Round Three of the Allianz Football League started with a bang last night as Kerry pipped Dublin by a single point in Tralee, whilst Mayo kept their undefeated start going with a victory over Cavan.
The rest of the teams take centre stage on Sunday, and after today’s fixtures, we will begin to get a clearer idea of who’s looking to a league final and who are facing the drop.
There are some valuable points up for grabs across each of the four divisions, here are our key matches to keep in mind as you settle into your Sunday roast this afternoon.
Can Tyrone Bounce Back
Last year’s All-Ireland finalists have had a tricky start to this year’s league campaign failing to pick up a win in their first two games.
Granted, it must be said that they lose to the two form teams in the country at present in Kerry and Mayo. Also, with Tyrone having been on a team holiday only a month ago, one would assume that some of their stars may not have the training behind them at this stage that others do.
However, zero wins from two is still a worry for Mickey Harte’s men. Today they travel to Dr Hyde Park to take on a Roscommon side who will be brimming with confidence following their win over Monaghan last weekend.
As things stand, Tyrone are bottom of the table and should they lose today, relegation will be a distinct possibility.
Meath v Armagh
A tricky tie for two sides who could be facing either relegation or promotion.
Whilst Meath recorded an impressive opening day win over Tipperary, they travelled to Donegal last weekend and came away with nothing having been the better side for large periods of the game.
Armagh – who are facing their third away game in a row – sit level on points with Meath but are yet to record a league victory have squandered four-point leads late on in both their opening two fixtures against Kildare and Clare respectively. They did hang on for a draw on both occasions but will feel that they should have closed both games out.
Two traditional heavyweight counties, both Meath and Armagh have been more used to life in Division Three over the past number of year’s, however, whichever team comes out on top today will feel they can make a real push with their remaining four games to secure promotion to the top flight.
The Division Three Conundrum
Things are tight in the third tier. Only two points separate the top six teams and promotion is anybody’s guess.
Down recorded a huge one-point win over Westmeath last night that, coupled with last week’s win over Sligo will go a long way to restoring the belief that they can climb out of the third division after a disappointing opening day defeat to Laois.
Down can be overtaken today by either Carlow or Longford who face each other at Netwatch Cullen Park. The Leinster rivals will go head to head with a lot at stake.
Meanwhile Laois – who a lot of people tipped for back-to-back promotions – languish in sixth position following last week’s defeat to Louth. They will be hoping a win over bottom-placed Sligo can place them as high as second later on this evening.
Limerick’s Unexpected Push
Division Four is proving to be a tight affair this year with three teams currently joint top of the table.
As expected, Derry are two from two and should make it three from three when they travel to Waterford this afternoon. A lot has been said about Leitrim in the opening couple of weeks following two impressive performances. They welcome a wounded Antrim side today who will be looking to record a now unexpected victory following to defeats on the trot.
The unexpected quantity so far in Division Four, however, is Limerick. A strong come-from-behind victory over London in Round One gave them the platform to record a six-point victory of Waterford last week.
They face a stern test today in Aughrim against Wicklow, it is a game that will really tell us where Limerick football is at and whether they can indeed push for that unexpected promotion.