Derry and Tyrone are both in action this weekend as the Allianz National Football league continues apace.
THE clash of the two most successful football counties in GAA history is always a special occasion and that will again be the case when Kerry host Dublin in Austin Stack Park, Tralee, this Saturday night.
Kerry have made the perfect start to the campaign under new manager, Peter Keane, having beaten Tyrone and Cavan, while Dublin lost to Monaghan and beat Galway.
Dublin easily beat Kerry (2-17 to 0-11) in Croke Park in last year’s Allianz Football League but the Kingdom did much better in 2017, drawing with their great rivals (0-13 each) in Tralee in the group stages before winning the final by a point (0-20 to 1-16).
Mayo, who like Kerry have won their first two games, host Cavan, who are in the relegation zone after losing to Galway and Kerry. However, they will be encouraged by their 2017 Division 1 experience against Mayo, whom they beat by two points in Castlebar.
Tyrone have made a surprisingly poor start, losing to Kerry and Mayo by a combined total of 13 points, which adds to their urgency as they prepare to take on Roscommon in Dr. Hyde Park. Roscommon, who lost to Tyrone by 4-24 to 2-12 in last year’s ‘Super 8s’, were boosted by a win over Monaghan last Sunday.
Monaghan host Galway in Inniskeen, whom they met twice last year. Galway won by 0-17 to 1-10 in Allianz Football League Division 1 meeting while Monaghan turned the tables in the ‘Super 8s’, winning by 0-16 to 0-8.
Saturday 7pm: Mayo v Cavan, Elverys MacHale Park; Kerry v Dublin, Tralee.
Sunday, 2pm:Roscommon v Tyrone, Dr. Hyde Park; Monaghan v Galway, Inniskeen.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 2: DONEGAL LIVING UP TO FAVOURITES’ TAG
Having dropped down from Division One last year, Donegal started the 2019 Allianz Football League as favourites to be promoted from Division Two and, so far, have lived up to that rating with wins over Clare and Meath.
The Ulster champions are the only team in the group on full points as they prepare for a clash with Tipperary, who are bottom of the table (on scoring difference) after a loss to Meath and a draw with Fermanagh.
Fermanagh and Kildare last met in the Allianz Football League in 2017, when Kildare won by 4-14 to 0-14. They also beat Fermanagh (3-20 to 0-18) in last year’s All-Ireland qualifiers.
Clare are seeking a third successive Allianz Football League win over Cork, having beaten the Leesiders by 2-11 to 0-9 in 2017 and by 0-14 to 0-12 last year.
Meath and Armagh, who are both on two points after two games, will draw a big crowd to Navan. They last met in the Allianz Football League in 2016 when Meath won by five points in Pairc Tailteann.
Saturday, 7pm: Fermanagh v Kildare, Brewster Park.
Sunday, 2pm: Meath v Armagh, Pairc Tailteann; Clare v Cork, Cusack Park; Tipperary v Donegal, Semple Stadium.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 3: PROMOTED CARLOW LEAD THE WAY
Having won promotion to the third tier for the first time since the 1980s, Carlow have made an impressive start to their bid to get to the second Division, taking three of four points in their first two games.
So, too, have Longford, who play Carlow next Sunday. It will be the first Allianz Football League clash between the counties since 2015 when Longford won a Division 4 tie on their way to promotion.
Westmeath, who are also on three points, take on Down (2 points) in Newry on Saturday night in what will be their first Allianz Football League meeting since 2015 when Down won by 13 points in Division 2.
Sligo, the only team in the group without a point so far, play Laois (one win, one defeat) in Portlaoise, having last met in the Allianz Leagues in 2017 when Sligo won by a point.
Saturday, 7pm: Down v Westmeath, Pairc Esler.
Sunday, 2pm: Laois v Sligo, Portlaoise; Offaly v Louth, Bord na Mona O’Connor Park; Carlow v Longford, Netwatch Cullen Park.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 4: LEITRIM, DERRY AND LIMERICK SHOW THE WAY
Leitrim, Derry and Limerick have all won their opening two games, setting a lively pace in a group where Antrim, London and Waterford have yet to pick up a point.
Leitrim, who top the table on scoring difference from Derry and Limerick, host Antrim, who beat them by ten points in the opening round last year.
Limerick take on Wicklow (their game wasn’t played last year because of the disruption caused in the group by the bad weather), who have won one of two games so far.
Derry, pre-season favourites for promotion, have made an impressive start and will be hoping to pick up two more points from their long journey to Dungarvan to play Waterford. It will be the first Allianz Football League clash between the counties since 2005 while their most recent championship meeting was in 2017 when Derry won a qualifier by 1-17 to 0-13 in Dungarvan. Wexford beat London by 0-15 to 0-9 in their last Allianz Leagues meeting in 2017.
Sunday: Leitrim v Antrim, Carrick-on-Shannon; Wicklow v Limerick, Aughrim; Waterford v Derry, Fraher Field; London v Wexford, McGovern Park Ruislip.