It does appear as though Kildare have hit a downward spiral and they can’t seem to arrest it. They haven’t done well in any of the recent challenge matches. Players pulling out of the panel, lots of injuries. There are a lot of problems there.
Laois definitely have the upper hand. They had an easy win over Carlow, which may not be much in itself, but a win in the championship is always a good thing for a team and settles the whole squad down. Laois to win at 10/11.
The obviously pick for first goalscorer is Laois’ Donnie Kingston at 11/2, although he’s more of a points scorer. If he gets in close, he’s a powerful fella with a great shot and playing full-forward he should be staying close to goal.
At the beginning of the league I was one of the people saying that Derry, as league specialists, would probably figure in the play-off stages. Instead of that they hit rock bottom. Even though their performances improved slightly as the league went on but they still ended up being relegated.
Down are coming the other way, replacing Derry in Division 1, having topped Division 2. Even though when I saw Down play Meath in Newry I thought they were quite a poor team but obviously they had done some good work in many of the other games.
This isn’t a game that people are going to watch for spectacular entertainment. Both sides are very defensive, both sides hand-pass their way back and forth across the field. You’ll have time to put on a cup of tea and get back before they reach midfield. If it’s entertainment value you’re after this isn’t the game for you but Derry at home look a good bet to me, even though they have been relegated.
Derry aren’t much of a goalscoring team but Enda Lynn at 12/1 or Eoin Bradley at 6/1 are the ones to back or if you’re looking for someone from Down then you can’t look much further than Donal O’Hare at 6/1.
Colm’s Double: Laois and Derry both to win at 2/1