By John Markey
Junior Football “A”
Down vs. Westput
For some unknown reason, the throw-in time has been changed and Gaels are asked to note the inconvenience.
Sunday will witness the debut of the Mournemen in this higher grade. The only glitch on their record is their Junior “B” final defeat to Mayo last season. Having made a winning start, they will be aiming to follow suit, and with several Down natives reportedly returning to the fray, they will be hoping for a big season.
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Westput fell to Rangers first time out and they will need to show significant improvement from that outing. Although still early in the season, another defeat makes the playoffs a much more difficult proposition.
Tipperary vs. Clare
It is a knockout competition, hence the confusion when we see this pairing.
Tipp, the current holders, were held to a draw by Kilkenny and subsequently lost the toss to force Sunday’s match-up. They will be hoping for the return of several absentees and a victory to take them one step closer to retaining their title.
Clare have been handed the opportunity of a second bite at the cherry and will want to take full advantage. They have a lot of potential but unleashing it does seem to be a problem for them. They will need to be at their best on Sunday if they are to have any influence on the destination of their Gael’s Cup.
Senior Football Div. 1
Donegal vs. Westmeath
Two of the sides widely tipped to have a say on the destination of this year’s Senior championship.
Donegal opened impressively making short work of Stamford. The fact that Stamford won last week augers well for the Ulster team’s chances on Sunday. With their pre-season campaign paying dividends and Leslie McGettigan returning to the playing front after his suspension, they will be favored to prevail on Sunday.
Westmeath accounted for Tyrone in their last outing and will have benefitted from the outing. Their new look panel will have learned a lot and with this encounter behind them they will be confident of growing stronger as the season progresses. Sunday’s fixture is undoubtedly a difficult one for them but they are a strong side and if they can take advantage of their chances they are very capable of taking two important points.
enior Football Div. II
Longford vs. Monaghan
The day’s concluding fixture promises to be another great affair.
Last year’ s Junior “A” champions find themselves back in Div. II after a brief interlude in the lower grade. They are no strangers to this competition having been involved in the final shake-up on several occasions. Their opponents need no introduction with the two, having produced several great encounters in the past number of years with the Midlanders having a favorable record. They will be hoping to continue this run on Sunday and make a winning return to senior football.
Monaghan narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season and will be eager to make a return to the final fray. Their early form cost them dearly last season and will have to collect points in their opening fixture. They have consolidated their panel but have yet to unleash their true potential.