Weekend Gaelic football previews; Kerry look to bounce back against Monaghan in Killarney

Under-pressure Tyrone host a Donegal side boosted by their opening win against the Kingdom

(Matches at 2.0 unless stated)


Allianz Football League Division Three

Down v Antrim, Páirc Esler, 6.0 – A good start for Down with an away win in Tipperary and Pat Havern maintaining early season form. Discipline was a bit of an issue with the team down to 14 for most of the second half plus an earlier black card. They should be too good for the visitors, who despite a spirited second half, lost on the opening day to Offaly. Verdict: Down


Division Four

Waterford v Carlow, Carriganore, 5.0 – Waterford suffered a 3-18 to 0-11 defeat to Leitrim last weekend, coming on the back of shipping 6-28 in their two-game McGrath Cup campaign. Carlow will also look to expose those defensive frailties. Verdict: Carlow


Allianz Football League Division One

Kerry v Monaghan, Fitzgerald Stadium, 1.30 (Live on TG4) – Jack O’Connor will have spent the week reminding the fringe players now getting a chance to impress that they must show more than they managed in Ballybofey last Sunday. And yet Kerry very nearly came away from Donegal with a share of the spoils. Monaghan will hope to catch Kerry still in an early season slumber, but this is a game the home side will be targeting for maximum returns. Verdict: Kerry

Galway v Roscommon, Pearse Stadium – Roscommon’s victory over Tyrone was possibly the most eye-catching Division One result from the opening weekend of action. Davy Burke appears to be getting a tune out of Roscommon already, but the mood music might be a little darker in Salthill when they come up against a Galway side who look intent on maintaining the momentum from their 2022 season. Verdict: Galway

Tyrone v Donegal, Healy Park – What now for Tyrone? They endured a Sam Maguire hangover in 2022 but last week’s defeat to Roscommon suggests they haven’t quite rediscovered their mojo yet. Donegal’s injury-time win over Kerry was just the tonic Paddy Carr needed, but nobody needs reminding that when these sides meet the games tend to be attritional and hard won. Verdict: Draw

Armagh v Mayo, Athletic Grounds, 3.30 (Live on TG4) – A crowd of 4,510 turned up at the Athletic Grounds to watch Armagh play Antrim in the McKenna Cup last month. There is something building in Armagh. Rían O’Neill was in good scoring form in last week’s win over Monaghan, while Ethan Rafferty continues to evolve the goalkeeping role. Mayo will look to build on last week’s decent showing against Galway, but this has the feel of a game where the power of home advantage might help Armagh over the line. Verdict: Armagh

Division Two

Meath v Clare, Páirc Tailteann – Both teams will be happy with the opening day. Meath showed attacking flair with Shane Walsh in excellent form and Cillian O’Sullivan constantly involved in the mildly unexpected win in Cork. Clare overcame both Louth’s early superiority and their own inaccuracies to start the season positively but this doesn’t look promising. Verdict: Meath

Kildare v Cork, Newbridge – Kildare put on a decent show in Croke Park but came up narrowly short despite some lively attacking, led by newcomer Jack Robinson but supplemented by Darragh Kirwan and Jimmy Hyland. They may well prosper against a Cork side that for all Steven Sherlock’s marksmanship, was taken apart at the back by Meath’s attack. Verdict: Kildare

Louth v Derry, Ardee – Just what Mickey Harte didn’t want at the end of trying week, which saw his team beaten late in Ennis and lose Ciarán Byrne for the season to an ACL injury. On home ground they welcome the Ulster champions, who pulverised the Limerick team promoted last year with Louth. In the process they showcased a couple of promising young players in Lachlan Murray and Eoin McEvoy, both commended by manager Rory Gallagher after the game. Verdict: Derry

Limerick v Dublin, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 3.0 – Dublin footballers make the journey to Limerick for the first time in 16 years. An underwhelming display against Kildare last week didn’t exactly corroborate the Leinster champions’ status as All-Ireland candidates but relegation last year hardly did, either. Kilmacud’s Kafka-esque club final delays the return of Paul Mannion and there was no sign of Jack McCaffrey yet. Limerick stayed competitive in Owenbeg for a while until Derry adjusted their sights and won well. They’ll be fired up for this and in Iain Corbett and Cian Sheehan have good players but even if Dublin are sluggish they’ll win. Verdict: Dublin

Division Three

Cavan v Tipperary, Kingspan Breffni – A rerun of last season’s Division Four final, which Cavan won. A difficult week for David Power began with defeat at home against Down and then the dire news of All Star forward Conor Sweeney’s season-ending injury. Cavan had a successful raid on Mullingar to underline their promotion credentials. Verdict: Cavan

Offaly v Fermanagh, Glenisk O’Connor Park – Offaly got a win on the road up in Belfast after goals from Ruairí McNamee and Bernard Allen gave them a decent margin. Fermanagh will be trickier having given a good display putting away Longford. Ultan Kelm and Darragh McGurn built the platform, which the home side have to dismantle. Verdict: Offaly

Longford v Westmeath, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park – This Midlands derby brings Tailteann Cup winners Westmeath to Longford, needing to secure a win if they aren’t to lose touch with the top. A late recovery briefly threatened Cavan but they’ll need to do more against the O’Byrne Cup winners. It’s in them. Verdict: Westmeath

Division Four

London v Leitrim, McGovern Park, Ruislip, 1.0 – London beat Leitrim when the sides met in Bekan last February, so this is a revenge mission for Andy Moran’s men in the English capital. Leitrim put 3-18 up against Waterford last weekend. Verdict: Leitrim

Wicklow v Sligo, Aughrim – Crossmaglen club colleagues Oisín McConville and Tony McEntee go up against each other in Aughrim. Wicklow’s haul of 2-10 in their draw with Carlow last week suggests McConville’s men might have enough up front to edge a close contest. Verdict: Wicklow

Laois v Wexford, O’Moore Park – Paul Kingston was in good scoring form for Laois in last week’s win over Sligo, while Wexford are already on the back foot in terms of the promotion race after allowing London snatch a late draw in their opening round clash. Verdict: Laois

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times