Dubai A and Abu Dhabi the teams to beat in Middle East GAA Champs

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  • Season Decider: The championship takes place on Friday.

    The competition is a nine-a-side format with Irish, international and local players involved with teams from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE.

    New teams Al Ruwais, Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai’s Jumeirah Gaels are also set to make their debut in the capital.

    In the senior section, Dubai A will be bidding to avenge last season’s final defeat to Dubai B, but they will have to overcome the stiff challenge of hosts Abu Dhabi na Fianna A and Qatar A.

    Dubai A will be bolstered by the presence of former Wexford star Aindreas Doyle as well as Eoin Reilly, Peter Campbell and Tom King.

    Abu Dhabi na Fianna, meanwhile, are sprinkled with good footballers in Ciaran McGinley, Danny Curran and Rob Browne and should provide the main threat to Dubai.

    Both sides last met in the league final in March, with Dubai clinching the title after a 1-10 to 0-11 victory, and remain the alluring choice to win the championship on Friday.

    Elsewhere, in the ladies senior category, Abu Dhabi na Fianna – beaten once in nearly four years – are aiming for a treble after winning the Asian games and the Middle East League.

    The girls from the capital play an entertaining brand of football with an emphasis on moving the ball with pace and purpose. With many star-studded names dotted across their panel, former Wicklow stalwart Niamh Carroll is a player with great accuracy in execution.

    Meanwhile, Sharjah A will be looking to continue their impressive form in the intermediate section. In Neily Cunningham and Philly O’Callaghan, they possess two exceptional individual talents who can change the course of a game.

    Their rivals Dubai C will be targeting silverware also, but if Sharjah can play the way they did in the league decider last month then they will be difficult to stop.

    In the junior section, Jumeirah Gaels are the league winners and will be relishing the prospect of completing a double in their first season as a club.

    Padraig McEnery, Shane Clifford and Kevin Costello are three-highly promising players who provide an impeccable service on and off the ball.

    The hurling action, which gets underway on Thursday evening, will see a plethora of enthralling encounters.

    Dubai Halfway House, Dubai St. Aidans, Abu Dhabi St. Patrick’s and Abu Dhabi St. Martin’s will contest the senior section, while Sharjah/Al Ain, Bahrain/Qatar and Abu Dhabi C will be aiming for senior plate glory.

    In the camogie, Abu Dhabi have the momentum to prevail but will be pushed all the way by Sharjah and Dubai.