Lonesharkoy previews the Leinster Club Football Championship and he thinks Navan O'Mahonys can win and bring some positivity to Meath football.
Leinster Club SFC
Not unlike the Leinster Intercounty championship, the Leinster senior club championship has become somewhat dominated by Dublin, with six of the last eight winners (or eight of the last twelve) hailing from the capital. City clubs continue to draw heavily from the pool of county players representing the rest of Ireland but working in the city. However the strength of Dublin underage football has also bolstered their cause and ensured that in terms of strength in depth, they tend to overpower the best of the rest.
Three Dublin club sides are currently 14/1 or shorter in the race for the All Ireland club championship, despite the fact that the race for their own domestic championship is only at the quarter final stage. On Sunday evening St Vincents will play Ballymun Kickhams and one of those two clubs will fall by the wayside already, so while the likelihood is that there may well be a Dublin winner this year again, there is no value in taking any of the capital sides.
However backing a team to win the title ahead of them still involves picking a side that’s capable of an upset on a given day and there are very few of them out there. Rhode have tried and failed several times over the past decade, but have invariably fallen short, St Lomans have the personnel but possibly not the form right now, while there are some strong sides in Kildare, but none that look to have the ability to unseat a Kilmacud or a Vincents, regardless of how much luck they get on a given day.
Naturally it makes sense to look to the top half of the draw, where Portlaoise will be the obvious choice for many punters, despite their older age profile. The Laois club have dominated their local scene and will be hotly fancied to make a semi-final at the very least. However the two Arles clubs have each come through some tough battles this year and both look a bit more battle hardened than a Portlaoise side that hasn’t had to dig deep in any of their three championship contests.
That leaves us with two frequent champions who will presumably fight it out in a quarter final tie on the 8th of November – Emmet Óg Killoe and Navan O’Mahonys. Killoe are beginning to earn some respect now after some strong performances in recent years and they will have home advantage for that contest, but key corner forward Seán McCormack hasn’t been himself since the death of his father earlier this year, which might point us back towards a wager on the Meath club.
O’Mahonys crashed out in Tullamore against Rhode last year, but the loss of Kevin Reilly was a huge blow to their prospects on that occasion and he’s now back and playing well at midfield for the reigning champions. A mediocre group campaign was left well and truly behind them when they blew 2013 champions Summerhill out of the water in the quarter final round and they are one of those teams that would expect to get better from here. 20/1 is a very decent price and one that is worth a small long term investment.
1 point win Navan O’Mahonys to win the Leinster club SFC at 20/1 with Ladbrokes