend to still cherish the old Railway Cup, until it gets in the way of everything else.

Boylan won the day and will play with a strong hand here whereas Tipp haven't made any of their players available, citing prior training commitments.

Contrary to earlier speculation, there will be four Kerrymen on their panel, including skipper Tomás ó Sé, but they could face an uphill task.

ODDS: Leinster 4/9, Draw 15/2, Munster 21/10 VERDICT: Leinster



Ulster to tame the wild West

CONNACHT v ULSTER

(Markievicz Park, Tomorrow, 2.0)

ULSTER manager Joe Kernan has lost hamstrung former All Star Danny Hughes from his original selection, but the play-anywhere Joe McMahon qualifies as a pretty handy replacement.

And besides, it still looks a strong Ulster side on paper, especially in defence, while Benny Coulter and Owen Mulligan provide an ageing but potentially lethal cutting edge up front.

Connacht have home advantage but that mightn't be enough.

ODDS: Connacht 7/4, Draw 15/2, Ulster 8/15

VERDICT: Ulster

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