Ulster quartet do battle in Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals - The Irish News
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Ulster quartet do battle in Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals

David Carvill was impressive for Armagh against Longford

SATURDAY

Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals

Tyrone v Armagh (Carrickmore, 3pm)

ARMAGH demolished Longford in Crossmaglen last time out to make the last-four. Fiachra Bradley was fast out of the traps for the Orchard in that quarter-final, while David Carvill and John Corvan were both in outstanding form.

Tyrone were equally impressive in their 4-19 to 0-16 win over Donegal, which secured their semi-final berth. Conor Grogan stood out for the Red Hands while, in addition, they will have Aidy Kelly, Matthew Mulgrew and Christopher Cross available today.

Odds: Tyrone 9/4; Draw 10/1; Armagh 2/5

Verdict: Armagh

Monaghan v Derry (Inniskeen, 5pm)

DERRY have sauntered through to today’s semi-final with big wins over Louth and Longford. Against Longford, the Oak Leafs racked up 8-21, with Brendan Rogers, Alan Grant, Brian Cassidy, who was the best player on the pitch, and Gerald Bradley all hitting the back of the net.

Patrick Turner, Ciarán Steele, Conor McAllister, Meehaul McGrath and Darragh Cartin have all impressed so far for Derry.

Mark Treanor was immense for Monaghan in their win over Donegal and was well supported by his brother Peter, while Tadhg Campbell, Brian McGuigan and Fergal Rafter, who converted 10 frees, helped the Farney home.

Odds: Monaghan 6/1; Draw 14/1; Derry 1/10

Verdict: Derry

SUNDAY

Connacht SFC quarter-final: Mayo v Sligo (Castlebar, 2pm)

MAYO manager Stephen Rochford has left Aidan O’Shea out of the side for tomorrow’s Championship starter, while full-back Ger Cafferkey returns from a long-term injury.

All-Ireland U21 winner Fergal Boland is handed his debut at half-forward by Rochford.

Sligo squeezed past New York in the Connacht opener last time out, while they were inconsistent in Division Three of the National League.

Odds: Mayo 1/14; Draw 18/1; Sligo 15/2

Verdict: Mayo

 

Leinster SFC round one: Laois v Longford (Portlaoise, 3pm)

FOOTBALL in Laois is arguably at an all-time low following their relegation to Division Four of the National League in the spring. Donie Kingston’s ankle injury has not helped matters, but there is still plenty of experience on the Laois panel.

Down and Monaghan were both on the receiving end of Longford’s ability to spring a shock last summer and they followed that up with a solid NFL campaign. The return of Seánie McCormack is a big boost for Longford.

Odds: Laois 4/7; Draw 15/2; Longford 15/8

Verdict: Longford

Carlow v Wexford (Cullen Park, 3pm)

SÉAMUS McEnaney has brought a sense of optimism back to football in Wexford. A run of five wins on the hop secured promotion from Division Four and Daithí Waters, Ben Brosnan, Ciarán Lyng and PJ Banville will be aiming to spearhead a long summer campaign.

The Barrowsiders will look to Daniel St Ledger, Darragh Foley, Brendan Murphy and Eoghan Ruth to give them a chance of progression.

Odds: Carlow 1/1; Draw 15/2; Wexford 8/15

Verdict: Wexford

Louth v Wicklow (Parnell Park, 3pm)

LOUTH will be expected to prevail in this encounter in the capital, but the absence of Andy McDonnell and Derek Maguire is a blow to them. Promotion in the National League will have done the Wee county’s confidence no harm, while a run of six defeats in seven league games leaves Wicklow the rank outsiders.

Odds: Louth 1/6; Draw 12/1; Wicklow 5/1

Verdict: Louth

 

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