By Peter Nolan
12:30 p.m., JFA
Derry vs. St. Barnabas
These two teams have gotten off to great starts in their inaugural Junior A season, each 2-0 going into this match. Michael Conway, Darren Doherty, Shane Guiden, Gary Rocks, and Rory McCluskey are some of Derry’s stars. They play a fast-paced game and fitness is a key for any team going up against them.
Barnabas don’t have any worries in that regard. Tony Nolan, Tom Nolan, Dave and Ronan Garvey, Dave O’Halloran, Jonathan Daly, and Sean Corbin are among the Saints’ top performers. They can run and link up well to score. This could be another great Junior A match.
2 p.m., Senior Hurling
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Kilkenny vs. Offaly
This is Kilkenny’s first time out since the controversial Westmeath match. As you’ll recall, that match was discontinued and as of this writing no winner has been declared, although it should be before this match is played. In any case, Vinny Norton and company will be favored to take the points against Offaly.
Sean Nolan and Enda Condren will lead the way, but the Faithful County have yet to establish their credentials at the senior level and always seem to have trouble scoring.
3:30 p.m., Senior Football
Kerry vs. Donegal
Donegal evened their record with Sunday’s victory over Westmeath and face a Kerry side also level with a 1-1 record. Each side stumbled out of the gate before righting themselves on the second time out.
Kerry have top performers in Paddy O’Connor, Dave Hannify, Dave McSweeney, Willie O’Donnell, Dave McCarthy, and Bingo O’Driscoll.
Donegal weren’t great against Westmeath, but they were good enough for the win. Doherty and Cummins lead the defense, Higgins and Coll are a strong midfield, unless Coll plays upfront, where he is somewhat less effective. McCready plays anywhere and Cleary is an accurate forward. These two points will be hard fought for and it should be a thriller.
5 p.m., Senior Football
Leitrim vs. Rangers
The second Senior A match of the day has all the makings of a blowout as undefeated Leitrim take on winless Rangers.
Leitrim have topped Stamford and Cavan and look certain to add Rangers to their list. Jim Donoghue and Pa Murphy anchor the defense. The big men in the middle, Larry Keenan and Ken O’Connor, wear you down eventually with sheer size and some good football as well. Alan McFadden is a stylish center forward and Tommy Gee is a powerhouse at full forward.
Rangers have lost two matches by a combined 26 points, managing only 0-3 in their most recent match. It’s hard to see a sudden reversal on Sunday.