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

Our Prediction:

Rhode will win

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

The Island have come through their two games so far with some ease and nothing that Kilclonfert have shown this season suggests that they can rock the boat. Kilclonfert"s narrow win over Ballyfore in the last round kept alive their hopes of progression to the knockout stages of the Intermediate Football Championship, but getting into the last six is one thing - getting a result over Walsh Island is quite another. Stalwarts like Fergal Beacon and Declan Kelly will do their best, but they look outgunned by a Walsh Island team who have Brian and Ross Connor dominating the middle and Alan and Willie Mulhall to convert the chances that will undoubtedly ensue.

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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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Both these sides have been surprise packets in 2008 and neither team will want to lose momentum by doing anything other than competing at 100 per cent intensity. Conspiracy theorists will be watching this game keenly to see if the two sides engineer the mutually satisfactory draw that will send both clubs into the knockout stages, but realistically this will only be an issue if the scores are level with a few minutes to go.

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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.

Raheen have been extremely disappointing in this years IFC and appear to be regressing after several years of playing very competitively at this level. Bracknagh also had a difficult outing in round two of this years championship, shipping 3-18 to St Brigid"s, but the Croghan men are demolishing all round them this year and if Bracknagh can put that one-off result behind them, they can win this. Their loss to Clara showed quite how far the club have fallen and unless they can turn things around, they look like they"ll struggle this Sunday too.

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.