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Clarke bros can hold key

"THAT'S basically us at full strength. We've no secret weapons or anything."

The words of Down boss, James McCartan, there after last Sunday's shock 11-point mauling of Kildare in Newbridge - a win that will have sent plenty of tremors around Division 2 as well as Ulster.

Granted, Kildare gave them ample opportunities to tally such a score but it was impressive stuff nonetheless. McCartan won't have Dan Gordan for the time being anyway, after he announced he was taking a break, but judging by the displays of Ambrose Rodgers and the Clarke brothers, Martin and John, the Mournemen have plenty of quality in turn to. For Meath, a win over Armagh is certainly an encouraging start to the league and then there's the excellent form of Jamie Queeney at full forward too. It might not be enough in Newry though.

ODDS: Down 4/6, Draw 15/2, Meath 6/4

VERDICT: Down

DONEGAL v LAOIS

(Ballyshannon, Tomorrow, 2.0)

BOTH teams recorded wins last Sunday, neither manager was happy with the performance. Donegal went five points down to likely Division 2 whipping boys, Westmeath, before a raucous comeback. Laois fielding a strong team let a 12-point lead disintegrate before winning by two against Tipp. Billy Sheehan, Kevin Meaney, Dennis Booth and Peter O'Leary remain under suspension and Donegal is never an easy place to go .

ODDS: Donegal 2/5 , Draw 15/2, Laois 5/2

VERDICT: Donegal

ARMAGH v WESTMEATH

(Crossmaglen, Tomorrow, 2.30)

RONAN CLARKE is an injury doubt for Armagh after an Achilles injury ruled him out of loss to Meath but judging by the albeit limited formlines thus far the Orchard County may not need the big Pearse Óg attacker in a big hurry. Brendan Hackett must be thanking the heavens that unlike last year, Dennis Glennon is available for the early rounds of the league, after kicking five of Westmeath's nine points against Donegal.

ODDS: Armagh 1/5, Draw 9/1, Westmeath 9/2

VERDICT: Armagh


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