Kildare v Sligo

 

These counties actually met 33 years ago in a League semi-final at Croke Park that Kildare won after a replay. Further unhappy historical associations for Sligo lie in the fact that the last time they faced a Mick O'Dwyer team at Croke Park Kerry devoured them in 1975. The venue is an advantage to Kildare, for whom headquarters is a second home. Sligo also lose one their best- known forwards with the injury to Paul Taylor. It is questionable whether Peter Ford's team have exorcised their agonising defeat by Mayo in the four weeks since despite the comprehensive win over Carlow.

Kildare, on the other hand, have had an ideal tonic with last week's thrilling victory over Donegal. They will be confident of shading centrefield, notwithstanding Sligo's good display in the Connacht semi- final. Last week's match showed the team in good kicking form and competent at the back once the shocking first quarter had settled.

Kildare have become a far sturdier proposition mentally, whereas Sligo are still losing big matches that they have a chance to win. O'Dwyer's team are not losing matches in a tight finish and not panicking when things go against them. It is unlikely Sligo's attack can emulate the quality of Meath's Giles-Geraghty-Murphy assault and even in a hard-fought match you wouldn't fancy them against last year's Leinster champions.

Kildare: To be announced today

Sligo: J Cullen; P Gallagher, M Cosgrove, N Carew; D Durkin, M Langan, P Naughton; P Durcan, K Quinn; S Davey, E O'Hara, D McGarty; D Sloyane, J McPartland, G McGowan.