By Peter Nolan
Sunday, May 19
Junior Football A
Donegal vs. Fermanagh
The Chief Molloy leads Donegal against Fermanagh in Sunday’s opener. In yet another Ulster Derby in the Junior A Division, Tom Lilly’s crew will look to Anton Diver and the Chief to lead the way.
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Fermanagh have top players in the Shermon brothers, Colm and Barry, and Stamford senior Stephen Owens. This is a rematch of last season’s semifinal when Fermanagh’s objection over Peter Loughran caused a reversal of the result. It should make for an interesting matchup.
New Jersey vs.
Tipperary or Galway
New Jersey are booked and await the winner of Tipperery and Galway to determine an opponent. Ronan and Leo Sheedy and Kevin Corbett will lead the Jersey boys, while Sean Shepard and Sean Nolan will try to inspire Tipperary and Galway, respectively, into the final.
Senior Football A
Tyrone vs. Kerry
Tyrone upset Donegal in their opener, while Kerry stumbled against a strong Westmeath side in their season debut. Kerry may be down one O’Driscoll, as Johnny has reportedly returned to Ireland. Bingo and Jamie will still be on hand, as will Willie O’Donnell, Dave McSweeney, Paddy O’Connor, among others.
Tyrone have plenty of good players throughout their line up. Noel McPartland was New York’s center forward, Justin Murray is an excellent scorer and Owen McElroy is a strong midfielder. Tyrone had Martin O’Rourke and Jody Gormley were on hand last time, and if they are available again, I could see Tyrone coming out on top.
Senior Football B
Offaly vs. Roscommon
Offaly have been chasing this Senior B title for years now and once again start the season on the short list of favorites. Danny Leavy and Noel Coughlan were Offaly’s top forwards in the Faithful County’s opening win over Cork. James Mitchell gives Offaly strength and running ability in the midfield. The Offaly backs are strong, led by Sean Nolan, Enda Condren and the Dolans.
Roscommon are in for a long and unrewarding season unless their 2002 debut was some sort of aberration. They fell to Mayo 3-8 to 0-6 in that game, so changes are in order. James Martin and Lorcan Dowd combined for all their scores that day. Peter NcNamee has shown good form for Tyrone Juniors so recently so perhaps he can provide some help. Unless they’re playing possum, Roscommom should pose a serious threat to Offaly.