GAA Football

New York make return to Championship action in Ireland in Tailteann Cup quarter-final

Jack Heslin's scored Leitrim's second goal in their win over Antrim last weekend. They now face Sligo in the Tailteann Cup quarter-finals
Paul McConville

Tailteann Cup quarter-final

Saturday

Offaly v New York (O'Connor Park, 2pm)

New York will play their game of Championship football on Irish soil for 21 years when they rock up in Tullamore today. Second favourites for the competition behind Cavan, the Faithful county already have two games under their belt, a preliminary round win over Wexford and an eight-point victory over Wicklow last time out.

The evergreen Niall McNamee fired 1-5 in the win over Wexford, a month after his absence was keenly felt in the Leinster Championship meeting between the sides which the Yellowbellies won.

Two games will have them battle hardened for a meeting with New York side which have been kicking their heels since running Sligo close in the Bronx in the Connacht Championship on Easter Sunday. Only four points separated the sides, with former Down forward Niall Madine landing 0-4 while fellow Mourneman Michael Cunningham played in goal.

They'll find things tough in Tullamore. Offaly were relegated from Division Two, but managed to put three goals past Galway. Playing at a higher level and having options in attack should see them past New York

Odds: H: 1/33 D: 28/1 A: 11/1

Verdict: Offaly

Sunday

Leitrim v Sligo (Carrick-on-Shannon, 3pm)

This is a first Championship meeting between the Connacht neighbour for six years when Sligo were the winners in an All-Ireland Qualifier.

Leitrim were winners over Antrim last weekend in what turned out to be Enda McGinley's last game in charge of the Saffrons. They exited the Connacht Championship following a heavy defeat to eventual champions Galway having seen off London in the previous round.

Victory over London has also put Sligo into this quarter-final tie. Their provincial campaign was ended by Roscommon after a preliminary round win over New York.

Tony McEntee's side won the Division Four meeting between these sides in March but Andy Moran's Leitrim side will be looking to capitalise on home advantage once again.

Odds: H: 5/6 D: 7/1 A: 5/4

Verdict: Sligo

Carlow v Westmeath (Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm)

Carlow caused something of an upset in defeating Tipperary last weekend and will fancy their chances of repeating the dose against Westmeath. The Barrowsiders recovered from a 15-point loss to Louth in the Leinster Championship to spring a surprise against Tipp, a strong second half surge clinching the win.

Westmeath's three-point win over Laois last weekend was overshadowed by a red card for captain Kevin Maguire. John Heslin missed a first half penalty but Sam McCartan's second half goal proved decisive.

They narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Two and were edged out in the Leinster semi-final by Kildare after a comprehensive win over Longford in the previous round.

Carlow have home advantage but Westmeath have been operating at a higher level this year and that might just stand to them.

Odds: H: 5/1 D: 14/1 A: 1/7

Verdict: Westmeath

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