Three more Division One games are too be contested today after Monaghan shocked Mayo last night in Castlebar holding on to win by the narrowest margins despite being a man down continuing their brilliant run of first round wins.
The Farney men have struck first blood in a highly competitive Division One with six more sides hoping for a similar start today.
ALL GAMES 2pm SUNDAY
Cavan v Dublin, Kingspan Breffni Park
A capacity crowd is expected at Breffni today for the visit of the reigning All Ireland champions. Mattie McGleenan’s side will have been left with feelings of frustration and disappointment from their McKenna Cup campaign after turning over eventual winners Tyrone in the opening day before a loss to UUJ ended their run in the competition. That however is soon to be forgotten as they make a return to the promised land of Division One.
Jim Gavin has treated the game with the respect it deserves naming the strongest team available to him emphasised by the returning Jack McCaffrey a former footballer of the year only making the bench. The Dubs believe this will be the start of another fruitful campaign as they aim for their fifth league title in a row, another stat to worry the Breffni Blues is that Dublin are on a 29 match unbeaten streak and do not aim to end it anytime soon.
Cavan have talent in their ranks but arguably the man who has made them tick over the last few years, Cian Mackey will miss today’s game in spite of rumours that he has returned to training after it appeared he would not be available for the year. Cavan will rely on Seanie Johnston to bare the brunt on the scoring front in McKiernan’s absence as he recovers from injury. This is the stage where Cavan will struggle while their counterparts strive. Dublin by 4.
Donegal v Kerry, Letterkenny
Much has been made of the rivalry between both counties in the aftermath of last years turbulent contest in the Kingdom last year. Both sides have been keen to emphasise that things will not spill over this time.
Donegal opted to field an under 21 side in the McKenna Cup and will rely on some of the same youngsters to shine in today’s league meeting as Langan and McGee shined in the early season games and the success of the Donegal minor teams suggest that even though they’re in a period of alleged transition success is not far away. Kerry by 2.
Tyrone Vs Roscommon, Omagh
Mickey Harte’s Red Hand charges annexed the McKenna Cup for the sixth consecutive year with a comprehensive nine point win over rivals Derry. Promoted with relative ease from Division Two last term, winning Ulster before disappointingly losing out in the quarter final with Mayo.
Roscommon were a surprise package in last years league beating Kerry and Cork in the early season before losing to Kerry in the league semi’s.
Both sides will look for a fast start and gain momentum in challenges for promotion and relegation. Tyrone have a nice blend of youth and experience emerging by today will be another step up but should not be a step too far. Tyrone by 5.