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Wily punters will keep Faith

OFFALY v FERMANAGH

(Tullamore, Tomorrow 2.30)

FERMANAGH'S McKenna Cup form guide (reaching the semis) may have been more impressive than Offaly's O'Byrne Cup campaign (a Kilkenny cruise followed by double-scores defeat by DCU) but we're tempted by the odds below.

ODDS: Offaly 7/4, Draw 7/1, Fermanagh 8/13

VERDICT: Offaly

LOUTH v WEXFORD (Drogheda, Tom 2.30)

LAST year Louth won the O'Byrne Cup and look what happened after. Another January false dawn then? Perhaps, but they've earned the right to favouritism here.

ODDS: Louth 4/6, Draw 7/1, Wexford 13/8

VERDICT: Louth

ROSCOMMON v CAVAN

(Hyde Pk, Tomorrow 2.30)

TOM CARR is not a happy camper, robbed of countless college players for the McKenna Cup, then rocked by Seanie Johnston's nasty elbow injury on Sigerson duty. Doesn't augur well for his return to old Rossie haunts.

ODDS: Roscommon 4/6, Draw 7/1, Cavan 8/5

VERDICT: Roscommon

ANTRIM v SLIGO (Casement Pk, Tomorrow 2.0)

TWO promoted teams who will be keen to quickly solidify their Division Three status. Antrim lost three McKenna Cup ties on the bounce and, minus their St Gall's contingent, we marginally favour Sligo in a tie that could go down to the wire.

ODDS: Antrim 5/4, Draw 7/1, Sligo 5/6

VERDICT: Sligo

LONDON v LIMERICK (Ruislip, Tomorrow 1.30)

THE Exiles are the one team most likely to enjoy a recessionary silver lining, but don't expect any Ruislip shocks just yet against battle-hardened Shannonsiders desperate to go straight back up.

ODDS: London 8/1, Draw 16/1, Limerick 1/16

VERDICT: Limerick

CARLOW v LONGFORD

(Dr Cullen Pk, Tomorrow 2.30)

LUKE DEMPSEY may fancy a crack at his old Longford comrades, especially after an O'Byrne Shield recovery banished the memories of losing to Athlone IT in the O'Byrne Cup. A genuine toss-up, despite the odds below.

ODDS: Carlow 2/1, Draw 7/1, Longford 8/15

VERDICT: Draw

CLARE v WICKLOW (Ennis, Tomorrow 2.30)

DOES Micko purposely go out to make his Wicklow charges look like early-season Garden gnomes? Based on unconvincing pre-season form of both, the homesters might shade it.

ODDS: Clare 5/4, Draw 7/1, Wicklow 5/6

VERDICT: Clare

LEITRIM v WATERFORD

(Ballinamore, Tomorrow 2.30)

Waterford scored three goals and came within a whisker of ambushing Kerry in the McGrath Cup. A positive augury, for sure, but league points in Leitrim can prove an elusive currency.

ODDS: Leitrim 1/2, Draw 7/1, Waterford 21/10

VERDICT: Leitrim


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