herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Venue a sign that Lily luck has turned

LONGFORD v KILDARE

(ROUND 3A: Mullingar, Tonight, 7.0)

A BATTLE of the Sky Blue victims. Kildare were initially there for the taking against Offaly; they survived and their self-belief should be less fragile, one win later. Another plus for Jason Ryan (above): ongoing work on Pearse Park has robbed Longford of home advantage.

ODDS: Longford 5/2 Draw 15/2 Kildare 4/9 VERDICT: Kildare

DERRY v WEXFORD

(ROUND 2B: Owenbeg, Today, 2.0)

THE Model men have already disarmed one hot Ulster favourite (Down) so can lightning strike twice? We doubt it, not just because of the country-long trek facing Wexford, but also because the opposition (Derry) is a small but perceptible step-up.

ODDS: Derry 1/5 Draw 11/1 Wexford 9/2 VERDICT: Derry

TIPPERARY v LOUTH

(ROUND 2B: Thurles, Today, 2.45)

ON paper, one of the easier qualifiers to call. When they met in Drogheda last March, the visitors won by 4-16 to 3-11. Now Tipp are at home and having run Kerry to six points last month, their form graph looks more compelling.

ODDS: Tipperary 1/10 Draw 14/1 Louth 7/1 VERDICT: Tipperary

ARMAGH v GALWAY

(ROUND 2B: Ath Grounds, Tom, 3.0)

ARMAGH have been making news for all the wrong reasons, between their no-show against Donegal and the controversy over Davy Byrne's injury before the throw-in to their recent Dublin challenge. Moreover, the ten-point margin at home to Wicklow masked another underwhelming display. Galway had their moments against Mayo but now need to step out of the shadows. This should be close but ...

ODDS: Armagh 4/5 Draw 15/2 Gal 11/8 VERDICT: Galway

FERMANAGH v ROSCOMMON

(ROUND 3A: Enniskillen, Tom, 3.30)

ANOTHER clash that has the potential to be very close ... but Roscommon have already negotiated one bout of northern exposure (in Cavan) with a degree of comfort and they have sufficient forward class to edge past Fermanagh too.

ODDS: Fermanagh 21/10 Draw 15/2 Roscommon 8/15 VERDICT: Roscommon

COMPILED BY FRANK ROCHE

SFC QULAIFIERS

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