Sunday 25 February 2018

Division 1

Division 1

Derry v Kerry

Celtic Park

Tommy Walsh makes Kerry's starting team list for the first time since his gilded All-Ireland final performance in 2009, having come off the bench in the defeat to Mayo. His versatility and athleticism creates uncertainty as to where he will eventually settle. In light of his father's experience, even full-back might be up for consideration but for now Mark Griffin is given the responsibility and Walsh (pictured) has probably too much to offer as an attacking player to make that kind of retreat.

Kerry had only a half dozen of their All-Ireland final team on show in Killarney and gave Mayo a head-start on preparations and fitness, yet they were starting to find their groove when Kevin McLoughlin's neat goal finish ended the contest. One defeat won't freak them. They lost their opening three league games last year and won the All-Ireland and can look forward to the spring return of Colm Cooper and, later again, James O'Donoghue. Derry remain dichotomous, capable of winning a game like this and losing it equal measure.

Verdict: Kerry

Monaghan v Cork Castleblayney No place for the faint-hearted and the robust show from Monaghan in the win over Tyrone reminds Cork that they'll need to be in the whole of their health to add to their own hearty win over Dublin. With both teams enjoying positive starts this could be one of the better matches of the day. It marks the first of four away trips for Cork to Ulster venues, with Tyrone, Derry and Donegal to follow, but having come from behind to beat Dublin, they arrive in good spirits.

Verdict: Monaghan

Mayo v Tyrone Elverys MacHale Park It is not unheard of for Tyrone to lose league matches but the surrender after a bright opening against Monaghan was abject and demands a response. Mayo haven't beaten Tyrone in five years but at home they won't be too accommodating after beating Kerry.

Tyrone make a couple of changes, with Peter Harte recalled, and will look to Seán Cavanagh to test the merits of Kevin Keane who gave an impressive display at full-back against Kerry. Mike Conroy made the most of his chance when introduced and Aidan O'Shea had a significant hand in the win when he came on. Mayo should have enough to survive the expected Tyrone backlash.

Verdict: Mayo

Division 2

Westmeath v Galway Cusack Park Nowhere was a league win celebrated as lustily as in Mullingar last Sunday where Westmeath overcame Laois, having waited almost two years to break their duck. Galway enjoyed a brisk start too, holding off a Meath comeback in Salthill, and might have enough flair here.

Verdict: Galway

Division 3

Tipperary v Limerick

Semple Stadium

Tipperary were spitting fire over their loss in Armagh and they will be eager to put it behind them in the only worthwhile way possible. This looks a good chance to do so if not an easy one.

Verdict: Tipperary

Wexford v Armagh Wexford Park Armagh were blessed to defeat Tipperary and travel to face a Wexford team that suffered a dispiriting 14-point reversal in Clare. Armagh will look for a better performance.

Verdict: Armagh

Sligo v Fermanagh Markievicz Park Fermanagh's big win over Louth was one of the notable results from a week ago even if there are stiffer tests ahead. This will be one but it's still winnable.

Verdict: Fermanagh

Louth v Clare

Drogheda

Louth are the kind of rebound team that could produce the polar opposite here of their slump in Fermanagh. Clare made a flying start to life in Division 3. They could do with a fit Podge Collins but might still have enough.

Verdict: Clare

Division 4

Carlow v London

Netwatch Cullen Park, 1.0

Carlow began with a draw away to Antrim and can pick up their first win.

Verdict: Carlow

Wicklow v Leitrim

Aughrim

Good start by Leitrim, proving they are still a hard team to beat at home, yet Wicklow might say the same.

Verdict: Wicklow

Longford v Antrim

Glennon Bros Pearse Park

Longford will be banking on winning this after a week that was overshadowed by the retirement of their great servant Paul Barden.

Verdict: Longford

Offaly v Waterford

O'Connor Park

A McGrath Cup title and then an opening-round win for Waterford tees them up encouragingly for this trip to the midlands. Could Offaly throw a spanner in the works?

Verdict: Offaly

Kehoe Cup final

Meath v Wicklow

Trim

After their draw with Fingal, Wicklow looked unlikely finalists but they've upped their game since then. Meath should prevail here.

Verdict: Meath

Sunday Indo Sport

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport