National Hurling League Division 3A
Louth v Tyrone
(tomorrow, Darver, 2pm)
THE pre-season exchanges had looked so bright for Tyrone, capped off by a memorable McGurk Cup draw with Antrim, but they were brought back down to earth with a bang against Warwickshire as the League season got underway last weekend.
Mattie Lennon's side travel to Louth tomorrow knowing that the margin of error is now wafer thin following their 3-16 to 2-14 reversal at the hands of the English outfit.
The damage was done in an opening half that saw the Red Hands trailing by a massive 16 points at one stage.
They were behind 3-11 to 0-4 on the run up to the interval but goals from Bryan McGurk and Aidy Kelly meant that the deficit was down to nine points at half-time.
With Damian Casey in his usual prolific forward, Lennon's side continued to whittle away at the lead and just three points separated the side's heading into the final quarter.
The momentum was firmly with the hosts but it was lost when Tiarnan Morgan picked up a second yellow card. That allowed Warwickshire to regroup and they tagged on a few points to seal the win.
It was a massive blow for the Red Hands who had named promotion as a key goal this season.
Anything other than a win tomorrow and they will be forced to readjust those aspirations. Roscommon should be too strong for everyone else in this division leaving just one final spot for the rest of the hopefuls to play for.
A victory is more than achievable against a Louth side that was blown away by the Rossies last week. Phillip O'Brien's side only managed seven scores in all (1-6) and if they suffer another loss here they'll find themselves in the midst of a relegation battle.
This will be Tyrone's third trip to Darver in three years and they have won one and lost one in their previous two visits.
Lennon will be demanding a reaction and he should get it from his players.
Monaghan v Rosocmmon
(tomorrow, Inniskeen, 2pm)
TREVOR Hilliard's Monaghan side got off to a great start last weekend as they finished strongly to beat Longford 0-16 to 0-12.
Roscommon at home is a massive step up in quality though with the Connacht side competing in this year's Christy Ring Cup.
Hilliard has drafted in a number of new faces this season but it was the experienced Fergal Rafter who made the biggest contribution last week as he notched 0-8 in the four-point win.
Roscommon look much too strong for this division and their opening round 3-18 to 1-6 destruction of Louth reinforces that opinion.
The Farney men should push them much harder, especially on home soil, but a win looks beyond them.
National Hurling League Division 3B
Cavan v Sligo
(tomorrow, Kingspan, Breffni, 2pm)
CAVAN return to the National League scene for the first time since 2011 when they host Sligo at Kingspan Breffni tomorrow afternoon.
They did play in last year's Lory Meagher Cup, losing to the Yeatsmean by 14 points in one of the rounds, and they will be keen to show that they have improved since then.
Galway native Michael Carr has moved from panel member to team manager and training has been going well.
Sligo lost by four points to Leitrim last week and managers Daithí Mac Fhlaithimh and Darragh Cox will be concerned with their measly 0-8 tally. Their forwards should have more joy this weekend though.