herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Tyrone's power to tell against West'

TYRONE v WESTMEATH

(Omagh, Tonight 7.0, Live Setanta Sports 1)

IT'S far too early to start making bold statements about Westmeath turning the corner in the wake of their thrilling late comeback victory over Galway. Time will tell if it was a positive blip or a watershed moment for manager Pat Flanagan.

Still, that unlikely two points has restored some measure of faith among a Westmeath public previously convinced that relegation was a 'gimme'. John Heslin's return has obviously bolstered quality and morale - as well as propelling the U21s into a Leinster semi-final. For all that, if you thought the Galway result was surprising, it would constitute a monumental shock for the Westies to dent Tyrone's perfect start.

ODDS: Tyrone 1/10, Draw 14/1, Westmeath 7/1 VERDICT: Tyrone

MONAGHAN v LOUTH

(Clones, Tomorrow 2.30)

THE Farney Army have already shown themselves to be a tough nut to crack in Clones but desperately poor travellers ... no wonder they were so determined to retain home advantage for this clash. Our suspicion is that, having already secured one victory this week in front of the DRA, Monaghan will end it in buoyant mood by eding out their Wee County neighbours.

ODDS: Monaghan 8/15, Draw 15/2, Louth 15/8 VERDICT: Monaghan

GALWAY v MEATH

(Salthill, Tomorrow 2.30)

SEAMUS McENANEY struck a defiantly upbeat note last Saturday, despite seeing his charges beaten at the death by Kildare after a mini-classic. It was, Banty insisted, one of Meath's best performances "in a long time". You can scarcely say that about Galway's poor effort, notwithstanding that they came close to winning before being overhauled in stoppage time.

Having leaked 18 points last weekend, Meath must shore up their defence - not just their backs but also around the middle-third, from where much of Kildare's early dominance sprung. There are no guarantees that will happen but, however tentatively, they get our vote to repeat last year's narrow qualifier triumph.

ODDS: Galway 11/10, Draw 15/2, Meath 10/11

VERDICT: Meath

KILDARE v DERRY

(Newbridge, Tomorrow 2.30)

THE Lilywhites were flying in January but then flatlined in February. But the turning of the month has yielded a return to winning ways. We even had less of the 'wides of March' as the Lilies clocked up 18 points against the old Royal enemy.

Tomorrow they face a team that bounced back from an equally demoralising league start with a comprehensive win over Monaghan. The Oak Leafers also have some Newbridge 'form', winning there last spring, but Geezer's men can make amends.

ODDS: Kildare 8/15, Draw15/2, Derry 2/1

VERDICT: Kildare

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