GAA previews: Longford brace for Louth in O’Byrne Cup

Tipperary look to continue run as they face Kerry in Munster Senior Hurling League

 Kildare football manager Cian O’Neill’s side face Westmeath in the  O’Byrne Cup. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kildare football manager Cian O’Neill’s side face Westmeath in the O’Byrne Cup. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

O’Byrne Cup (Leinster SF) round three

With Dublin receiving a bye to the O’Byrne Cup semi-finals, the remaining three places will be filled this weekend. Two of today’s games – Longford v Louth and Wexford v Meath – are effectively shoot-outs to reach the semi-finals. Longford, under new manager Padraic Davis, are top of Group 2 so a win or a draw would suffice though Louth can leapfrog them into top spot if they win in the midlands. It’s the same story in Group 3 with Wexford on top and at home to a Meath side that can perform their own leapfrog manoeuvre with a win.

Carlow v Offaly (Netwatch Cullen Park, 2.0)

Longford v Louth (Glennon Bros Pearse Park, 2.0)

Wexford v Meath (Enniscorthy, 2.0)

Wicklow v Laois (Bray Emmetts, 6.0)

Munster SHL, round three

Tipperary v Kerry (Nenagh, 2.0)

Liam Sheedy got his second stint in charge of Tipperary up and running last month with a 4-14 to 2-17 win over All-Ireland champions Limerick. Even with an experimental line-up they should have it easier against Kerry today, ensuring top spot in Group A and a final place next weekend.

Kehoe Shield (Leinster SH) round three

Longford v Louth (Glennon Bros Pearse Park, 12.0)

Sunday

Munster SHL, round three

Waterford v Clare (Fraher Field, 2.0)

Potentially the game of the day as two powerhouse counties go at it in Dungarvan. It’s an opportunity for new Waterford manager Paraic Fanning to secure a final place by beating a rival county in front of his own supporters. Plenty of motivation to succeed then, even on the first Sunday of the year.

Connacht SFL round one

Leitrim v Mayo (Páirc Seán MacDiarmada, 1.30)

Having conducted an exhaustive trials process in recent months, new Mayo manager James Horan will finally get to see his players in competitive action. It’s a new start for Leitrim too under former Cavan manager Terry Hyland.

O’Byrne Cup (Leinster SF) round three

Westmeath v Kildare (The Downs, 2.0)

The winners of this one will top Group 1 and qualify for the semi-finals. Even without departed duo Niall Kelly and Daniel Flynn, it’s hard to look past Kildare. They’re blooding many of last year’s All-Ireland U-20 winners and have Padraig Fogarty performing well again after three years out.

McKenna Cup (Ulster SF) round two

The start of a busy January for several Ulster counties with Round 3 taking place on Wednesday and the semi-finals next weekend.

Down v Donegal (Newry, 2.0)

Cavan v Queens (Ballyconnell, 2.0)

Monaghan v St Mary’s (Clones, 2.0)

Antrim v Armagh (Corrigan Park, 2.0)

Fermanagh v Derry (Brewster Park, 2.0)

Tyrone v UU (Healy Park, 2.0)

McGrath Cup (Munster SF) semi-finals

With Kerry and Tipperary absent, Munster’s pre-season tournament comprises just three games over six days. The final is next Saturday.

Waterford v Clare (Ballinacourty, 1.0)

Limerick v Cork (Rathkeale, 2.0)

Walsh Cup (Leinster SH) round three

Laois v Dublin (Portlaoise, 2.0)

Carlow v Offaly (Netwatch Cullen Park, 2.0)

Kehoe Cup (Leinster SH) round three

Kildare v Wicklow (Newbridge, 2.0)

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