herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Proof the Championship is almost always fascinating

WHILE some pundits claim you'd be hard pressed to pick a team of players from the other ten Leinster counties capable of beating Dublin, the sub-text of two Leinster openers on the weekend had a curious fascination.

Longford went to Tullamore without a win there since 1943. But Offaly haven't won a Leinster Championship match since 2007. Remarkable stats.

Longford got a win and move on to meet Dublin on May 31 in Croke Park, who Longford boss Jack Sheedy obligingly calls "probably second favourites for the All Ireland this year or very close to it."

Neighbours Westmeath were uncertain of what to expect against Louth. With new manager Tom Cribbin, who previously managed Laois and Offaly, Westmeath had made a promising start to the League but slumped to four defeats in-a-row which lead to relegation to Division 3 and prompted stern words from the new boss.

Whatever the optimism among their supporters ahead of meeting Wexford, Westmeath fans know that, after a poor League campaign, Louth are a Division 4 team.

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