On the first bumper football Sunday of the summer
Colm O'Rourke swung by to give us his tips
With six games across all four provincial Championships, this is one of the first ‘big’ football days of the summer so far. On paper, there’s not going to be many upsets, but there’s potential for one in the Leinster Championship. Three of the contenders for Sam Maguire are in action as well with Cork, Kerry and Donegal all throwing in.
I’ve picked out a 19/1 accumulator to keep the interest.
Fermanagh to be within the five point handicap, Clare to be within the seven point handicap, Tipp to cover the 11 point handicap and Offaly to win.
Leinster – throw in 15:30 unless stated
Meath vs Louth – Parnell Park
Meath should be comfortable here. Louth won Division Four, but the Royals are in Division Two and when there’s a gap like that in league positions there’s sure to be a gap in quality of football as well. Meath have brought in a couple of debutantes like Cillian O’Sullivan and he’s an exciting player.
No team from a lower division has been able to beat a higher ranked one yet. It won’t happen here either. Back Meath to beat the 5 point handicap.
Westmeath vs Offaly – Cusack Park
This may not please Westmeath fans but I think this is where there’s a biggest chance of an upset this weekend. Offaly have a benefit of a Championship win already under their belt and a comfortable one against Longford and are beginning to show a resurgence. Westmeath are on a bit of a drop the last three seasons, bar that Leinster final appearance last season. Offaly are outsiders and on the road, but I’m backing them to win.
Tipperary vs Cork – Semple Stadium
A couple of seasons ago this had the potential to be an upset because Tipperary were beginning to motor at underage level. But they haven’t been able to capitalize on that since then.
Cork footballers, like their hurlers, seem to be in a bit of a transitional period. It’ll be interesting to see how they get on on Sunday and to see if they have the capability to get to another All Ireland quarter final later in the year. Tipperary to cover the handicap of 7 points.
Kerry vs Clare – Fitzgerald Stadium
All the talk is about the Kingdom and rightly so. They’re the Munster champions and have made the All Ireland quarter finals for the majority of the last decade, picking up a couple of All Ireland’s on the way. Clare already have a win under their belt this year but once again there’s too much of a gap between the two sides to cause any upset. It won’t be as comfortable for Kerry either though. Back Clare to cover the 11 point handicap at
Donegal vs Fermanagh – Ballybofey (14:00 throw in)
Fermanagh had a wonderful season last year when they managed to get to the quarter finals of the All Ireland. Donegal have had a lot of doubters in 2016 so far with people questioning the age of the panel. They are going for their sixth consecutive Ulster final but I don’t think they’re still All-Ireland contenders. The only potential winners of Sam in Ulster is Tyrone. Fermanagh can cover the five point handicap.
Roscommon vs Sligo – Dr.Hyde Park (4pm throw in)
Roscommon were almost stunned against New York but they showed what they were made of against Leitrim in the next round. Once again, there’s a massive league difference between the two sides. Roscommon were playing Dublin, Cork and Kerry while Sligo had inferior opposition. Roscommon win at.