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big throw-ins Weekend GAA previews: TV times, team news and verdicts for all Allianz League ties


Galway's Damien Comer is back to fitness ahead of this year's League campaign. Photo: Sportsfile

Galway's Damien Comer is back to fitness ahead of this year's League campaign. Photo: Sportsfile

Galway's Damien Comer is back to fitness ahead of this year's League campaign. Photo: Sportsfile

All you need to know about this weekend's GAA weekend as the Allianz National Football League gets under way.



Allianz FL Div 1 North: Tyrone v Donegal, 5.0, TG4

Div 1 South: Kerry v Galway, 3.0, Eir Sports

Div 2 South: Cork v Kildare, 3.30, Eir Sports

Allianz Hurling League Div 1A: Tipperary v Cork, 7.30, Eir Sports/RTÉ


Allianz FL Div 1 North: Monaghan v Armagh, 3.0, TG4

Div 1 South: Roscommon v Dublin, 1.45, TG4

Allianz HL Div 1A: Galway v Limerick, 3.30, TG4



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Allianz FL Div 1 North rd 1
Tyrone v Donegal, Healy Park, 5.0 – TG4

TALKING POINT: For 18 seasons, Tyrone have been synonymous with their manager, Mickey Harte.

With Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher now in charge – and a rich selection of forwards from which to choose – their moulding of Tyrone’s style will be fascinating.

ODDS: Tyrone 5/6, Draw 7/1, Donegal 11/8


Allianz FL Div 1 South rd 1
Kerry v Galway, Austin Stack Park, 3.0 – eir Sport

TALKING POINT: Immediate promotions for Jack Glynn (corner-back) and Matthew Tierney (centre-forward) from last year’s All-Ireland U20 winning side for Galway, while Damien Comer is back to full fitness and starts at number 14.

ODDS: Kerry 1/2, Draw 8/1, Galway 9/4


Allianz FL Div 2 North rd 1
Mayo v Down, Elverys MacHale Park, 2.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Having successfully blooded Oisín Mullen, Eoghan McLaughlin, Ryan O’Donoghue and Tommy Conroy in last year’s League, James Horan has scope for further experimentation here. The retirements of David Clarke, Keith Higgins, Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons and Chris Barrett over winter have opened up opportunities for the likes of Rory Coyne, Jack Byrne, Mark Irwin and Mark Moran.

ODDS: Mayo 2/7, Draw 7/1, Down 7/2


Allianz FL Div 2 South rd 1
Cork v Kildare, Semple Stadium, 3:30 - eir Sport

TALKING POINT: Eight of the Cork team that lost last year’s Munster final to Tipperary have been named to start here, with Seán Powter named at centre-back and Ciaran Sheehan listed on the bench.

Notably in the Kildare selection, Kevin Feely is listed at full-forward, presumably to unleash the scoring potential of Jimmy Hyland and Darragh Kirwan from the ‘Donaghy role’.

ODDS: Cork 1/2, Draw 15/2, Kildare 9/4


Allianz FL Div 3 North rd 1
Longford v Derry, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park 5.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Derry have won just three of their last eight League clashes against Longford.

ODDS: Longford 9/4, Draw 15/2, Derry 4/9


Fermanagh v Cavan, Brewster Park, 7.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: The reigning Ulster champions have issues over goalkeeping cover after a recent injury to Liam Brady.

ODDS: Fermanagh 2/1, Draw 15/2, Cavan 8/15


Allianz FL Div 3 South rd 1
Limerick v Tipperary, LIT Gaelic Grounds, 5.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Philly Ryan is in line to make his Tipp debut after his recent transfer from Dublin.

ODDS: Limerick 5/2, Draw 8/1, Tipperary 2/5

VERDICT: Tipperary

Allianz FL Div 4 North rd 1
Louth v Antrim, Geraldines GFC, 3.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Two Tyrone legends; Mickey Harte and Enda McGinley square off on the line for the first time.

ODDS: Louth 4/7, Draw 15/2, Antrim 7/4


Allianz FL Div 4 South rd 1
Waterford v Carlow, Fraher Field, 7.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Niall Carew begins his first full season as Carlow manager after being parachuted in last year during the first lockdown.

ODDS: Waterford 11/4, Draw 8/1, Carlow 4/11


Allianz HL Div 1A rd 2
Tipperary v Cork, Semple Stadium, 7.30 - RTÉ / eir Sport

TALKING POINT: Even if the two goals from Alan Connolly skewed the scoreline, Cork were full of energy and confidence in their opener.

Thirteen of Tipperary’s 20 points against Limerick came from frees last Saturday but Liam Sheedy won’t be concerned about a lack of firepower, given the players that didn’t line out.

