There are three fixtures in this weekend’s Lory Meagher Cup with Donegal facing Ulster rivals Fermanagh, Tyrone up against South Down and English county Warwickshire making the trip to Carrick on Shannon to face Leitrim.
Donegal go into their encounter with Fermanagh in good stead on the back of last week’s 3-16 to 1-13 victory over Warwickshire while for Fermanagh it was a free weekend as they earned a walkover in their scheduled meeting with Cavan in Enniskillen.
Cavan have since make the decision to pull their Hurling team for the 2011 season due to a lack of players and an inability to commit to playing.
Donegal finished 5th in Division 3B this year winning 2 of their 6 matches while Fermanagh had an impressive Division 4 campaign winning 3 and drawing 1 of their 5 games.
Donegal’s leaky defence, they conceded 13-82 in just 6 games will be a cause of concern for manager Andrew Wallace and with Fermanagh racking up 19-71 in the “for” column, this could make for a very open game.
Verdict: Fermanagh to win this, they will be fresher after the week’s break and had a stronger league campaign.
The Longford’s hurlers could not keep up with the men from Tyrone in their contest in the last round, Tyrone ended up tallying 4-17 on the scoreboard to Longford’s 2-12. That win should provide a great foundation for the meeting between Tyrone South Down this weekend. South Down are in good form themselves, having slaughtered Leitrim by 4-25 to 8 points.
A lively contest looks to be in store for these two teams on Saturday. Tyrone will have the edge after going unbeaten in their Division four campaign, however only just as South Down were with them all the way and finished second in the table.
Verdict: When the sides met in the league, just four points separated them with Tyrone edging it 3-15 to 3-11 and expect another close encounter this time round. I think Tyrone will keep the momentum going and snatch this one.
The final fixture for the Lory Meagher Cup 2011 this weekend sees Leitrim do battle with Warwickshire. Both teams go into the bout on the back of disappointing losses to South Down and Donegal respectively. They will no doubt be fired up to get back to winning ways as soon as possible which should provide a fiery encounter.
Warwickshire put up a brave battle against Donegal, losing 1-13 to 3-16 while Leitrim will need to lift their heads following their thrashing at the hands of South Down.
Verdict: Warwickshire are not involved in the league tournament so Leitrim should have the slight edge especially with the home crowd although with one win in five in the league, the potential for a shock remains.
Weekend fixtures: 2nd round of matches: 30 April 2011
Donegal v Fermanagh (Letterkenny) 2.30pm throw in
Tyrone v South Down (Omagh) 2.30pm throw in
Leitrim v Warwickshire (Carrick on Shannon) 2.00pm throw in
Sportsnewsireland will have the final scores and reports from the three games.