Tubber (@2.0) vs Erin Rovers (@2.0)

Our Prediction:

Erin Rovers will win

Tubber – Erin Rovers Match Prediction | 14-09-2019 10:00

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Management: Joe Higgins, JJ Guinan, Len Casey, Jimmy Donoghue, Eamonn Kavanagh. Subs: Keith Higgins, Shane Kelly, Donal Lynam, Liam Hackett, David Kelly, David Kavanagh, Emmett Kelly, and Gary Delaney. U14 B Winners 1999 Andrew Minnock; James Guinan, Lorcan Halligan, Patrick Molloy; Joseph Condron, Ger Egan, Stephen Keena; Diarmuid Donoghue, Edmund Kavanagh (0-1); Fergal Daly (0-5), Joseph Higgins (0-1), Adrian Kelly (0-5); Daniel Boland (0-1), Leo Guinan (0-3), Nicholas Egan.

However, a quick look at some of the names available to Rhode - the McNamees, the Sullivans, the Darbys, Paschal Kelleghan, Roy Malone - and it"s hard to see a performance as poor as they put in against Shannonbridge being repeated. Ferbane have rediscovered their pride and won"t concede an inch, but Rhode are still the class act in Offaly and should prove that once again on Sunday afternoon. If both sides repeated their performance from last Sunday week, there would be every chance that Ferbane would get the four-point win that they need to guarantee their progression into the next round.

Unfortunately 2005 also saw us defeated by Birr in the U12 County semi-final and since then matters on the playing field hasn't brought us too much silverware. Silverware was back in Tubber once again. In 2006 we did reach the Minor Quarter Final only to lose out to Kilcormac/Killoughey who that year reached the County Final, while it was in 2006 that we made our last final appearance when we lost to St Broughan's in the U16B Final. To those who had the vision of a Minor Club, our years of success are down to you and hopefully more and more years of success will come to us. 2005 was another great year for the club when we beat Birr by 1-12 to 2-3 in the U14B Final and Ferbane in the U16B Final by 1-9 to 1-7.

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Rhode had beaten Tullamore in the first round while Ferbane had folded meekly to Shannonbridge in the first round and the two clubs looked a world apart. Fast forward on to today and while nobody would try to argue that the two teams are equal on paper, Rhode appeared hesitant and uncertain against Shannonbridge, while Ferbane found their championship rhythm in a real ding dong battle against Tullamore. Two weeks ago this fixture would have been the easiest prediction since Scotland played Estonia in Tailinn without the Estonians on the field.

U16B Winners 2005 Neil Hiney, Lee Dunning, Eoin Johnson, Richie Dunne, Olsen North, Colm Daly, Aaron Daly, Brian Kelly, Noel Browne, Peter Dunne, Conor Cribbin (0-2), Aaron Farrell, Keith Lawlor (0-1),Adrian Hiney (1-4), Eric Farrell (0-1). Subs: Chris McDonald, Bernard Allen (0-1), Joe Walsh, Danny Power, Martin Larkin, Ethan Kenna, Ciaran Farrell, Liam Daly.

The problem for Birr is that the gap between third and fourth is similar to the gap between Kilkenny and the second best team in hurling - it might be only one ranking place, but it"s a lot more than that in reality. If ten people were asked to rank the clubs in the IFC, at least seven out of ten would put Doon third while a similar proportion would probably put Birr fourth, based on results in 2008.

Once relegation becomes an issue, that"s when the Cloghan men spring into life and there is every reason to believe that the same thing could happen here. On form this season, this should be a handy win for Erin Rovers. It should be simple - but this is the stage where St Rynagh"s traditionally play their best football. They gave Ballycumber plenty of it and arguably deserved a result while Rynagh"s lost by nine to the same opponents. Rovers drew with Clara, Rynagh"s rolled over and died.

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In order to reach a Quarter-Final, Tullamore must win this game by four points and hope that Rhode beat Ferbane in the other match going on simultaneously in O"Connor Park. Tullamore found James Grennan too much to handle at midfield last time out and it"s easy to see how John Ryan and John Egan could prove similarly difficult to get the better of this week. That Tullamore have the players to do this is not in question - whether they have the resolve to take on and beat a fired up Shannonbridge team is quite another matter altogether. As Sesame Street could have put it, this match is brought to you by the letters Q and F, and the number 4.

Gracefield should welcome back the two Fitzpatricks and that added firepower could give them the edge in what could be a very hard fought and entertaining game. Offaly"s two midfielders, Ciaran McManus and Niall Smith, will do battle at midfield and both players are likely to play a big role, but Gracefield"s half-back and half-forward lines should win the battle for breaking ball and their greater scoring ability should be too much for Tubber to handle, as a club who find scoring more than twelve times extremely difficult.