ODDS: Tipp 10/11, Draw 9/1, Cork 11/10

VERDICT: Tipperary

Allianz HL Div 1B rd 2
Laois v Dublin, MW Hire O’Moore Park, 5.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Mattie Kenny won’t be happy with the goal scored by Martin Keoghan that effectively consigned Dublin to defeat against Kilkenny in Parnell Park last week. But he’ll be satisfied that Liam Rushe performed well on his return to centre-back and an otherwise solid defensive effort. Laois are down in numbers just now and should struggle to mount a repeat of their shock 2019 All-Ireland SHC win against the same opposition at the same venue.

ODDS: Laois 15/2, Draw 16/1, Dublin 1/12


Allianz HL Div 2A rd 2
Wicklow v Meath, Aughrim, 3.0

TALKING POINT: Former Meath footballer, Mickey Burke, has been selected at corner-back for the Royals.

ODDS: Wicklow 7/4, Draw 9/1, Meath 8/11


Allianz HL Div 2B rd 2
Kildare v Donegal, St Conleth’s Park, 1.0

TALKING POINT: Johnny Byrne is in line to play his first senior hurling match for the Lilywhites since way back in 2012, after having retired from the inter-county football scene last year.

ODDS: Kildare 1/16, Draw 20/1, Donegal 7/1

VERDICT: Kildare

Roscommon v Mayo, Dr Hyde
Park, 2.0

TALKING POINT: Mayo started their League campaign in fine form with a two-point win over Derry last week.

ODDS: Roscommon 5/2, Draw 10/1, Mayo 4/11


Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Div 1, Gr 1

Galway v Clare, Athenry, 2.0, John Dermody (Westmeath)

TALKING POINT: Despite the immense disappointment of last year’s All-Ireland defeat, Cathal Murray agreed in February to stay on with Galway for another three years.


GR 2

Cork v Tipperary, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 2.0, Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny)

TALKING POINT: With Julia White and Pamela Mackey absent and Gemma O’Connor retired, Cork may need some time to adjust this year. Tipperary stormed out of the blocks in the League last year before the pandemic halted their stride.


Div 1, Gr 3

Kilkenny v Dublin, John Lockes GAA, Callan, 2.0, Andy Larkin (Cork)

TALKING POINT: As tough an opening to inter-county management as you can get for new Dublin boss Adrian O’Sullivan, who led UL to two Ashbourne Cups in 2018 and ‘19.

VERDICT: Kilkenny

Div 2, Gr 1: Antrim v Down, Roger Casements GAC Portglenone, 1.20, Eamonn Cassidy (Derry)

Div 2, Gr 2: Tipperary v Cork, Drom & Inch GAA, 2.0, Barry Nea (Westmeath)

Kerry v Galway, Lixnaw GAA, 2:30, Cathal McAllister (Cork)

Div 2, Gr 3: Wexford v Kilkenny, Bellefield GAA, Enniscorthy, 2.0, Gavin Donegan (Dublin)

Div 2, Gr 4: Dublin v Westmeath, O’Toole Park, Crumlin GAA, 2:0, Owen Elliot (Antrim)

Meath v Kildare, Meath GAA Centre of Excellence, Dunganny, 2.0, Mike Ryan (Tipperary)

Div 3, Gr 1: Down v Armagh, Mayobridge GAA, 2.0, Bernard Heaney (Meath)

Div 3, Gr 2: Limerick v Clare, Kilmallock GAA, 2:0, John Horgan (Cork); Waterford v Carlow, Kill GAA, 2.30, Kevin O’Brien (Limerick)

Div 4, Gr 1: Tyrone v Antrim, Páirc Éire Óg an Charraig Mhór, 2.0, Alan Doheny (Laois); Cavan v Wicklow, Kingspan Breffni, 2:0, Enda Loughnane (Galway)

Div 4, Gr 2: Kildare v Louth, Manguard Plus Kildare GAA Centre of Excellence, 2.0, Conor Quinlan (Galway); Roscommon v Mayo, Ballyforan GAA, 2.0, Aaron Hogg (Clare)


Allianz FL Div 1 North rd 1
Monaghan v Armagh, Brewster Park, 3.0 - TG4 player app / deferred

TALKING POINT: No Seamus McEnaney on the line for Monaghan this weekend, as the manager is currently serving a sideline ban. There is also no Jamie Clarke for Armagh, with Kieran McGeeney revealing this week that the Crossmaglen man was currently residing in Paris and won’t play any part in team plans this year or most likely, again in the future.

ODDS: Monaghan 4/5, Draw 15/2, Armagh 11/8


Allianz FL Div 1 South rd 1
Roscommon v Dublin, Dr Hyde Park, 1.45 - TG4

TALKING POINT: Peadar Ó Ciofaigh is expected to be tested in midfield in this year’s League while Ciarán Archer, star of Dublin’s last two All-Ireland U-20 teams, played a recent challenge match against Monaghan. Mick Galvin will wear the bainisteoir bib for Dublin in the absence of Dessie Farrell.

