Wicklow v Meath, Aughrim, Saturday 7pm, RTE 2.
Meath beat Wicklow 16-11 last year and 16-8 in the third game in Division 3 of the league but the Garden County will have a lot more confidence coming into this game with home advantage at Aughrim.
Meath had a poor start to their league campaign when beaten by Cavan and Monaghan but then went on a five -game unbeaten run beore they were eventually beaten in the final. The are a more defensive side now and have some really strong performers in their side like Kevin and Graham Reilly.
While not as physical as previous years – they rely on being strong in defence and then breaking forward. They look the likely winners but they’re 1/3 in the betting.
Wicklow are 10/11 at +4 in the handicap and that could be the play. They could put it up to the Royals. Seanie Furlong scored 1-5 against Longford (1-4 from play). James Stafford is very solid in the middle together with Anthony McLoughlin.
Fermanagh v Cavan, Brewster Park, Sunday 2pm, RTE 2.
Cavan were impressive in their win over Armagh with Martin Dunne getting nine points including eight from play. Tactics will be crucial here. Armagh played into Cavan’s hands by playing five backs against Cavan’s five forwards in the last game. This gave Cavan all the room they needed to score. I’d be very surprised if Dunne got more than three points from play here as Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan will have his homework done.
Cavan beat Fermanagh 3-13 to 1-15 in Round 1 of the qualifiers so have they bridged the gap ? But Fermanagh beat them this season in the league at Breffni Park . Cavan’s league form was very patchy while Fermanagh have an outside chance of reaching an Ulster final. They’ve had a training weekend in Cork recently, they’re playing at home and at 11/8 look the value to me.
Mayo v Roscommon, MacHale Park, Sunday 4pm, RTE 2.
Donie Shine’s absence is a major blow for the Rossies. He’s their talisman and dragged them to that Connacht Championship win in 2010 against Sligo. They’re down a lot of key players. Last season’s beaten All Ireland finalists Mayo learned little against Galway. Roscomomn won their last three games in Division 3 in the League and will battle hard but I can’t see Mayo being beaten.
A Mayo win is the most likely outcome for me but they are long odds on. The Rossies are +5 on the handicap and that could be interesting at 10/11.
And if Roscommon get the last score of the game, Paddy Power will refund all losing single 1st/last goalscorer, anytime goalscorer and first team goalscorer bets on the match.
Clare v Cork, Ennis, Sunday, 3.30pm.
It would be a huge upset if Clare were to get anything against Cork in this one. The Munster Championship will come down to the final against Kerry on July 7 so they’ll be going through the motions and probably learning little on the way there.
I don’t think Clare will catch them out. They may get a lift from the Micko factor and the game being in Ennis but they finished fourth in Divison Four this year. Punters could look to Clare at +11 in the handicap at 10/11 but as for winning oputright – it’s not going to happen.