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FRIDAY JULY 18TH
I have four selections today, but am going to keep my comments brief, as the golf bets get under way at lunchtime.
MONAGHAN UNITED - LIMERICK
The visitors are my strongest bet of the day. They have signed an incredible 16 players in the mid season transfer window and along with a lot of off the pitch changes, they have gone from a club heading nowhere fast, to one full of ambition.The confidence at Limerick is sky high at present and so it should be, they have not conceded a single goal in over six hours and have collected ten points from a possible twelve, including away wins at the top two sides in the division. The last, at leaders Shelbourne, was particularly noteworthy, as they won 2-0, playing almost 50 minutes with ten men !
They now sit 13 points off the top of the table, with exactly half the season still to play, their next handful of games are against teams below them in the table and if they are to get involved in the promotion race, which is their stated aim, they have to win fixtures like tonight's.
Monaghan have not scored in four of their last six, including their last two starts, infact ,they have notched just 5 on home soil all season, easily the lowest total in the league. Recent performances have shown promise and there may be better to come, but these are two sides heading in different directions at the moment. Hosts will miss the suspended Kevin Williamson, who is key to the left side of their defence.
6.5 points Limerick level ball 1.82 asian line. WON 2-0
SOUTHAMPTON - GLASGOW CELTIC
This is a testimonial game for Claus Lundekvam, who has retired from the game, after missing all of last season. However, the visitors seem to be taking the game seriously, it is live on television, they will have 8-10,000 supporters at the match and have insisted that Saints can make only limited substitutions. It was originally the intention that Southampton would use a number of guest players, but Celtic were unhappy with that. However, they have agreed that their hosts can use three such players (non registered), who will be Lundekvam, Matt le Tissier ( about 15 kilos overweight) and Michael Svensson. Like all such games it should be high scoring, but I feel that the visitors will be treating it far more seriously.
5.5 points Celtic -1/2 ball 1.86 Betfair.WON 2-0
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF
12.47 TWO BALL JUSTIN ROSE- AARON BADDELEY
Very positive post round interview from Justin Rose, he played in the worst of the conditions and at +4 he is still in the heat of the battle. Rose is now a proven big tournament player on the world stage, especially in the majors, Birkdale has a very special place in his heart, as it is where he burst on the scene as a 19yo a decade ago, he is desperate to go well this week. The British player made par at every hole on the back nine and certainly seemed to handle the dire weather better than Baddeley, who have five bogey's down the straight. These two are likely to play in the worst of the conditions again today and I have to firmly side with Rose.
5.5 Rose to beat Baddeley 1.78 Pinnacle Sports. WON BY 3 STROKES
14.09 THREE BALL LEE WESTWOOD- KJ CHOI- BEN CURTIS
Ben Curtis is a former winner of this event, but has achieved very little since and this looks to be between the other two. Westwood is my choice, he was one of the very few who played the back nine under par in the morning and that says a huge amount about his confidence at present , that , being +5 after three holes, +6 at the turn, he could easily have let things slip, but knuckled down and fought hard. He was unlucky with the putter and had a lot of birdie putts, so his score could have been even better, I expect this to level out today.
4.5 points Westwood to win his three ball 2.10 general quote. LOST