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'We will have our work cut out for us against Royals'

FAMILIARITY. Contempt. Breeding. It's the oldest cliché in existence, hackneyed even further in the case of Kildare and Meath by geographical proximity, but Aindriú MacLochlainn insists the old chestnut retains some truth.

"The players know each other well and obviously the managers know each other well. They get very close sometimes," he laughed, in reference to the infamous 'belly-tickling' incident between Kieran McGeeney and Seamus McEnaney in last year's league. "You play each other so often, being favourite becomes irrelevant."

Five victories over Meath on the spin and a much better spring and early summer dictate that Kildare are, indeed, strong favourites, but the most recent installment -- a late one-point win for the Lilies in Navan back in March -- is, according to MacLochlainn, the most revealing page in the formbook of the rivalry.

"It's always funny. A player's going to say that, but you can see in the last couple of years there's been nothing between the teams, especially our last league game," he insisted.

"They had a shot to win that (which) came back off the post and we ended up getting a fisted point. That's the closest it's been between us in the last few years. I can see it being as close the next day.

"Meath are racking up big scores, they did that against Carlow. To rack up 2-21, it's a big score, so we have our work cut out for us."