Westmeath v Mayo
Mayo travel to Mullingar with two points on the board after their first win in the league over Kerry last week. Westmeath are still awaiting their first points in the division. With a win Mayo will give themselves some breathing room from the relegation battle and put themselves among the semi final contenders but a Westmeath win will tighten things at the bottom considerably. Westmeath put in a gutsy display against Dublin in Mullingar and will take encouragement from that. Denis Glennon returns to the Westmeath fold bringing and extra impetus to their attack. Mayo have been competitive in all three games while trying out some new players. Kiltane’s Mikey Sweeney gets his chance to impress this week after being instrumental in Kiltane’s march to the All Ireland Intermediate Club Final.
Mayo look to be kicking into gear in the league and should have too much for Westmeath who will provide a decent test at home.
Cork v Derry
Cork host Derry in a top of the table clash in Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday. Both teams would have been expected to be around the mid table point and both have impressed in the league to date. Cork’s win over Dublin last week in Croke Park was a big result for this Cork side under new management and will have given the Rebels the confidence that they are going in the right direction. Derry have impressed on their return to Division 1 and have many positives from the league to date. They showed in Week 1 when coming back against Tyrone that they will play to the end and be difficult to beat.
The winner here will take a big step towards the semi finals, that team should be Cork who may just edge what should be a close affair.
Kerry v Tyrone
When these two sides meet one instantly recalls the last decade where these two teams won 8 of the 10 All Ireland’s on offer, Kerry with 5 and Tyrone with 3. They also met 3 occasions with Tyrone winning all 3 meetings en route to their 3 All-Ireland’s, those game being two finals, (05 & 08) and one semi final (03). Neither have won the All Ireland since 2009 but both remain at the top end of the game with both being losing semi finalists last year. Tyrone are on a rebuilding course that is coming along nicely, laden with players who have underage success who are now coming to maturity at senior level. Kerry are also rebuilding but have more of a talent drought. With Paul Galvin’s retirement and Colm Cooper’s injury they have been dealt further blows for 2014.
Kerry have zero points on the board this year while Tyrone have five. Kerry lost four games in a row last year before putting a run together to stay in Division 1. This year Kerry have competed much better than in their opening games last year. They gave Dublin a close game, lost a close game to Derry and were in the game against Mayo with twenty to go but Mayo kicked on from that point.
This is a difficult game to call but the sight of the Tyrone jersey in Killarney may be enough to get over the line for the Kingdom.