Rhode (@1.53) vs Ferbane (@3.0)
13-10-2019

Our Prediction:

Rhode will win

Rhode – Ferbane Match Prediction | 13-10-2019 10:30

On form so far this year the gap between the two clubs appears to have narrowed significantly, but logic still dictates that Shamrocks should have little difficulty in Geashill. Both these teams contested county finals in 2007, one at intermediate and one at senior. Shamrocks need a big margin win here as well as a decisive result in Tullamore in order to advance to the quarter-finals and the suspicion is that they"ll hold up their end of the deal. Edenderry have turned the corner after a grim spell this decade and are an up and coming team, but it would be understandable if a sense of dj-vu was settling into the club as they once again get drawn into a relegation battle. Shamrocks to win by at least six points is the most likely outcome.

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. 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.

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Rhode, who were without talisman Niall McNamee who announced his inter-county retirement during the week, led by 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time in Croghanthanks to a Conor McNamee penalty, but they could never relax against the county town outfit. In last night's final round of group matches, champions Rhode defeated Tullamore by 2-12 to 1-12, while Ferbane were 2-15 to 1-13 winners over Edenderry.

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A team could win two or three games of a four-game round-robin phase and be left in a relegation match while another team could get beaten four times on the trot and take a quarter-final place. This is not about predicting any results and by all means, the games left will be competitive but the fact that this is a possibility makes a mockery of the championship.

It should be simple - but this is the stage where St Rynagh"s traditionally play their best football. 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. They gave Ballycumber plenty of it and arguably deserved a result while Rynagh"s lost by nine to the same opponents. On form this season, this should be a handy win for Erin Rovers. Rovers drew with Clara, Rynagh"s rolled over and died.

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A great Sen Ryan goal was the main reason that they came away with nothing from that fixture and K/K don"t offer that level of threat here. Their status as a football only club, unlike Kilcormac/Killoughey for whom hurling is the primary sport for many of their key players, should give them the edge in this fixture, provided they play with the same focus that they did against Birr. Clonbullogue will have been hugely disappointed with their year so far and all that remains for them now is to ensure that they don"t get drawn into a relegation dogfight.

It all sounds fair enough until you break down the permutations. Without casting aspersions on any of the teams involved, it's possible for one team to lose all four of their round-robin games and still make it to a quarter-final by virtue of score difference over another winless rival in the same group.

RHODE GAA

Rhode - K Garry; S Sullivan, E Rigney, J Kavanagh; B Darby,N Darby(0-1), J McPadden; C McNamee, A McNamee; C Heavey, R McNamee (0-3),P Sullivan; P McPadden, A Sullivan (1-4), N McNamee (0-9, 4f). Subs:D Garry(0-1) for C Heavey, D Kavanagh for C McNamee, G McNamee forS Sullivan,S Lowryfor A McNamee,M Rigney for P Sullivan.