Armagh vs. Tyrone
This is the latest in a series of Ulster derbies in this division. Nearly every week we seem to get one and they are generally none too neighborly. This Sunday the combatants will be Armagh and Tyrone, and on current form Armagh should come out on top. However, when passions are high you can toss out the form book.
Armagh are led by their New York county man Noel McPartland. McPartland has some worthy partners in the Armagh attack in Gary McGonnell and Pat McGuire. Aiden Loye and Louis Breslin are strong defenders, and Collie Fearon orchestrates it all from midfield.
Tyrone are a side that have not met expectations so far this season. They have good players in Justin Murray, Gerard Flanagan, Ray Higney, Aiden Traynor and Ken Cox, but they have not jelled. It looks like two more points for Armagh.
2 p.m., Senior Football
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Connecticut vs. Waterford
In only their first year in the Senior Division, Connecticut has quickly shown that they belong. The out-of-towners have beaten defending champions Limerick and ran Tipperary close, after crushing Clare in their opener. Connecticut play well as a team. Phil Wickham, Declan Ryan and Richie Purcell lead a well-organized defense. Dennis Byrne was their scoring ace last time out with a big assist from Keith Hennessey.
Waterford were tipping along nicely until they ran into a black and amber whirlwind last week. This will be a chance to see if the Deices have recovered. I’ll have to go with Connecticut.
3:30 p.m., SFA
Cavan vs. Westmeath
Two teams with a lot of promise get together in the afternoon’s featured football contest.
Cavan have a good group of backs with Eugene O’Hagen and Francie Sheridan showing well so far. Paul Galligan and Gary McDermott are a scrappy midfield pair and the Breffni men have deep crop of forwards. Depending on availability, John Paul Smith, John Fagan, Paddy Sloan, Ciaran Fern and Declan Reilly can all be dangerous. Cavan also have long serving Joe Cassidy ready to start or come off the bench when needed.
Westmeath are another team with plenty of potential. Peter Dalton, Kieran Walsh and Tom Quinn are key men in a defense that gives nothing away easily. P.J. Ward can wreak havoc up front and Westmeath will be on a high after last week’s big win over Tyrone.
Westmeath also has a valuable veteran. Brian McCabe can fill any number of roles for Westmeath and shows no sign of slowing down. This shapes up as a hard fought contest, but I like Westmeath.
5 P.M., SFB
Cork vs. Monaghan
Monaghan stumbled recently against Clare, dropping their first match of 2002 campaign.
They looked somewhat disorganized without Micheal Slowey in the heart of their attack and will hope to have him back. Monaghan will be out to put that loss behind them and will probably do so at Cork’s expense.
It has been a dismal year thus far for the Rebels and they are unlikely to start their recovery against a team of Monaghan’s caliber.