Glynn-Barntown and St Martin's get my final votes
Published 13/10/2015 | 00:00
Next weekend the two main football finals are down for decision in what should be two close and exciting games.
The Lodgewood Engineering Intermediate football final takes place unusually on Friday night under lights at Taghmon. Due to a backlog of fixtures for both clubs and the fact that the winners play Kilkerley Emmets of Louth in the Leinster Club championship on Sunday, a more suitable date could not be found.
An idea would have been to concede home advantage to their opponents and play next week under lights at a Louth venue, but I don't know if that was feasible.
What I do know is that both Wexford clubs would have preferred a Saturday or Sunday afternoon final.
It's not ideal preparation if you have players working all day or students away in college and then all having to travel back home to play a county final.
Both sides are in the same situation so now they need to put that to the back of their minds and not let it distract from their preparation.
A final under lights will be something different and can add to the atmosphere and sense of occasion.
I can vouch for one thing though: whoever does win will be in no condition to play Leinster Club football on Sunday.
As regards predicting a winner it will be a close call. Glynn have to be favourites judging by the form shown to date and their performance in the semi-final.
They have a young team sprinkled with players with inter-county experience, and will not lack any incentive after their defeat in last year's final and their disappointment in the hurling last week.
One thing they need to improve on is their conversion of chances in to scores.
In the semi-final they squandered a lot of opportunities so at this stage it is vital they are more economical in front of goal.
Bannow have been the surprise team of the Intermediate championship, as they only dropped one point to their fierce rivals Clongeen in the league stages.
Pip Murphy has introduced some new young players and they have certainly repaid his faith in them.
Niall Harney and Ben Brosnan are in terrific form and they will need big games from both players if they are to win.
They also need to improve on their second-half showing from the semi-final when they survived an onslaught from Bunclody.
In a close contest that could go to the wire again, I would expect Glynn-Barntown to end the year on a high and prevail by a couple of points.
The Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football final brings an unexpected pairing of St. Martin's and St. James'.
When St. Martin's hammered their opponents in the league stages a couple of months ago, few would have seen the transformation in the Ramsgrange outfit.
They developed from a team that seemed destined for a relegation battle into serious title contenders in the space of a few games, a remarkable turnaround.
Backboned by their county players, they have improved immeasurably with each game.
In theory, 13 of the St. Martin's team which started the hurling semi-final last week could start the football final on Sunday.
They have some excellent young players that are performing with confidence and are led supremely by Daithí Waters, Ciarán Lyng and 'Bear' Hayes, who is one of their most consistent performers in every game.
Paudie Kelly is a major loss after his red card but they have many talented footballers ready to step up to replace him.
St. Martin's have impressed me this season and I won't change my prediction from early in the year when I said they looked like champions, but it will be a lot closer than their meeting earlier in the year.