April 22, 2021, 7:31

GAA previews: The weekend action to watch as inter-county games return

GAA previews: The weekend action to watch as inter-county games return

	GAA previews: The weekend action to watch as inter-county games return

Saturday 17th

Allianz Football League, Round 6

Division 1

Monaghan v Kerry, Grattan Park, Inniskeen 2pm (B Cassidy, Derry) Live GAAGO.

Consider this a health warning for this and every other preview that follows given there is no form to go on. Kerry’s means of getting to this game has to be taken into consideration. With Conor McManus leading the line, Monaghan are believed to be moving well in training — who isn’t, says you — but Kerry can attack these two games given they have a couple of weeks then before facing Cork.

Verdict: Draw.

Dublin v Meath, Parnell Park 7pm (B Cawley, Kildare) Live EirSport.

This could very well turn out to be the Leinster final pairing next month and as much as Parnell Park may not work to Dublin’s favour as Croke Park would Dessie Farrell has has more exclusive time with his players than Andy McEntee. That will be reflected in the scoreline.

Verdict: Dublin.

Division 2

Westmeath v Laois, TEG Cusack Park 2pm (P Maguire, Louth) Live GAAGO.

We’re leaning towards the home team if only that they have been working together more as a unit this last while. Laois blew hot and cold in the early part of the league and were better on the road, something Jack Cooney might consider.

Verdict: Westmeath.

Armagh v Roscommon, Athletic Grounds 5.30pm (D Coldrick, Meath). Live RTÉ.

You wonder just how much the week or so Armagh had to sit out for Covid-19 reasons has affected them. The word is they have put in a huge amount of work in training and that shouldn’t go to waste.

Verdict: Armagh.

Division 3

Cork v Louth, Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4pm (S Mulhare, Laois). Live GAAGO.

A case of taking care of business for Cork who, if their named team is correct, are confident enough that they can pick up the necessary point for promotion without risking injury to some of their key men. All the same, Ronan McCarthy has two possibly three spots he has to fill before Kerry arrive at this venue on November 8.

Verdict: Cork.

Down v Leitrim, Páirc Esler 4pm (N McKenna, Monaghan). Live GAAGO.

Down have known for seven months that promotion is in their hands and they won’t slip up here. They shouldn’t when they make the short trip south to Louth next weekend either but complacency can’t be entertained.

Verdict: Down.

Derry v Longford, Celtic Park 4.30pm (S Alavert, Antrim). Live GAAGO.

Against their bogey team, Derry know they must win to keep their slim hopes of promotion alive. Without Michael Quinn, Longford aren’t as strong while Derry welcome Conor Glass to the panel.

Verdict: Derry.

Division 4

Wicklow v Antrim, Aughrim 12.30pm (J Hickey, Carlow). Live GAAGO.

Wicklow had put some real positive displays together prior to the pandemic. As did Antrim, though, and the Saffrons’ defence was remarkable meaner than the hosts.

Verdict: Antrim.

Carlow v Sligo, Netwatch Cullen Park 5pm (F Smyth, Offaly).

A debut win for new manager Niall Carew, which would also end Sligo’s hopes of promotion, would give Carlow a lift but they might be shy in experience.

Verdict: Sligo.

Eirgrid U20 All-Ireland FC semi-finals

Kerry v Galway, LIT Gaelic Grounds 4pm (B Tiernan, Dublin). Live TG4.

The decision by John Sugrue and his management to stand down players who may have come in contact with a panel member who has tested positive for Covid-19 was the responsible thing to do. That being said, it is sure to impact on the county‘s chances of reaching a first final at this level in 12 years. Galway have had their own Covid issues after an outbreak at Moycullen and are without Paul Kelly and James McLaughlin, as well as Daniel Cox.

Verdict: Galway.

Dublin v Tyrone, Kingspan Breffni Park 2pm (B Judge, Sligo) Live TG4.

Tyrone won a decent Ulster campaign earlier this year but they will have lost any battle fitness from then. Ciaran Archer remains the star in the Dublin attack and Tyrone’s Darragh Canavan broke his wrist back in August.

Verdict: Dublin.

Electric Ireland Munster U17 quarter-final

Cork v Clare, Semple Stadium 1pm (J McCormack, Tipperary) Live munster.gaa.ie streaming

With three players each, Ballincollig and Midleton have the best representations in the Cork team named by new manager, Dónal Óg Cusack.

Verdict: Cork.

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship

Group 2

Limerick v Westmeath, Bruff GAA 2pm (J Heffernan, Wexford).

Getting their campaign underway at home to the newly promoted intermediate champions will bring its own challenges so Limerick will need to respect their opponent. Under the management team of the Greville brothers, they continue to improve year-on-year but Limerick can prevail.

