| 12.5°C Dublin

Kerry, Tyrone and Mayo all in action as Pat Spillane casts his eye over Round 4 of the Allianz League


David Clifford of Kerry in action against John Daly of Galway. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

David Clifford of Kerry in action against John Daly of Galway. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

David Clifford of Kerry in action against John Daly of Galway. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE (All throw-ins at 2pm unless stated)

Round 4

Division 1

KERRY v MEATH, Fitzgerald Stadium, 1pm

In defence of Meath, they showed commendable spirit against Mayo and were unlucky to lose. But the main reason they're struggling is a failure to convert their chances – they kicked 14 wides against Mayo. The only pointless team in the top two divisions, they're certainties for relegation.

Kerry were below par against Tyrone. They conceded too many scoreable frees – eight of Tyrone's 14 points came from frees. Furthermore, they scored only five points from play with David Clifford getting three of them. One of four teams on three league points but sitting second from bottom in the table, the home side simply cannot afford to lose this one and they won't.


GALWAY v TYRONE, Tuam Stadium

Two teams on a high after impressive performances in Round 3. I'm very impressed with how Galway is shaping up under new boss Padraic Joyce. Seven points down against Donegal in Letterkenny they fought back to secure the win which underlines their spirit.

We know Joyce wants his team to play on the front foot and every player appears to have a licence to attack. Their goals against Donegal were scored by corner backs Johnny Heaney and Sean Kelly.

GAA Newsletter

Exclusives from under the skin of the GAA, from Ireland’s largest and best GAA team; Brolly, Mullane, Hogan and Ó Sé, to name but a few.

This field is required



Locked together on three points near the foot of the table this is a so-called four-pointer. Mayo's courage in coming from behind to beat Meath despite playing against the wind was admirable. But their forward play remains weak. Five forwards were replaced against Meath and substitute Kevin McLoughlin was the only player to score from play in the second half.

Monaghan will be kicking themselves for having to settle for a draw against Dublin in Croke Park after leading by 10 points with 10 minutes of normal time remaining. They paid the price for only converting half their first half scoring chances in the first half. Full-back Conor Boyle was their only scorer from play in the second half.

Still, I like the way Banty McEnaney has set them up and there is less reliance on Conor McManus (pictured). However, they may be at their best now as they have probably more work done than any of their Division 1 rivals.

VERDICT: Monaghan.

Division 2

CLARE v LAOIS, Cusack Park, Ennis

Both were woeful in their last outing - Laois were brushed aside in Portlaoise by Cavan while Clare failed to score in the first half against Roscommon and only managed 0-4 in total. Scoring is their Achilles heel and they are the lowest scorers (1-26) in the top two divisions.

They're a different prospect at home as evident by their excellent win over Kildare, but I fancy the visitors.


WESTMEATH V ARMAGH, Cusack Park, Mullingar

Clash between two of the top sides, through the Division is incredibly tight. There was a lot to admire about Westmeath's gritty win over Fermanagh particularly as they played the last 25 minutes with 14 men.

Though three of Armagh's last four games are away from home I fancy them not alone to be promoted but to reach the Super 8s this summer. They have a lot of talent both at midfield and up front and had ten different scorers against Kildare.


KILDARE v ROSCOMMON, Newbridge, 2.30

So far it has been a roller-coaster season for Jack O'Connor's Kildare. On the plus side they are one team in the top two divisions not to concede a goal. But they got it badly wrong against Armagh when after winning the toss they opted to play against the gale. After 50 minutes they had registered one point – a more innovative approach is needed up front.

Roscommon finally got off the mark against Clare though they played with 14 men for 50 minutes. I think they're a step ahead of the home side.

VERDICT: Roscommon

Division 3

DERRY v LOUTH, Owenbeg

Louth are pointless but they showed a bit of fight last weekend against Offaly reducing a 12 point deficit to a single point before going under.

Derry are only marginally better, though they registered their first win over Tipperary in Round 3. It was a struggle as they only scored 0-3 from play despite having two extra men in the last 20 minutes.

Verdict: Derry

Leitrim v Offaly, Carrick-on-Shannon

After suffering back to back hammerings against Cork and Longford, Leitrim look destined to make a quick return to Division 4. A win today will keep Offaly in the promotion race.

VERDICT: Offaly.

Division 4

WEXFORD v LONDON, Wexford Park, 1.0

Wexford can make it three wins on the spin under new boss Paul Galvin against a struggling London

VERDICT: Wexford


Limerick are unbeaten - but were decidedly fortunate to beat Carlow in the last round. With four teams including Wicklow in second place the visitors must win to stay in the hunt and I think they will.

VERDICT: Wicklow.

ANTRIM v CARLOW, Glenavy, 2.30

Though they were very unlucky to lose to Limerick there is no sign of an early return to Division 3 for Carlow. Antrim are slowly getting their act together this spring and are in joint second place.

VERDICT: Antrim.

Most Watched