GAA Football

Football Matchbox: Louth to test their progress against Kildare

Sam Mulroy is Louth's captain and talisman Picture by Séamus Loughran
Pádraig Ó Meiscill

SATURDAY

Connacht Senior Football Championship semi-final

Sligo v Roscommon (Markievicz Park, 5pm)

ONLY a late scoring rally ensured Sligo escaped from New York with victory last time out, and they will need to improve significantly if they are to trouble Roscommon this evening.

Tony McEntee's men, who missed out on promotion from Division Four earlier in the spring, were pushed all the way in the Big Apple until late points from Niall Murphy, Aidan Devaney and Patrick O'Connor got them over the line.

Roscommon finished top of Division Two after an unbeaten league campaign and defeated Galway in an entertaining divisional final at Croke Park. Ciarán Murtagh and Donie Smith will be among the danger men for the Rossies.

Odds: H: 9/1, D: 20/1, A: 1/16

Verdict: Roscommon

Leinster Senior Football Championship quarter-finals

Westmeath v Longford (Cusack Park, 6pm)

ALTHOUGH Westmeath finished above Longford in Division Three, Longford came out on top when the two sides met in Mullingar last month.

Mickey Quinn was Longford's star man that afternoon and he will need to be on top form again today.

Westmeath will be disappointed on missing out on promotion in the league and should have enough to see them through to the provincial last-four.

Odds: H: 4/11, D: 8/1, A: 3/1

Verdict: Westmeath

Wexford v Dublin (Wexford Park, 6.30pm, live on Sky Sports)

VETERAN forward Ben Brosnan was on fire last weekend as he inspired Wexford to a first round victory over Offaly.

Brosnan hit 1-5 for the Yellowbellies as they pulled off an unexpected win, but the challenge they face this evening is of a different magnitude altogether.

Dublin may have suffered the ignominy of relegation from Division One last month, but few would back against them retaining their Leinster crown. The Dubs will be boosted by the return of Con O'Callaghan while James McCarthy is to captain the side throughout the Championship.

Odds: H: 20/1, D: 40/1, A: 1/100

Verdict: Dublin

Munster Senior Football Championship quarter-finals

Clare v Limerick (Ennis, 6pm)

THESE sides will be facing each other in Division Two next year as Limerick's progress under Billy Lee continues.

Clare had a solid league campaign, concluding with a final day tanking of Down in Páirc Esler. Aaron Graffin and Cian O'Dea were influential in the league for the Banner and should be again this evening.

Odds: H: 1/2, D: 15/2, A: 9/4

Verdict: Clare

Waterford v Tipperary (Fraher Field, 7pm)

WATERFORD had just the single point to show from a disastrous league campaign in Division Four, while Tipperary got out of the basement division at the first time of asking.

However, the point the Déise did manage to pick up was in an opening day draw with the Premier county back in January.

Tipp should have too much today though.

Odds: H: 11/2, D: 14/1, A: 1/7

Verdict: Tipperary

SUNDAY

Leinster Senior Football Championship quarter-finals

Kildare v Louth (O'Connor Park, 4pm)

LOUTH were imperious in their first round demolition of Carlow in Páirc Tailteann last weekend.

And yet again, it was captain Sam Mulroy who was the standout performer for Mickey Harte's men, hitting 2-6 against the Barrowsiders in a 5-10 to 0-10 victory. Tommy Durnin and Conor Grimes were also impressive for the Wee county, although they suffered a blow when former Aussie Rules star Ciarán Byrne was forced off through injury.

With a second promotion in succession secured last month, Harte's project in Louth seems to be taking shape nicely.

Kildare will be joining them in the second tier next year after they suffered relegation from Division One along with Dublin. However, it should be remembered that the Lilywhites beat the Dubs, drew with Kerry and racked up a total of 24 points against Monaghan over the course of that campaign. Results like these suggest that Glenn Ryan's men should still have the edge over Louth.

Kildare's U20s captured the Leinster title on Thursday night after holding off Dublin in O'Moore Park, demonstrating that there is no shortage of young talent in the county.

This game may serve as a valuable marker for Harte in terms of what progress he has still to make with his charges.

Odds: H: 2/9, D: 12/1, A: 4/1

Verdict: Kildare

Meath v Wicklow (Páirc Tailteann, 2pm)

WICKLOW consigned Laois to the Tailteann Cup in Aughrim last weekend in an absolute cracker of a first round.

A hat-trick of majors from Kevin Quinn helped the Garden county to victory in that one, with the game finishing 5-15 to 4-12.

Meath had a solid campaign in Division Two despite a poor start to the year and the likes of Jordan Morris, Bryan Menton and Ronan Jones should give them the edge in Navan.

Odds: H: 1/10, D: 16/1, A: 7/1

Verdict: Meath

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