Verdict: Limerick

Waterford v Kilkenny, Walsh Park 2pm (A Larkin, Cork)

If Kilkenny are to make their fifth consecutive All-Ireland Senior final appearance, they will need to prove to themselves first and foremost that they can produce that title-winning confidence all the way to the December.

Verdict: Kilkenny.

Sunday 18th

Allianz Football League, Round 6

Division 1

Galway v Mayo, Tuam Stadium 2pm (M Deegan, Laois) Live TG4.

We would be slightly suspicious of the Galway team named to start this game although there are injury concerns. When it comes to Mayo, Galway aren’t going to play possum and certainly not when they have silverware to play for and possibly relegating their neighbours at the same time. Mayo have done well in recent challenges so are braced for what could be thrown at them.

Verdict: Draw.

Donegal v Tyrone, MacCumhaill Park 4pm (J Henry, Mayo) Live TG4.

It may be just this quarter but a lot of the indifference about the inter-county season resuming has come from Tyrone. Is it because they are genuinely concerned about safety or may they feel they are down too many key players to go all the way in a knockout championship start with a trip to Donegal? Here, they get a taste for Ballybofey before they come back here again in two weeks.

Verdict: Donegal.

Division 2

Clare v Fermanagh, Cusack Park 1pm (J Bermingham, Cork) Live GAAGO.

Given all that they have been through, it would be something else were Fermanagh to take the two points from here and save their Division 2 status. But it’s looking pretty difficult especially as Clare have Gary Brennan and Jamie Malone back in their ranks.

Verdict: Clare.

Kildare v Cavan, St Conleth’s Park 2pm (C Reilly, Meath) Deferred TG4.

A decent game should be in store here with plenty on the line for both teams. Niall Kelly’s injury deprives Jack O’Connor of a playmaker although Cavan themselves were coping well without top players like Killian Clarke earlier this season. Kildare’s need to avoid the drop may be greater than Cavan’s to go up.

Verdict: Kildare.

Division 3

Tipperary v Offaly, Semple Stadium 2pm (D Murnane, Cork) Live GAAGO.

John Meagher is a big loss to David Power but the likes of Michael Quinlivan are back involved and Tipp had not been scoring enough earlier this year. Offaly’s attack has some punch too but Tipperary can win a tight affair.

Verdict: Tipperary.

Division 4

Limerick v Wexford, Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale 3pm (S Lonergan, Tipperary) Live GAAGO.

Limerick were purring before that defeat to Antrim just before the lockdown. Wexford are rebuilding again after Paul Galvin’s exit as manager.

Verdict: Limerick.

Allianz Division 2A hurling final

Antrim v Kerry, Bord Na Mona O’Connor Park 1.30pm (L Gordan, Galway) Live GAAGO.

Both counties have been looking forward to this perhaps even more than the championship. Division 1 hurling and the prospect of big teams travelling to play them is a major incentive. Kerry’s preparations were slightly upset by a Covid case but their attack remains sharp. However, Antrim may have more balance on this occasion.

Verdict: Antrim.

Allianz Division 2B hurling final

Down v Derry, Athletic Grounds 2pm (J Clarke, Cavan) Live GAAGO.

Derry were three points better off than Down in the group game all the way back in January. They are unbeaten although Down should put more of a squeeze on them.

Verdict: Derry

Allianz Division 3B hurling final

Sligo v Leitrim, Connacht Centre of Excellence 1.30pm (R Fitzsimons, Offaly) Live GAAGO.

Sligo were flawless in their four group games and can finish the job off.

Verdict: Sligo.

Electric Ireland Munster U17 quarter-final

Kerry v Tipperary, LIT Gaelic Grounds 1pm (N Malone, Clare) Live munster.gaa.ie streaming.

Kerry’s first appearance in the competition since 2014.

Verdict: Tipperary.

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship

Group 1

Wexford v Galway, Bellefield 2pm (O Elliot, Antrim).

The Yellowbellies have the toughest opening round fixture on paper. In defence, Galway are solid and defensively sound, the midfield duo are dynamic and diverse, while their forward line is lethal at every opportunity.

Verdict: Galway

Group 3

Tipperary v Clare, The Ragg 2pm (R Kelly, Kildare).

Tipperary will be looking to reproduce their pre-lockdown form again. Clare will have no fear taking on Tipperary and will be determined to stamp their authority in the group from an early stage. The Banner defence will require optimum focus with a lethal finisher like Cáit Devane on the opposition side.

Verdict: Tipperary.


Sourсe: breakingnews.ie

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