In his regular Club Preview on LeinsterGAA.ie, Keith Barr leans toward St. Vincents ahead of tomorrow’s Leinster Quarter Final in O’Moore Park.

“This Sunday the AIB Leinster Club SFC Championship Quarter Finals take place and we have four fantastic pairings each in their own right have a passionate competitive edge to them.

Obviously the tie of the Quarter Finals is the meeting of the reigning Leinster Club champions St Vincents and the 8 time winners Portlaoise. It is the repeat of last year’s six goal thrilling final in which Vincents won 3-12 to 3-9 in O Connor Park Tullamore. These two giants go head to head at 2:30pm in O Moore Park on Sunday and it is going to be fascinating encounter.

So many big names on show but even greater is two very good hard working clubs that epitomise the success of this wonderful competition.

Portlaoise will have Cahir Healy, Craig Rogers and Zach Touhy is coming home which clearly shows the ambition that Portlaoise have going into this game. They have collected their 8th successive Laois SFC title and their experience, energy and drive is breathtaking. These guys are looking to have a good run in this competition and will feel confident if they get past the Dublin champions that they can go far. It is the game that is a repeat of last year’s decider and is the battle of two of the strongest clubs in the province.

Diarmuid Connolly is a very special footballer and along with Tomas Quinn and Eamon Fennell this Vincents sides boasts strong skilful players backed up with belief and character that shows that these guys will take beating. They are already one of the short odd favourites to go all the way again this year and few could argue with that analysis. However, they only recently won a hard and very competitive Dublin SFC final against a Plunketts side that pushed them right to the final seconds. That game will have taken a lot out of Vincents and it showed as the Navan Road men almost nicked a draw in the end.

St Vincents will have been glad to retain their first Dublin SFC title since the 70s which is something that is not easy to do when you look at their achievements and the amount of energy they have used up in winning the All Ireland club title last March.

Sunday is a game that Portlaoise will relish and they will have a strong home crowd behind them. Vincents despite their experience will be vulnerable and the home side will look to capitalise on that. Underfoot conditions and weather will all play their part but these two sides know each other well and Portlaoise will be hoping to avenge last year’s final defeat.

As I said, this competition is special and there is very little between any of the teams overall, but I think that little extra bit of quality and character that the St Vincents lads have will be the edge on the day that will give them the result.”

Image Credit: Sportsfile


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