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GAA Previews

(7.0 unless stated)


Allianz NFL Division 1

Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, D Coldrick (Meath) *Setanta Ireland

Kerry only have two debutants (Paul Murphy and Stephen O'Brien) and only seven of their starters from the last epic meeting between these two. David Moran's return to midfield will be watched closely and Paul Galvin and Aidan O'Mahony are also included in the subs. The weather forecast indicates it won't be pretty.

Last year: Dublin 1-11 Kerry 0-4 (Rd 2)

Betting: Dublin 2/5, Kerry 5/2, Draw 8/1

Verdict: Dublin

Derry v Tyrone, Celtic Park, J McQuillan (Cavan) *Setanta Sports 1

Both sides have made nearly 10 changes from the recent McKenna Cup semi-final, which Tyrone won, but they conceded 1-13 in Omagh and don't possess a very good record in Derry.

Barry Tierney, Conor Grugan, Shea McGuigan and PJ Lavery make league debuts for them, while last year's Division 2 champions are strengthened by Fergal Doherty's return after a long absence and Chrissie McCaigue's this weekend.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Tyrone 4/5, Derry 5/4, Draw15/2

Verdict: Derry

Allianz NFL Division 2

Down v Monaghan, Newry, C Reilly (Meath)

Monaghan were understrength when they lost the McKenna Cup semi-final to Cavan and are still very light upfront, but All Star Conor Walsh and Drew Wylie return and Ryan Wylie and Padraic Keenan get league debuts. Down's Benny McArdle and Kevin McKernan miss out due to one-game bans carried over from last summer's qualifier, but it's always a dog-fight in the Marshes.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Down 4/6, Monaghan 6/4, Draw 11/1

Verdict: Monaghan

Allianz NFL Division 3

Cavan v Fermanagh, Breffni Park, E Kinsella (Laois)

Already labelled by Mickey Harte as the 'coming team' in Ulster, promotion from Division 3 is a must for Cavan this year. They seem to have all the right ingredients and despite losing this fixture last year, they have enough talent to make home advantage count here.

Fermanagh only missed out on promotion on the final day last year, but without the forward power of the injured Seamus Quigley they might struggle for scores against a very organised home team.

Last year: Round 5: Fermanagh 1-12 Cavan 1-10

Betting: Cavan 2/7 Fermanagh 10/3 Draw 8/1

Verdict: Cavan

All-Ireland club JFC S/f (extra-time if necessary)

Fuerty (Roscommon) v Keel (Kerry), Rathkeale, 2.0, E Kinsella (Laois)

Last week's postponement means this could be the start of a huge week for both clubs with the winner facing All- Ireland final action next week. Niall Kilroy and Gearoid Ennis – who landed 0-14 in the Connacht final – are Fuerty's main men, but Kerry clubs have a strong tradition in this competition and can advance.

Verdict: Keel

Walsh Cup final

Dublin v Kilkenny, Croke Park, 5.0, D Hughes (Carlow)

An early-season chance for Kilkenny to exact revenge on Dublin for their defeat in the Leinster championship last year and they looked in mean form when outscoring Galway by 0-19 to 0-3 in the second half of their semi, inspired by Henry Shefflin (right).

This competition has proved to be a good springboard for the Dubs who won it last year on their way to Leinster success. They have mixed new faces with the experienced ones, but Kilkenny are unlikely to pass up the chance to take a little piece of revenge.

Verdict: Kilkenny

Kehoe Cup semi-final

(extra-time if necessary)

Kildare v Down, 2.0, Hawkfield – Pitch 4. Verdict: Kildare

All-Ireland club IHC S/F (extra-time if necessary)

Kilnadeema/Leitrim (Galway) v Youghal (Cork), Gaelic Grounds, 2.0, T Carroll (Offaly)

Youghal – guided by former GAA president Christy Cooney – have been impressive to this point, but Kilnadeema continued Galway club's strong record in this competition in Connacht and, with the likes of David Tierney, they have a proven operator.

Verdict: Kilnadeema/Leitrim


(2.0 unless stated)

Harty Cup sh

Ardscoil Ris v Hamilton HS Bandon, 3.0

favourites for the competition, Ardscoil Ris will be looking to Ronan Lynch to continue his fine form as they seek to overcome what will be a tough test against Bandon. Ardscoil centre-back Michael Casey was part of Limerick's minor side which won the Munster title last year and his experience could prove crucial.

Verdict: Ardscoil Ris

St Francis Col, Rochestown v Scoil Na Trionoide Naofa,

Doon, 12.30

Mark Dolan was St Francis College's hero in the quarter-finals as he scored 1-6. Scoil Na Trionoide Naofa will be fully aware of the danger that the prolific full-forward poses, but the Limerick school also have plenty of threats of their own. Dean Coleman and David Buckley were part of the Limerick and Tipperary minor sides last year, while 'keeper Colin Ryan has been moved to outfield where he has been deadly from the dead ball.

Verdict: Scoil Na Trionoide Naofa Doon

Leinster cols SF 'A' Rd 2 St Pat's, Navan v Moate CS,


champions St Pat's take on Dessie Dolan's Moate CS and the Meath school will be hoping for a repeat result of last year's 2-7 to 1-8 win at the same stage of the competition.

