Leitrim v Wicklow, Saturday, 3 pm, Carrick On Shannon
This should be a competitive game between two sides at a similar. The two sides operated out of Division 4 in 2019. Leitrim were promoted to Division 3 next year.
Terry Hyland will be at the helm for his first qualifier game since returning to inter-county management. He has done a superb job at Leitrim already and a win here would be great for them as well especially in front of their own supporters. Leitrim were comprehensively beaten by Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final last month, so a big performance is what everyone will be expecting here. They will be without key forward Emlyn Mulligan who has opted out of the squad in recent weeks. Terry Hyland though speaking to the Leitrim Observer said the door is open for him to come back, perhaps next year. Michael McWeeney, Conor Reynolds and Sean McWeeney are key players in defence. In attack Gary Plunkett, Ryan O’Rourke and Shane Moran will be key players.
John Evans will expect a big game from the Garden County here. They had a rather disappointing league campaign but would fancy their chances of winning this one considering the put in a good performance against Kildare in the first round of Leinster, pushing them all the way only losing by two points. A similar performance would be good enough for the win here. Wicklow will look to players like Dave Devereaux, Padraig O’Toole and Dean Hayden. In attack, Patrick O’Connor and Conor McGraynor will be looking to provide the scores.
They last met in the qualifiers in 2012. Leitrim won that game by 0-13 to 0-10 at Carrick On Shannon.
Terry Hyland “I’d imagine Wicklow are looking at it as a fifty-fifty game and he’ll (John Evans) will have them well organised. I’d say it is probably an equal draw for both teams, we are both Division 4 and we only beat them by four points in Aughrim in the League.”
LEITRIM: Cathal McCrann; Paddy Maguire, Micheál McWeeney, Aidan Flynn; Conor Reynolds, Mark Plunkett, Ray Mulvey; Oisin McCaffrey, Shane Moran; Domhnaill Flynn, Sean McWeeney, Shane Quinn; Evan Sweeney, Pearce Dolan, Ryan O’Rourke.
WICKLOW: Mark Jackson; Eoin Murtagh, Ross O’Brien, Jamie Snell; David Deveraux, Shane Mooney, Dara Fitzgerald; Padraig O’Toole, Dean Healy; Rory Finn, Anthony McLaughlin, Theo Smith; Mark Kenny, Chris O’Brien, Patrick O’Connor.
Leitrim are 8/15 favourites, while Wicklow are 21/10 to progress to round two. The draw is 15/2. Leitrim to win this for me and at the handicap -2 to on offer with the bookmakers.