Weekend GAA previews

TODAY

Allianz Football League Round 3 Division 1 Dublin v Monaghan, Croke Park 7pm (D Gough, Meath) Live Setanta Ireland.

In knock-out football, no team came closer to beating Dublin in Croke Park last year than Monaghan in the Division 1 semi-final. Clearly, they have learned lessons from losing to them in a dead rubber the week before and they will need to be as expertly drilled again here if they are to push a team that looked exquisite earlier this month. The return of Dublin’s big guns to the panel will be of great benefit.

Verdict:

Dublin.

Division 2 Armagh v Fermanagh, Athletic Grounds 7pm (C Reilly, Meath) Setanta Sports 1.

We may only be two rounds in but it’s all about survival for these teams now given the gauntlet of games they face in the coming weeks. Armagh have been dismal thus far but can wrestle and wriggle their way to a first win here.

Verdict:

Armagh.

Munster Post Primary Corn Uí Mhuirí final: St Brendan’s College, Killarney v HS Clonmel, Mallow (K Murphy, Cork), 2pm.

Not since 1928 has a student from High School Clonmel lifted the Corn Uí Mhuirí trophy. Is this the afternoon an 88-year gap is bridged? Doubtful. Although having twice overcome last year’s defeated finalists, Rochestown, en-route to the decider, Tony Gleeson’s students are tasked with stopping a forward unit averaging 1-15 per game and breaking down a rearguard whose average concession stands at less than six points per match.

Verdict:

St Brendan’s.

Leinster PP SHC final: St Kieran’s College v Kilkenny CBS, Nowlan Park, 2pm.

A fifth final meeting in seven years for these Kilkenny nurseries. CBS defeated Mountrath 2-16 to 0-14 in their semi, while St Kieran’s beat Dublin North Colleges 3-11 to 2-7. The contributions of Seán Bolger, Jay Leahy and Conor Doheny will be key if CBS are to wrestle back the Corn Uí Dhuill from their rivals.

Verdict:

St Kieran’s.

TOMORROW

Allianz Football League Round 3.

Division 1.

Donegal v Mayo, MacCumhaill Park (B Cassidy, Derry) Live TG4.

Rory Gallagher is demanding i nstant results from Donegal’s recent warm weather training camp. If tomorrow’s display is anything like the team’s opening two performances he is sure to be satisfied. Mayo have a few of their mainstays back in harness and their need for a first win is greater although they may have to make do with a share of the spoils in what should be a keenly-fought clash.

Verdict:

Draw.

Down v Kerry, Páirc Esler (Marty Duffy, Sligo) Deferred TG4.

Whatever about their record against Down in championship, Kerry have a habit of picking up handsome wins against them in the league. Kerry won the counties’ three meetings the last time Down were in Division 1 between 2012 and ’14. Before that, they beat them well in the 1997 quarter-final and ’95, last losing to Down in ’94. Down restored some confidence in fighting it out with Monaghan but are missing key players while some of the cavalry have returned for the visitors.

Verdict:

Kerry.

Cork v Roscommon, Páirc Uí Rinn (D Coldrick, Meath).

Jekyll and Hyde were all too apparent in Cork’s opening two displays although such was the extent of the changes in personnel and positions in their back-line in Ballyshannon it was difficult to see how they could have beaten Donegal. If Roscommon had no fear of Killarney, they’ll certainly carry no concerns about Páirc Uí Rinn but here we should see more of what Cork really are about. Peadar Healy does need to experiment but only a little. Until their Division 1 status is confirmed, it isn’t the time for square pegs in round holes.

Verdict:

Cork.

Division 2.

Derry v Galway, Celtic Park (C Branagan, Down).

A second successive defeat for Galway would be a major body blow to their promotion aspirations. Going into their grudge match against Tyrone next weekend, two points is exactly what will be demanded by Derry boss Damian Barton although Galway have gone to Celtic Park and won before. A tight home win.

Verdict:

Derry.

Laois v Tyrone, O’Moore Park (P O’Sullivan, Kerry).