Verdict: St Pat's, Navan

Marist Athlone v Castleknock CC, Kiltoom 1.0

A blistering second-half display saw Marist through to the second round, but they will know that they can ill-afford a similar slow start against Castleknock. Conor Gleeson's two late goals sealed victory and the Dublin school will have to keep a close eye on him. Verdict: Marist Athlone

Colaiste Eoin v St Mel's Longford, Silverpark,1.0

Colaiste Eoin will be quietly confident having already featured in a North Leinster semi-final final this season. Colaiste Eoin have reached two Leinster finals in the last four years and will be eager to go one better this time out.

Verdict: Colaiste Eoin

Patrician Newbridge v Good Counsel, Newbridge 2.0

Patrician College were in terrific form in the first round when scoring a remarkable 4-13. Current Kildare minor Conor Hartley scored two goals and the Kildare school will be hoping he continues his fine form.

Verdict: Patrician Newbridge

Wicklow Schools v Athlone CC, Bray emmets

Making their debut in the competition in the previous round, the Wicklow combined schools team were impressive in their disposing of their Dundalk counterparts. Hugh Kenny's side will be eager to build on that result in what looks like being a tricky game for Athlone.

Verdict: Wicklow Schools


(2.0 unless stated)


Kildare v Mayo, Newbridge, R Hickey (Clare) * TG4 Live

Two teams starting with a lot of players missing due to injury (Kildare) and/or club commitments (Mayo). Shane McNale and newcomers such as Diarmuid O'Connor, Adam Gallagher, Stephen Coen and Conor Loftus, will be looking to stake a claim for the visitors. Kildare, meanwhile, despite some profligacy in front of goals, still got the better of Meath to retain the O'Byrne Cup and look to have a lot more done at this early stage.

Last year: Kildare 1-11 Mayo 0-13 (Rd 5)

Betting: Kildare 5/6, Mayo 6/5, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Kildare

Cork v Westmeath, Pairc Ui Rinn, P O'Sullivan (Kerry) *TG4 deferred

Two new managers with different expectations. Despite so many retirements, new Cork boss Brian Cuthbert is still expected to produce the goods and they have already won the McGrath Cup with some considerable injuries. Westmeath, who lost the Division 2 final last year and have a new manager in Paul Bealin, are regarded as a long shot to survive and Dessie Dolan and Denis Glennon are held in reserve.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Cork 1/16, Westmeath 17/2

Verdict: Cork

Allianz NFL Division 2

Laois v Donegal, Portlaoise, C Lane (Cork)

Post-relegation Donegal's team selection indicates their resolve to have a decent league run with

Martin McElhinney and the McHugh brothers back after Sigerson action and Paddy McBrearty on the bench. Laois have blown hot and cold so far under new boss Tomás ó Flatharta and this will stretch them.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Donegal 8/15, Laois 15/8, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Donegal

Meath v Galway, Navan, M Higgins (Fermanagh)

Galway start without Michael Meehan and have lost Colin Forde (emigrated), but have gained ex-Kildare star James Kavanagh and Donal O'Neill and Paul Varley. Meath are on the back of an O'Byrne Cup final appearance and have a strong line-up, including debutant Cillian O'Sullivan, and there will be big interest in the league return of injury-stricken Shane O'Rourke in his first start for two years.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Meath 1/2, Galway 2/1, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Meath

Louth v Armagh, Drogheda, Marty Duffy (Sligo)

Jamie Clarke (pictured right) gets Armagh captaincy in Ciaran McKeever's absence, Ethan Rafferty (19) returns from injury and Paul Hughes, Kyle Carragher, Michael Murray and Robbie Tasker make league debuts. Louth looked in rag order between injuries and absences in pre-season, but have most of their big-names back on board here and Patrick Reilly debuts at full-back.

Last year: Louth 1-12 Armagh 1-10 (Rd 5)

Betting: Armagh 11/10, Louth 11/10, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Armagh

Allianz NFL Division 3

Longford v Roscommon, Pearse Park, Michael Duffy (Sligo)

Longford are expected to be without Brian Kavanagh for this one after he damaged his hamstring in a challenge game last weekend and he will be a big loss having shown good form since his return from the US. Roscommon will be without Karol Mannion after he retired from inter-county football this week, but Cathal Cregg has been in good early-season form and he could help edge this one.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Longford 5/4 Roscommon 4/5 Draw 15/2

Verdict: Roscommon

Sligo v Limerick, Markievicz Park, B Cassidy (Derry)

Sligo have plenty to do after Pat Flanagan's late appointment, but the former Westmeath manager insists promotion is still a realistic target. Without Jim O'Donovan, Stephen Lavin and John Galvin – who have not yet committed to the panel – Limerick are missing a wealth of experience and that could tip the scales in Sligo's favour.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Sligo 8/15 Limerick 15/8 15/2

Verdict: Sligo

Wexford v Offaly, New Ross, M Deegan (Laois)

A meeting of two sides who went in different directions last spring as Wexford were relegated and Offaly gained promotion. Graeme Molloy will lead Wexford's attempts to return to Division 2, but Aidan O'Brien has already indicated that his side need to rebuild.

