Louth SFC Final 2016 Preview

by louthandproud on October 1, 2016

in Club

We’re these the two sides you would have pencilled down at the start of the year?

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that’s what makes this Sunday’s showpiece fascinating.
Here’s my preview and pick.

the hype
A massive day in many of the players lives, Who can handle the hype best?

The O’Mahonys know it and been through it just 12 short months ago while Ardee (bar a few players) don’t know it at all.
All week, the build up at home and with the lads and around the area can take the energy from you but it can also inspire you.
Sometimes going into a final you can nearly be too insular and not at the right pitch at all.
Feeling nerves is a good thing or rather how well you channel your nerves are a good thing.
Both sides will be hyped up for different reasons. Ardee will have a town behind them they won’t want to let down while SOM will have felt all of it last year and just want to take that extra step this time.

Cream
The two sides are most definitely the two form teams in the county. As in they are both there on merit and full of confidence going into it.

The main characteristic in both teams is their synergy.
The sum of their parts is a lot more potent that individually. SOM for a town team play like an old fashioned country team while Ardee are selfless to a fault up front.

Green and Gold
SOM make you work so hard for every score, they beat you to a pulp and tire your brain to a fatigue mess then hit you on the counter.

The Point Road midfield is typical of this spirit. Shane Brennan and Conor Martin compete so well for every kickout. While shy to get forward they relish the defensive cover. Kevin Brennan in the goals links up with Shane on occasion too(are they brothers?). To help them out even more Conor Crawley comes out sometimes to give them a dig out.

Like the simplicity of their forward play Crawley gives them focus. Throw it in long to him but they are usually clever long balls then they have the pace and accuracy of Kilcoyne and Ben McLaughlin inside too.

On top of that, they have a deadly accurate free taker in Conor Finnegan. All the while Fisher and Keith McLaughlin relish the scrappy ball and odd point from broken play. The Dundalk side keeps the ball so well.

At the back, JOBser is just calmness personified he’s the crawley at the back. A leader and simplifies everything and they all know their job, they are excellent at their marking jobs too. Kurt Murphy and Mickey Clarke are easily the best man markers about the county. While Liam Dullaghan’s fitness helps them get out of defence to launch attacks.

Blue and White
The scoring power the Marys possess is what has got them this far.

Paudy Clarke is in the form of his life, Darren Clarke is only known for scoring and Alan Kirk is a couple of points off top scorer this year. These three carry the bulk of the scoring responsibility from play and deadballs.

How they create their scores is pace and hard running. That comes from Daire McConnon, Mark Fay and aforementioned Paudy. The fact they only play with 5 forwards most of the time helps them too.
They have the space to play and their defenders mainly Niall Eccles, Eimhin Keenan and John Bingham love the space to run into. They can do that at leisure because of the safety net of a sweeper.

Ronan Carroll is a forgotten county man, his midfield role is mainly attacking as he is very hard to stop when he gets on the run but he goes out of the game the opposite can be said about his partner Robert Leavy who is a constant for Ardee this year and they know each other so well now at this stage their partnership is quite formidable.

Ardee although play a sweeper are not what you would call a defensive team. They have pacy markers and composed ball carriers. They have conceded high scores in all but one game out of five.

tail of the tap

Having looked in depth at both sides it really makes for an entertaining affair.

As in boxing styles make fights and If the O’mahonys are to win it will be down to their defence, while Ardee’s x-factor is in attack.

They match up quite evenly and I’d even go as far as saying Ardee are the only team in county that can match up to SOM at the moment. Whether thats good enough on the day we’ll see.

Still so many questions

Can Shane Brennan do a job on Ronan Carroll?
Will John Bingham be sacrificed to pick up Crawley?
Paudy Clarkes pace enough to unsettle JOBser?
Can the Marys handle Killer and Ben?
Will the bench be significant (Marys better options bench)?
On the line, who makes the better calls?
Will there be another draw this year for Ardee?
Can the O’Mahonys get their first Joe Ward?
Will there be an unlikely hero?

Pick

A lot has been made from my picks throughout this topsy turvy Senior championship.
I got both semi finals picks incorrect so what do I really know!?
I do know, both finalists don’t want me to pick them to win!

But
I’ll put my head on the line for the last time this year and
pick:

SOM.

Thanks for reading and best of luck to both teams.

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