| 2.2°C Dublin

Gavin and Gilroy pit wits in Balgriffin clash

DUBLIN managers, past and present, will be in opposing dugouts tonight when Pat Gilroy's 'Rest of Leinster' selection square off against Jim Gavin's Sky Blues in a senior football challenge at Innisfails GAA Grounds.

The game was originally pencilled in for Parnell Park but has been switched to the Balgriffin venue with a slightly later throw-in time of 8.0pm.

Tonight's clash is the first of two challenge matches organised to help Gilroy and his co-selectors, Seán Boylan and Mickey Whelan, finalise their Leinster squad for the upcoming Inter-provincial series.

Another 'Rest of Leinster' outfit will tackle Mick O'Dowd's Meath the following Friday night in Navan (7.30), ahead of Leinster's Inter-pro semi-final against Connacht in Longford on Sunday, February 17.

Apart from being an excellent workout for Gilroy's provincial wannabes, tonight's game will enable Gavin to run the rule over his own extended panel, who face a busy weekend with an O'Byrne Cup semi-final following against Louth in Drogheda on Sunday. The good news for all GAA diehards, meanwhile, is that admission is free both in Balgriffin and Navan.

DUBLIN minor footballers have been drawn alongside Tipperary, Longford and Westmeath in this year's Leinster MFL. New minor boss Cyril Kevlihan will be aiming to replicate the achievement of last year's Dublin cubs who, under the stewardship of Dessie Farrell, won the Leinster minor league as a prologue to being crowned Leinster and All-Ireland champs.

LEINSTER MFL - GROUP 1: Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Louth. GROUP 2: Wicklow, Carlow, Wexford, Meath. GROUP 3: Dublin, Tipperary, Longford, Westmeath.

RD 1 - Sat, Feb 2: Laois v Kildare; Carlow v Wicklow; Dublin v Tipperary; Louth v Offaly; Meath v Wexford; Westmeath v Longford. RD 2 - Sat Feb 9: Offaly v Laois; Wexford v Carlow; Longford v Tipperary; Louth v Kildare; Meath v Wicklow; Westmeath v Dublin. RD 3 - Wed Feb 13: Kildare v Offaly; Wicklow v Wexford; Dublin v Longford; Laois v Louth; Carlow v Meath; Westmeath v Tipperary. SEMI-FINAL - Sat Feb 16: Winners Group 1 v Winners Group 2.

FINAL - Sat Feb 23: Semi-final winners v Winners Group 3.