IT may be early days yet but already GAA punters are letting their pockets do the talking for the 2012 Kildare Senior Football Championship, writes Tommy Callaghan.
The draw for the first round of the senior, intermediate and junior championships were made following the recent Kildare versus Westmeath NFL game at Newbridge and the senior in particular has thrown up a couple of fascinating ties.
The ‘stand-out’ draw sees 2011 champions, Athy, take on 2010 winners Moorefield, while another intriguing pairing sees the 2011 beaten finalists, Carbury, pitted against St Laurence’s.
This year of course there is a new format for the championship with first round defeated teams having just one more opportunity to get themselves back into the main draw, while a second defeat sees that team head to the relegation play off section. So there is not a whole lot of ‘wiggle’ room this time around.
Championship odds are always keenly looked at at this time of the year and while Moorefield are installed (again) as favourites at 5/2, all the early money (and by all accounts it has been substantial) suggests that Sarsfields, now under former great, John Crofton, is the team that is going to take all the beating.
Sarsfields opening odds of 5/1 have already been slashed to 3s, an indication that their early season form (unbeaten in all competitions to date) is making a very positive impression on many.
Champions Athy, are quoted at 7-2 to retain their title with odds of 7/1 all the way out to 66/1 for the rest.
Full odds for SFC: Moorefield 5/2; Sarsfields 3/1 (from 5s), St. Laurence’s and Celbridge 7/1; Carbury, Clane 16/1; Round Towers, Naas and Alenwood 33/1; St. Kevin’s Ballymore Eustace, Confey 50/1 with Suncroft rank outsiders at 66/1.
In the Intermediate Championship, it’s hardly a surprise to see Johnstownbridge installed as favourites at 9/4. They have been in or around that position for the past number of years but to date have failed to deliver.
Next in the odds in this grade are Monasterevin, Ellistown and Rathangan all at 6/1 while Kilcock (back in intermediate for the first time for a number of seasons) along with Eadestown are 8/1.
Full odds for the Inter-mediate Championship: Johnstownbridge 9/4; Monasterevin, Ellistown and Rathangan 6/1; Kilcock, Eadestown 8/1; Kilcullen 12/1; Raheens and Castledermot 14/1; Ballyteague 16/1; Straffan, Kill at 20s; Roberts-town and Sallins 25s with Caragh and Nurney at 33/1.
In the Junior Football Championship another side who have been there or thereabouts over the past few years are again short listed to go all the way. Two Mile House are installed at evens to go all the way with Milltown at 5/2.
Full odds for Junior Championship: Two Mile House 1/1; Milltown 5/2; Ballykelly 3/1; Castlemitchell 8/1 along with Clogherinkoe; Grangenolvan are quoted at 20/1 while Rheban, Rathcoffey and Ardclough are at 25s with Cappagh out outsiders at 33/1.
Odds supplied by Cill Dara Betting, were correct at time of going to press.