Offaly's Brian Allen was the top scorer after the group stages of the O'Byrne Cup and while they lost to the same opposition last month, they can overturn that result here.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Wexford 1/3 Offaly 3/1 Draw 15/2

Verdict: Offaly

Allianz NFL Division 4

Wicklow v London, Aughrim, G McCormack (Dublin)

All eyes are on London to see how they will react after last year's historic run in the championship and the signing of 2013 Tyrone All Star nominee Cathal McCarron is a serious addition. Wicklow were relegated last year, but should be better prepared than a London side who have had no inter-county pre-season action.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Wicklow 1/6 London 4/1 Draw 12/1

Verdict: Wicklow

Carlow v Tipperary, Dr Cullen Park, D Gough (Meath)

Carlow are heading into their second year under Anthony Rainbow and the addition of rugby international Sean O'Brien to the back-room team will be a help. Tipp pulled out of the McGrath Cup in protest at the seeding in Munster and that could leave them a little ring rusty.

Last year: Round 1: Carlow 1-14

Tipperary 0-16

Betting: Carlow 11/4 Tipperary 4/11 Draw 15/2

Verdict: Carlow

Leitrim v Antrim, Carrick-on-Shannon, C Branagan (Down)

With four home games Antrim have a good shot at promotion, which they have managed under Liam Bradley before. Leitrim secured back-to- back FBD titles, but switched focus to the league immediately and could get off to a winning start here.

Last year: Did not meet

Betting: Leitrim 13/8 Antrim 4/6 Draw 13/2

Verdict: Leitrim

Waterford v Clare, Fraher Field, F Kelly (Longford)

Waterford have the memory of their near miss against Galway in the championship and have targeted promotion this year. Paul Whyte is in good form for his college. Clare can call on a couple of dual players including Podge Collins, but the Deise can prevail.

Last year: Round 1: Waterford 1-9 Clare 0-11

Betting: Waterford 6/5 Clare 5/6 Draw 15/2

Verdict: Waterford

Ulster SHC final (2013)

Antrim v Down, Celtic Park, 2.30, E Hasson (Derry)

The Ulster hurling final has rarely enjoyed this much attention – but it's for all the wrong reasons with the 2013 decider only being played now after a series of delays and this is likely to be a tune-up for the sides' upcoming league campaigns.

Verdict: Antrim

Waterford Crystal Cup s/f

Tipperary v UL, Nenagh, C McAllister (Cork)

Tipperary have dished out heavy beatings already and seem determined to gain momentum going into the league. UL – managed by Brian Lohan – beat Waterford earlier this year and have Galway's Jonathan Glynn and Tipp's Jason Forde in good form. But with Clare awaiting in the final, Tipp will want the extra pre-league test.

Verdict: Tipperary

Kehoe Cup semi-final

(extra-time if necessary)

Meath v Derry, Trim, D Harrington (Dublin)

Verdict: Meath

Kehoe Shield semi-finals

(extra-time if necessary)

Queen's v Roscommon, St Colmans 3G Pitch, Newry (2.30), K Brady (Louth). Verdict: Roscommon

DCU v Mayo, St Clare's, J Heffernan (Wexford). Verdict: DCU

Tesco Homegrown Ladies NFL

(2.0 unless stated)

Division 1

Laois v Donegal, Crettyard, 1.0

Verdict: Laois

Kerry v Tyrone, Fitzgerald Stadium, 1.0. Verdict: Kerry

Cork v Mayo, Mallow. Verdict: Cork

Monaghan v Dublin, Aughnamullen. Verdict: Monaghan

Division 2

Fermanagh v Clare, Brookeborough, 1.0. Verdict: Clare

Down v Meath, Abbey GS. Verdict: Down

Kildare v Galway, Carbury. Verdict: Galway

Cavan v Westmeath, 3G Pitch Kingspan Breffni Pk. Verdict: Cavan

Division 3

Armagh v Longford, Killeavey.

Verdict: Armagh

Wexford v Tipperary, St James GAA grounds. Verdict: Tipperary

Waterford v Offaly, Dungarvan.

Verdict: Offaly

Sligo v Leitrim, IT Sligo Grounds.

Verdict: Sligo

Division 4

Limerick v Louth, Tournafulla.

Verdict: Limerick

Antrim v Derry, Queens University, The Dub. Verdict: Derry

Roscommon v Wicklow, Strokestown

Verdict: Roscommon


(2.0 unless stated)

ALL-IRELAND CLUB SC S/F Eoghan Rua v Milford, Donaghmore Ashbourne, A Lagrue. Verdict: Milford

Mullinavat v Ardrahan, Moneygall, 2.30, M O'Kelly. Verdict: Mullinavat

ALL-IRELAND CLUB IC S/F Ballyhale Shamrocks v

Portumna, Moneygall, 1.0, C Egan.

Verdict: Portumna

Liatroim Fontenoys v Lismore – Off, pitch unplayable

Irish Independent