All your Sunday Gaelic games previews
There’s action from both the hurling and football leagues and a Connacht League final
(2.0 unless stated)
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
Clare v Cork, Cusack Park [Live, TG 4] – On a form-line worked through Kilkenny, Clare were more impressive. On their way to a substantial win in Nowlan Park, poor finishing – 14 wides in the second half – beckoned the home side back into the match. Cork won a tit-for-tat thriller against Brian Cody’s team on the opening weekend but found Wexford’s physicality and momentum hard to contain in the second round. When the counties met in last year’s Munster final, Clare’s inaccuracies were also an issue but so too the abandoning of the short Cork puck-outs. Both managements are rotating players but Clare for all of their shortcomings of concentration, have momentum. Verdict: Clare
Waterford v Kilkenny, Walsh Park – Memories of the cracking championship encounters between the counties in the past couple of championships give way to current league difficulties with the two of them locked at the bottom of the table with no points. Neither have been at full tilt – Kilkenny are missing players whereas Waterford are juggling the availability of theirs and have returned later to training. This has been evident in the way the latter have fallen away in the second half of their first two matches. Kilkenny have been dogged, pushing both Cork and Clare, having trailed by 11 at one point, all the way but losing out in the end to both. Waterford should pick up pace but Kilkenny have been striking an even tempo and can get off the mark here. Verdict: Kilkenny
Galway v Offaly, Pearse Stadium – The All-Ireland champions have been huffing and puffing a bit in their matches so far, against the sides hotly tipped to be in the relegation zone, but the first team have been incrementally brought back. Offaly came back to earth with a bump against Limerick and the scores that came easy against Dublin dried up. The performance here can improve but the outcome is unlikely to. Verdict: Galway
Division 2A: London v Carlow, Ruislip, 1.0; Kildare v Kerry, Newbridge. Division 2B: Wicklow v Donegal, Aughrim, 1.0; Derry v Mayo, Celtic Park, Derry, 12.30pm; Down v Armagh, Ballycran.
Division 3A: Monaghan v Tyrone, Inniskeen, 12.30; Roscommon v Longford, Dr Hyde Park, 12.30; Louth v Warwickshire, Darver, 1.30.
Division 3B: Lancashire v Cavan, Jordanstown, Belfast, 1.0; Fermanagh v Leitrim, Bawnacre Centre, (4G Pitch), Irvinestown.
Allianz Football League
Monaghan v Kerry, Inniskeen, 2.30 – With Inniskeen doubling up as Antarctica last week, the counties return in hope of better weather. The Sigerson final impacts on the teams with UCD’s all-Kerry centrefield in action on Saturday and Monaghan’s Conor McCarthy also involved. Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke was able to bring back Conor McManus off the bench while clipping Kildare in Newbridge and with the visitors weakened there remains an opportunity for the home side. Verdict: Monaghan
Cavan v Meath, Kingspan Breffni Park – A fixture with the distinction of being called off twice last weekend but considerations remain the same. Both teams are unbeaten in the league to date but Meath have looked sharper and are a step up for Cavan, who have to date played just the bottom two. Verdict: Meath
Division Three Derry v Offaly, Celtic Park, 2.30 – Losses for both teams since the postponement with Derry losing Ciarán McFaul and Niall Keenan, who have opted off the panel and Offaly the highly rated teenager Cian Johnston, who has a schools’ fixture on Monday. Home advantage to swing this. Verdict: Derry
Sligo v Fermanagh, Markievicz Park – After their enforced rest week Fermanagh have the chance of going clearly into the promotion frame if they can win here but Sligo bounced back from the Armagh mauling and won’t make it easy. Verdict: Fermanagh
Connacht FBD Football League final
Roscommon v Galway, Dr Hyde Park – Since this was put back in January the counties have made contrasting starts to the league with Galway 100 per cent and joint-top of Division One and Roscommon only 50-50 in Division Two. Verdict: Galway