ODDS: Roscommon 15/2, Draw 16/1, Dublin 1/12


Allianz FL Div 2 North rd 1
Meath v Westmeath, Páirc Tailteann, 3.45 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Meath’s exciting young attackers; Jody Morris, Shane Walsh and Matthew Costello, should get more room to develop away from Division 1 defences this year.

ODDS: Meath ¼, Draw 7/1, Westmeath 7/2


Allianz FL Div 2 South rd 1
Clare v Laois, Cusack Park, 3.45pm - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Conor Jordan, the former Kerry minor and U-21 is in line to make his debut for Clare.

ODDS: Clare EVS, Draw 15/2, Laois EVS


Allianz FL Div 3 South rd 1
Wicklow v Offaly, Aughrim, 2.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: An Offaly debut here for Bill Carroll while Joe Maher starts for the first time since 2016.

ODDS: Wicklow 9/4, Draw 8/1, Offaly 4/9

VERDICT: Wicklow

Allianz FL Div 4 North rd 1
Sligo v Leitrim, Markievicz Park, 3.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Tony McEntee, no stranger to Connacht football after a stint as selector with Mayo, takes charge of his first game as Sligo manager.

ODDS: Sligo 4/7, Draw 15/2, Leitrim 7/4


Allianz HL Div 1A rd 2
Waterford v Westmeath, Walsh Park, 1.30 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Westmeath came within one point of shipping a cumulative 50 points to Galway in an unforgiving debut in Division 1 last Saturday in Mullingar. Waterford demonstrated the leakiness of their defence in the absence of Tadhg de Búrca in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

ODDS: Waterford 1/100, Draw 33/1, Westmeath 16/1

VERDICT: Waterford

Galway v Limerick, Pearse Stadium, 3.45 - TG4

TALKING POINT: Ordinarily, a team as superior as Galway were against Westmeath last week might have pulled up a bit, particularly given the task facing them a week later. Cian Lynch, Peter Casey and Gearóid Hegarty all came on and made an impact for Limerick in last Saturday’s draw with Tipperary and are set to feature again.

ODDS: Galway 11/8, Draw 9/1, Limerick 8/11


Allianz HL Div 1B rd 2
Clare v Wexford, Cusack Park, 1.0 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Once brothers in arms but now apparently enemies, Davy Fitzgerald and Brian Lohan add a thick sub-plot to this game.

When they met in last year’s Championship, Fitzgerald claimed he’d been verbally abused by a member of the Clare management team. Clare’s loss in Belfast last week only adds to the scrutiny on Lohan.

ODDS: Clare EVS, Draw 8/1, Wexford 11/10

VERDICT: Wexford

Kilkenny v Antrim, UPMC Nowlan Park, 1.30 - GAAGO

TALKING POINT: Changes in every line of the Kilkenny team from last week’s doughty victory over Dublin in Parnell Park, including a rest for TJ Reid, who was held to his contributions from placed balls. Goalkeeper Darren Brennan, defenders Tommy Walsh and David Blanchfield, Richie Reid at midfield, and Liam Blanchfield and Alan Murphy up front are the new faces.

ODDS: Kilkenny 1/50, Draw 28/1, 12/1

VERDICT: Kilkenny

Allianz HL Division 2A rd 2
Down v Carlow, Ballycran, 1.0

TALKING POINT: Carlow lost Ciaran Whelan to an ankle injury in the warm-up before last week’s opening win over Wicklow. The midfielder required an ambulance to take him to hospital.

ODDS: Down 5/1, Draw 14/1, Carlow 1/7


Offaly v Kerry, Bord Na Mona O’Connor Park, 2.0

TALKING POINT: Kerry forward Brandon Barrett suffered a hamstring tear against Down last week and could miss the rest of the League.

ODDS: Offaly 4/5, Draw 9/1, Kerry 6/5


Allianz HL Div 3A rd 2
Armagh v Longford, Athletic Grounds, 1.0


Tyrone v Monaghan, Omagh, 2.0


Allianz HL Div 3B rd 2
Cavan v Fermanagh, Kingspan Breffni Park, 2.0

VERDICT: Fermanagh

Leitrim v Louth, Avantcard Pairc Sean MacDiarmada, 2.0

VERDICT: Leitrim

GAA by numbers

3 – The average goals per game scored in six Division 1 hurling matches last weekend, well up on recent League figures. In both 2020 and 2019, a total of 71 were scored in 30 topflight games, an average of 2.36. In 2018, there were 13 fewer in the same number of games.

35 – The combined number of years that Keith Higgins (Mayo), Mickey Burke (Meath) and Johnny Byrne (Kildare) played football for their respective counties. All three are set to line out for those same counties in Div 2 of the hurling league this weekend.

6 – The number of subs used by Na Fianna in their 2001 Leinster club semi-final victory over Sarsfields, one more than the amount permitted. Na Fianna were forced to replay the game, which they won by two points. Their manager? Mick Galvin, who now steps in for Dessie Farrell.

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