NFL previews Divisions One and Two
Kerry are experimenting and for a range of reasons are missing Colm Cooper, Kieran Donaghy and Declan O’Sullivan from the attack as well as Bryan Sheehan in the middle. They’re accordingly vulnerable.
Mayo need to and can exploit that.
KERRY: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, A O’Mahony, S Enright; J Lyne, J Sherwood, K Young; A Maher, J Buckley (capt); M Geaney, Darren O’Sullivan, M O’Donoghue; BJ Keane, P Curtin, P Geaney. Subs: B Kelly, B Sheehan, P Crowley, D Culhane, B Maguire, C Cox, A Garnett, BJ Walsh, M Griffin, S O’Carroll, D O’Sullivan.
Galway v Derry Pearse Stadium, 2pm(Deferred, TG4) – Alan Mulholland has regrouped after an ultimately disappointing first year despite a good league showing which left Galway just short of promotion.
Coincidentally that campaign also started with a match against Derry, which they won in Celtic Park.
Derry have a new manager in the experienced Brian McIver and his first league team places Mark Lynch in his optimal centre back position.
Galway are favourites but this time Derry have the advantage of surprise. It should be close but the home team are determined to kick on and can start that process tomorrow.
Westmeath v Louth Mullingar –Another of the fixtures that replicates last season’s opening weekend. Louth won at home and a weakened Westmeath looked doomed to relegation before staging a near-miraculous recovery.
The counties then met twice in the championship, winning one apiece. Aidan O’Rourke’s first matches with Louth in the O’Byrne Cup were encouraging – the blow-out against Dublin was with an understrength side – and with Shane Lennon back at full forward and Jim McEneaney in form, they can take a valuable away win here against opponents who have been slower out of the blocks.
Wexford v Longford WexfordPark– These counties also met twice in last year’s championship – as well as twice in the league – with Longford performing the better, including winning the Division Three final.
Wexford have a new manager in Aidan O’Brien and he has targeted the home matches.
This weekend’s task is made easier with the absence of Paul Barden, who was man of the match in the drawn championship encounter.
Wing back Adrian Flynn, who kicked five points from play, is included for Wexford in a strong line-up that can open positively.