Antrim and Fermanagh look to join Down in Tailteann Cup quarter-finals

The Ernemen take on Laois on Saturday, while the Saffrons face Sligo on Sunday

Down's Daniel Guinness and Offaly's Lee Pearson and Jordan Hayes in action during the GAA Allianz Football  Division Three Round Four game between Down and Offaly  at Páirc Esler, Newry 0n 02-24-2024
Down and Offaly meet again this weekend but there is nothing at stake, with Down already into the last eight and Offaly eliminated. Picture: Philip Walsh

Tailteann Cup round three

Group 2

Sligo v Antrim (Sunday, Kingspan Breffni, 1.45pm)

TONY McEntee’s Sligo were one of the teams tipped to giving the Tailteann Cup a real rattle and if the opening stages of the competition are anything to go by, then that prediction is on the money.

They have kicked an incredible 5-43 in just two games, seeing them past Wexford and Tipperary by six and 16 points respectively.

To put that into perspective, those two teams were operating in Division Four during the League and Antrim should prove to be a much stiffer assignment for Sligo.

The Saffrons are also on a two-game winning streak in the group, having beaten Tipperary and Wexford as well, although admittedly not as convincingly as the Yeatsmen.

Like Sligo, Andy McEntee’s team have bagged five goals in their two most recent outings and with Ruairi McCann (Aghagallon) back in the fold, they have a real physical threat on the edge of the square.

Sligo saw out a seven-point victory when these two sides last clashed in the League and while Antrim might close the gap tomorrow afternoon, McEntee’s charges should still have enough to see the game out and book a home quarter-final.

Group 3

Fermanagh v Laois (Saturday, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 3.45pm)

WHEN the draw was made it always looked like it would come down to this tie to decide the group winner and that’s how things have panned out.

Laois impressed throughout the League, landing the Division Four title under Justin McNulty, but Fermanagh, despite suffering relegation, were operating at a much higher standard in Division Two.

They scraped past Carlow the last day out to earn their second victory on the trot in this competition, with Conor O’Shea netting the all-important goal. Laois, meanwhile, could only muster up a one-point win over Wicklow, who Fermanagh hammered.

Kieran Donnelly’s side have a lot of potential right across the field and had 10 different scorers the last day out, including five of their six starting defenders.

Ultan Kelm is perhaps the stand-out name in the Erne county side but the likes of Declan McCusker and the Cullen brothers – Lee and Che – along with Josh Largo Ellis and Garvan Jones, are all talented footballers.

Fermanagh were disappointed with how their Tailteann Cup campaign ended last season, so they will be determined to top the group and head to the last eight.

Group 4

Down v Offaly (Sunday, Kingspan Breffni, 4pm)

THESE two teams served up a really enjoyable Division Three clash earlier in the season and it was Down who came through in the end.

This game, however, has nothing at stake, with Down already guaranteed a home quarter-final as group winners and Offaly already out after shocking defeats to London and Limerick.


Group 1

Kildare v Leitrim (Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 6pm)

Longford v Waterford (Laois Hire O’Moore Park, 2pm)

Group 2

Wexford v Tipperary (Netwatch Cullen Park, 3.30pm)

Group 3

Fermanagh v Laois (Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 3.45pm)

Wicklow v Carlow (Parnell Park, 3.45pm)

Group 4

Limerick v London (Parnell Park, 1.30pm)


Group 2

Sligo v Antrim (Kingspan Breffni, 1.45pm, live on GAAGO)

Group 4

Down v Offaly (Kingspan Breffni, 4pm)