Laois’ win in Armagh two weeks ago dented the theory they will be fodder for teams in Division 2. But here they are coming up against arguably the best oiled Tyrone team since the late Noughties who intend remaining unbeaten in 2016.

Verdict:

Tyrone.

Meath v Cavan, Páirc Tailteann (R Hickey, Clare).

Meath hardly expected to go the course of this division without dropping points but losing two to Fermanagh will have been disappointing with the momentum they had built up from their O’Byrne Cup win and opening victory over Armagh. They do, though, have more attacking qualities than their neighbours in this one.

Verdict:

Meath.

Division 3.

Longford v Kildare, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park (N Ward, Westmeath).

If Kildare want to show they are oscillating at a higher level than the typical Division 3 team then nothing less than a win will do tomorrow.

Verdict:

Kildare.

Offaly v Sligo, O’Connor Park (E O’Grady, Leitrim).

Sligo have yet to win an away league game under Niall Carew and that stat is likely to remain against a team that haven’t yielded a home defeat under Pat Flanagan.

Verdict:

Offaly.

Westmeath v Tipperary, Cusack Park (L Devenney, Mayo).

Tipperary are boosted by the return of their Clonmel Commercial players but Westmeath’s needs are greater after losing their two opening games.

Verdict:

Westmeath.

Limerick v Clare, Newcastle West (J Hickey, Carlow).

After they were denied an extra point by Tipperary and narrowly beaten by Longford, Limerick must avail of home advantage even if it seems they are of no fixed abode, moving to Newcastlewest after opening the league in Kilmallock.

Verdict:

Limerick.

Division 4.

Wexford v London, Innovate Wexford Park 1pm (K Murphy, Cork).

A homecoming of sorts for former Wexford captain Ciaran Deely who now manages London. It’s unlikely to be a happy one, though.

Verdict:

Wexford.

Antrim v Leitrim, Corrigan Park, Belfast (N Cullen, Fermanagh).

Following two one-point defeats, something good will come Leitrim’s way but it mightn’t be here against the table-toppers.

Verdict:

Antrim.

Carlow v Waterford, Netwatch Cullen Park (N McKenna, Monaghan).

A kick of a ball away from a win against Wicklow and Louth, Waterford are thinking victory here but may have to settle for a point.

Verdict:

Draw.

Louth v Wicklow, Gaelic Grounds (B Tiernan, Dublin).

Both teams have 100% record thus far but the nature of Louth’s victories has been slightly more convincing.

Verdict:

Louth.

Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1. Dublin v Cork, 2pm, Parnell Park, (N. McCormack).

The meeting of the two top teams in Ladies Football in recent years and a repeat of the last two All Ireland finals. Dublin will want to put down a marker to Cork’s new management team ahead of what will likely be a year long rivalry. Home advantage is a huge plus for Dublin but they are facing a Cork team that need points to make it to the semi-finals. This is a tough game to call but Dublin have shown more form to date and will want to get one over on their biggest rivals.

Verdict:

Dublin.

Mayo v Armagh, 2pm, Swinford Amenity Park (J. Niland).

Verdict:

Mayo.

Monaghan v Tyrone, 2pm, Drumhowan (G. Corrigan).

Verdict:

Monaghan.

Kerry v Galway, 2pm, Finuge (K. Delahunty).

Verdict:

Draw.

National Camogie League (2pm unless stated)

Division 1 Group 1.

Clare v Offaly, Corofin GAA, Co. Clare (C Egan, Cork).

Verdict:

Clare.

Dublin v Galway, DCU Centre of Excellence, 2.30pm (O Elliott, Antrim).

Verdict:

Galway.

Tipperary v Wexford, Cloughjordan GAA (A Lagrue, Kildare).

Verdict:

Wexford.

Division 1 Group 2.

Derry v Cork, St, Patrick’s GAA, Loup (K O’Brien, Dublin).

Verdict:

Cork.

Kilkenny v Waterford, Piltown GAA, 2.30pm (J Dolan, Clare).

Verdict:

Kilkenny.


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