Weekend previews


Compiled by IAN O'RIORDAN



Round 2

Armagh v Cavan, Athletic Grounds, 7pm

The first competitive test for new Armagh manager Paul Grimley, and with Cavan a little unlucky to lose out to Down last weekend, it should be exactly that.

Derry v UUJ, Celtic Park, 7pm

Derry played well against Tyrone last weekend, scoring 0-15 and only losing out to a late goal, and Brian McIvor’s team should be good enough to beat UUJ, who lost out themselves to Antrim in the first round.



Round 3 (all games 2pm)

Meath v UCD, Navan

After their exciting midweek draw with zrivals Louth, Meath still need to win this to be sure of a semi-final berth. Manager Mick O’Dowd will fancy his chances.

Louth v Longford, Drogheda

It’s been a positive start to Aidan O’Rourke’s tenure as Louth manager, and with one win and one draw, they have one foot in the semi-finals, but still need to see off the challenge of Longford to be sure of getting both feet in there, with Longford themselves still in the hunt from Group A.

Dublin v Wicklow, Parnell Park

With back-to-back wins over Carlow and DCU, Dublin have now wrapped up the semi-final spot from Group B, so Jim Gavin can afford to use this game to rotate yet again. Wicklow will relish the challenge nonetheless.

Carlow v DCU, Carlow

It’s been a disappointing campaign for DCU, the reigning O’Byrne Cup champions, and with nothing to play for here, and the Sigerson looming, it’s likely Carlow will have more interest in showing form here.

Westmeath v Offaly, Mullingar

Offaly top Group C with two wins from two, but still need to beat Westmeath to be sure of making the semi-finals, which makes this potentially the game of the afternoon.

Laois v AIT, Portarlington

Only Laois have any incentive here, and having beaten Westmeath on Wednesday are suddenly coming into form, and will definitely handle Athlone, who have to win.

Kildare v Wexford, Newbridge

Another deal signed already, with Kildare poised to top Group D and thus walk on to the semi-finals, while for Wexford, the chance is there for new manager Aidan O’Brien to secure a first win, having lost his first two games.

Carlow IT v DIT, Carlow IT

DIT got the better of Wexford last Sunday but couldn’t quite build on that, and so the only thing to play for here is for some student honours.


Round 2 (all games 2pm):

Fermanagh v St Mary’s, Brewster Park

Fermanagh proved the bookmakers right with their midweek win over All-Ireland champions Donegal, by eight points, and manager Peter Canavan won’t want to slip up here against a St Mary’s outfit that went down last weekend to Monaghan.

Donegal v Monaghan, Páirc MacCumhaill

Jim McGuinness won’t have lost too much sleep over the midweek defeat to Fermanagh, given his shadow panel, but that’s not saying he’ll want to lose here, again, and back on home turf, chances are he won’t.

Antrim v Tyrone, Casement Park

Mickey Harte has made 11 changes from his Tyrone team that beat Derry last weekend, but keeps the in-form Seán Kavanagh, and that alone is enough to suggest another win.


Round 2 (all games 2pm)

Sligo v NUIG, Tourlestrane

Mark Brehony and newcomer Niall Murphy were in excellent form for Sligo last weekend, hitting 0-10 between them, and that form should continue here against the Galway students.

Galway v Sligo IT, Tuam

Galway enjoyed a fine win over NUIG last weekend, while Sligo IT struggled against Sligo, which all points handily to another Galway win.

Leitrim v Mayo, Ballinamore

Six points was enough for Leitrim to sneak past rivals Roscommon last Sunday, but they’ll probably need a lot more than that to beat Mayo, who are just back from holiday in Miami but no doubt hoping to shake off some All-Ireland cobwebs.

Roscommon v GMIT, Strokestown

A first game for GMIT, while John Evans is already keen to reverse the result of his first outing as Roscommon manager after losing by a point to Leitrim last weekend.


Quarter-finals (all games 2pm):

Limerick v Clare, Foynes

So Mick O’Dwyer is still working his magic, inspiring Clare to an 18-point win over Limerick IT last Sunday, although the challenge of county opposition will be a better indication of where things stand.

Kerry v UCC, Fitzgerald Stadium

There was no disguising the early season hunger of Kerry under new manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice as they put 4-22 past Tralee IT last Saturday, but even if the Cork students are a more formidable opposition Kerry should still progress.

Cork v Tipperary, Páirc Uí Rinn

Conor Counihan continues in experimental mode, and having beaten Cork IT last Sunday, already has the momentum to get past Tipperary.

Waterford v University of Limerick, WIT Grounds

A first game of 2013 for both teams, and there won’t be much between them, especially with new Waterford manager Niall Carew still getting the know his new players.

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