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Friday 15 December 2017

All 'Hale club kings for the sixth time

Colin Fennelly
Colin Fennelly

All-Ireland club Senior Hurling final (Croke Park, Today, 2.0, Live TG4)

THE All-Ireland club final has seen a peculiar number of hidings in the past decade - indeed the average winning margin over that time is just over eight points.

Kilmallock have too much quality to allow that to happen in Croke Park today but neither do they have the pace in attack to exploit an ageing Ballyhale defence in the most unforgiving space in hurling.

Michael Fennelly has been a revelation at centre-back for the Kilkenny champions and just one of a smattering of players for whom big stages almost always prompt big games.

Experience aside, Ballyhale's attack is as jewel encrusted as this competition has seen.

Shefflin, TJ, 'Cha', Colin Fennelly...it's a cliché, but they'd grace any county side and another victory today will will take them two clear of Portumna and unquestioned as the greatest club team of this era.

ODDS: Ballyhale 1/2, Draw 9/1, Kilmallock 2/1

VERDICT: Ballyhale

All-Ireland club Senior Football final

COROFIN v SLAUGHTNEIL

(Croke Park, Today, 3.45, Live TG4)

THE phrase 'one step forward, two steps back,' springs to mind when assessing Corofin's gradual rise to All-Ireland final prominence, so long have been touted as potential winners of this particular competition.

They were, however, brilliant against St Vincent's in the All-Ireland semi-finals, controlling the game and blitzing the All-Ireland champions.

Michael Lundy continues to grow into one of the game's best half-forwards and a win here should tick another box.

ODDS: Corofin 1/3, Draw 11/2, Slaughtneil 11/8

VERDICT: Corofin

- Conor McKeon

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