Round 2: Allianz National Football League previews

After last weekend’s opening set of fixtures, there are several more big ones in the NFL this evening and tomorrow afternoon.

Dublin skipper Barry Cahill and Mayo's Alan Dillon.
Dublin skipper Barry Cahill and Mayo's Alan Dillon.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer


Mayo v Dublin

Mayo sit on top of Division 1 after the first round of fixtures as last weekend saw them win out convincingly against Laois. They welcome Dublin to McHale Park in what will be a much greater test despite the fact that the All-Ireland champions didn’t look themselves in the defeat to Kerry last time out.

Pat Gilroy makes one change from Saturday’s game at GAA headquarters by replacing the injured Mick Fitzsimons with Fingal Ravens’ Darren Daly, who slots in at corner back.

Mayo: D Clarke, K Keane, E Reilly, K Higgins, P Gardiner, D Vaughan, L Keegan, B Moran, A O’Shea, K McLoughlin, C O’Connor, A Dillon, C Mortimer, A Freeman, E Varley.

Dublin: S Cluxton, D Daly, Rory O’Carroll, P McMahon, J McCarthy, G Brennan, C Dias, R McConnell, M Darragh Macauley, P Brogan, K McManamon, B Cullen, D Connolly, E O’’Gara, T Quinn

Kerry v Armagh

Kingdom boss Jack O’Connor will have been happy with how their first league game went. As well as a satisfying win over Dublin, a number of younger players did a decent job in filling in for the absentees.

Aiden O’Mahony comes in for Peter Crowley and Seamus Scanlon drops out of the team for Anthony Maher. Armagh make four changes for the trip to Tralee – Colm Watters, Peter Carvill, John Kingham and Paul Duffy make way for Aidan Forker, Caolan Rafferty, Stefan Campbell and Brian Mallon.

Kerry: B Kealy, S Enright, M O se, B Maguire, T O Se, K Young, A O’Mahony, A Maher, B Sheehan, P Galvin, D O’Sullivan, S O’Sullivan, J O’Donoghue, K Donaghy, BJ Keane.

Armagh: N Geoghegan, A Mallon, B Donaghy, D McKenna, K Dyas, C McKeever, F Moriarty, C Vernon, M Machin, A Forker, B Mallon, A Duffy, C Rafferty, S Campbell, E McVerry.


Donegal v Laois

In Division 2, Donegal are at home against Laois, having lost out by a point to Down in Newry. The O’Moore men are also reeling from last weekend but will struggle to prevent a second defeat on the trot on Sunday.

Damien O’Connor is brought in at left half-forward, while Colm Begley is played through the centre. Shane Julian drops out, meanwhile.

Donegal: (TBA)

Laois: E Culliton; C Healy, K Lillis, P O’Leary; D Strong, J O’Loughlin, C Boyle; K Meaney, B Quigley; R Munnelly, C Begley, D O’Connor; P Cahillane, P Clancy, D Conway.

Cork v Down

A draw with Armagh won’t be looked at as a bad result by Cork after they had to play with 14 men due to Paul Kerrigan’s dismissal. The forward had his two-match suspension overturned this morning, though Colm O’Neill had provisionally been named to fill the spot at No13. Alan Quirke will make his first appearance of the year as the goalkeeper replaces Ken O’Halloran.

Down’s one-point win over Donegal was one of the games of the round and they have been boosted by the return to the squad of Kevin McKernan, who is back from Australia.

Cork: A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, E Cadogan; N O’Leary, G Canty, P Kissane; A O’Connor, P O’Neill; F Goold, M Collins, C O’Driscoll; C O’Neill, D O’Connor, F Lynch.

Down: (TBA)

Westmeath v Meath

Meath travel the short distance to Mullingar for a derby knowing their form on the road has been poor. They have a real hope of putting that right on Sunday however, and should overcome the threat of a Lakesman side suffering from injuries, emigration, retirements and club commitments.

Manager Pat Flanagan names an unchanged team but the Royals start with Ciaran Lenehan at wing forward ahead of Donncha Tobin.

Westmeath: G Connaughton, M Curley, K Gavin, D McDermott, R Foley, M Ennis, K Maguire, T English, A Finnan, K Martin, A Giles, P Sheridan, P Sharry, D Glennon, C McCormack.

Meath: D Gallagher; M Burke, B Menton, G O’Brien; C O’Connor, S McAnarney, C McGuinness; B Meade, M Ward; S Kenny, G Reilly, C Lenehan; P Gilsenan, S Bray, C Ward.

Monaghan v Kildare

Two teams in need of a win after coming away with nothing in Round 1 lock horns in Clones. Both Kildare and Monaghan would have had high hopes for promotion but losses to Tyrone and Meath respectively mean getting points on the board tomorrow is vital.

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Monaghan: M Keogh, D Morgan, D Hughes, C Walshe, D Mone, V Corey, D Hughes, E Lennon, J Turley, N McAdam, E Duffy, M Downey, P Finlay, K Hughes, C McGuinness.

Kildare: (TBA)

Tyrone v Derry

In a rematch of the Dr Kenna Cup final, which Tyrone won last month, Derry travel to Healy Park on the back of a four-point loss to Galway.

Mickey Harte’s men were excellent at times in their victory over Kildare in the double header at Croke Park and they make three changes with Johnny Curran taking over in goal from Pascal McConnell, Damian McCaul starting ahead of Sean O’Neill at half-back and Ronan McNabb being given a chance in place of Peter Hughes.

Tyrone: J Curran,  A McCrory,  C Clarke,  PJ Quinn, C McCarron P Harte, D McCaul, M Murphy, A Cassidy, M Donnelly, M Donnelly, R McNabb; O Mulligan, M Penrose, S O’Neill.

Derry: P Morgan, P McCallion, B Doyle, A McAlynn, C McKaigue, C Kielt, S McGoldrick, J Diver, J Conway, M Bateson, M Lynch, B McGoldrick, C O’Boyle, P Bradley, E Lynn.

Galway v Louth

Galway recorded a surprising win away to Derry and the news that Padraig Joyce is sticking around will delight manager Alan Mulholland. Louth also got off to a bright start by overcoming Westmeath with a three-point advantage but Wee County boss Peter Fitzpatrick makes four changes to that team.

Galway: A Faherty, C Forde, F Hanley, K Kelly, G Bradshaw, J Duane, O’Donnell, T Flynn, F Ó Curraoin, G Sice, P Conroy, M Hehir, M Martin, N Joyce,  D Cummins.

Louth: N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, G Hoey; R Finnegan, J Carr, L Shevlin; P Keenan, B Donnelly; D Crilly, R Carroll, A Reid; M Brennan, A McDonnell, D Clarke.

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