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[ # ] Weekend Predictions
May 25th, 2007

Cork v Clare
The first big clash of the hurling championship brings together two teams who have had far from ideal seasons so far. The Clare squad problems have been well publicised and it will be interesting to see if Tony Considine can raise another typical fighting banner performance from the team. Cork have had a slight undercurrent of dissent in the transition to new manager Gerald MacCarthy but they seem to be in much better shape than their opponents. With Clare missing the old defensive spine of Davy Fitz, Brian Lohan and Seanie McMahon it’s hard to see them being able to hold Cork’s fast moving attack. Cork should win this one by 6 points.

Laois v Offaly
The Leinster championship opens with two teams clashing for the chance to get hammered by Kilkenny in the semi final. Offaly had a pretty decent league campaign but then suffered the disappointment of being relegated to division 2, while Laois won the division 2 crown but were well beaten by Limerick in the promotion playoff. Offaly have been much the better team in recent clashes between the teams and it’s hard to see that changing on Sunday. Despite the fact that they are carrying a few injury concerns that has delayed the naming of their team they should still be too strong for a very youthful Laois team. Offaly to win by 10 points.

Down v Derry (replay)
Down should be able to reach the Ulster final at the second time of asking. With a game under their belts they won’t be as rusty as last week. Down by 4.

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