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GAA Betting: All Ireland Football Final

by Josh Powell | September 15, 2010

Unnoticed square balls, Kalum King's finger nails and the width of a cross bar. All reasons Down have reached the All Ireland Football Final, but in reality, there is something of much more substance behind their arrival at Croke Park on the third Sunday of September. The Mourne men are a side with immense talent, passion and drive which will see them lift Sam Maguire at Croke Park on Sunday.
 
I've no evidence but hearsay and a competitor's account statement that has €œL€ beside it (No, that doesn't stand for Learner Punter), but I backed Down to win Ulster. Way back then I thought they had something. From that semi-final defeat to Tyrone I lost confidence in my opinion. Since, I have watched them manoeuvre their way to the All Ireland Final and have been amply impressed with their gradual and marked improvement. As well as utterly disgusted. Both from a betting point of view and, as a Wicklow man, having watched my own county beat them on July 18th 2009. Someone stood still. Two words might explain the change in Down €“ Martin and Clarke.
 
When it comes to Down in Croke Park – and it happened prior to their win over Kerry – their record at HQ is cited as a statistic of immense relevance. It shouldn't be, but the rich history cemented by their predecessors at Jones' Road has laid the foundations for this present group to carry the mantle. They've never lost an All Ireland Final at Croke Park
 
Cork are a good side, no doubt about it. In inspirational captain Graham Canty, they have a talismanic leader. His ligament injury and possible omission has been likened to Henry Shefflin's situation with Kilkenny. It's worse. The Bantry man would be a huge loss to a sometimes mentally fragile Cork side €“ a trait that has been echoed by their predecessors in All-Ireland Finals.
 
Against a fired up Down side who can match them almost man for man, it's a recipe for an upset. Speaking of a mentally-weak sides like Cork, Dublin should have beaten the Rebels in the semi-final too. But for Donncha O'Connor they'd be sitting in Tom Barry's this Sunday supping on a pint of Murphy's discussing its superiority over Guinness. And that's not true either. Take Down's semi-final display, despite the shaky (exciting more so) ending, they had the strength to grind out the win on the back of a good, solid performance.
 
Add to that the impervious Benny Coulter. Which Benny turns up will be the big factor? You'd have to imagine, the ginger-haired, game-changing, goal-poacher will. Only one part of that description is a certainty though. Put the brilliant Marty Clarke pulling the strings and the aforementioned Kallum King dominating midfield into the mix and you have my case.
 
15/8 says it'll be a 21 year old famine in Cork on Monday morning!

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