Monday 18 December 2017





Tuam Stadium: Galway v Laois, 2.0, Martin Duffy (Sligo)

THE wheels have come off Kevin Walsh's initially flying wagon, surrendering a four-point lead in the home straight away to Down, then losing again at home to Cavan. Galway cannot afford another slip-up against a Laois side showing hints of improvement.

ODDS: Galway 1/2, Draw 15/2, Laois 2/1. VERDICT: Galway

Dr Hyde Park: Roscommon v Meath, 3.0, Anthony Nolan (Wicklow)

ANOTHER must-win - for both sides - if they are serious about promotion. Meath's second half fadeout to draw with Laois was alarming while Éamon Wallace's return is countered by the loss of a hamstrung Andrew Tormey.

ODDS: Roscommon 4/6, Draw 15/2, Meath 6/4. VERDICT: Roscommon


Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada: Leitrim v London, 1.0, Niall Mc Kenna (Monaghan)

ODDS: Leitrim 2/9, Draw 9/1, London 4/1. VERDICT: Leitrim



Parnell Park: Dublin v Galway, 2.0, Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)

IT shouldn't have come to this for Dublin, needing a last-day result to avoid the possibility of a relegation play-off. Their Parnell Park record, their more pressing need and the potential for a backlash (after Cork and Clare) all point to a marginal edge ... on paper.

ODDS: Dublin 10/11, Draw 17/2, Galway 21/20. VERDICT: Dublin

Páirc Uí Rinn: Cork v Tipperary, 2.0, Barry Kelly (Westmeath)

A dead rubber between the division's two form teams, so hard to second-guess the intensity X-Factor. The hosts have a strong looking line-up and get our tentative vote.

ODDS: Cork 10/11, Draw 17/2, Tipperary 21/20. VERDICT: Cork

Nowlan Park: Kilkenny v Clare, 2.0, James Owens (Wexford)

SHOCK horror, our three-in-a-row champions won't make it four. Will Kilkenny keep their powder dry for a relegation play-off ... and, if so, will a Clare team hoping to escape the same fate be able to capitalise? Maybe just.

ODDS: Kilkenny 21/20, Draw 17/2, Clare 10/11. VERDICT: Clare


Ballycastle: Antrim v Offaly, 2.0, Alan Kelly (Galway)

OFFALY know the perils of this fixture, having lost last year's relegation play-off at the same venue. But surely, fresh from their shock winning raid on Limerick, they won't blow up against an Antrim side likely to be traumatised by a 32-point Deise drubbing.

ODDS: Antrim 5/2, Draw 9/1, Offaly 4/11. VERDICT: Offaly

Kilmallock: Limerick v Laois, 2.0, Paud O'Dwyer (Carlow)

TJ RYAN'S men need to atone for that Offaly misadventure; we're pretty sure they will.

ODDS: Limerick 1/11, Draw 14/1, Laois 7/1. VERDICT: Limerick

Innovate Wexford Park: Wexford v Waterford, 2.0, Colm Lyons (Cork)

MATCH of the Day, promising winner-takes-all promotion fireworks. Wexford must win to leapfrop Waterford; they have goals in their locker (three against Limerick, five against Laois) but the Deise have been likewise prolific and more frugal in defence too.

ODDS: Wexford 6/5, Draw 17/2, Waterford 4/5. VERDICT: Wexford


Owenbeg: Derry v Wicklow, 2.0, James Clarke (Armagh)

Cusack Park, Mullingar: Westmeath v Carlow, 2.0, Seán Cleere (Kilkenny)

Austin Stack Park: Kerry v London, 2.0, Declan O'Driscoll (Limerick)


Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar: Mayo v Armagh, 2.0, Kevin McGeeney (Mayo)

Trim: Meath v Down, 2.0, Patrick Murphy (Carlow)

Letterkenny: Donegal v Kildare, 2.0, Eamonn Hassan (Derry)


Swords: Fingal v Louth, 2.0, Gavin Quilty (Kilkenny)

Omagh: Tyrone v Roscommon, 2.0, Justin Heffernan (Wexford)

Brewster Park: Fermanagh v Monaghan, 2.0, Liam McAuley (Antrim)


Páirc na hÉireann: Warwickshire v Leitrim, 1.0, C Cunning (Antrim)

Pearse Pk: Longford v Sligo, 1.0, K Brady (Louth).

- Compiled by Frank Roche


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