By Odhrán Crumley
CLARE VS DOWN, CUSACK PARK, 2pm
Clare come into the game as slight favourites after coming away from Celtic Park last weekend with a draw. The Banner men will feel hard done by to have only came away with a share of the spoils however it is a point not many expected them to gain. Down on the other hand will look to quickly forget the home hammering at the hands of Fermanagh losing by nine. The men from the Mournes travel to Ennis in the hope of claiming there first league win in almost two years, with the win over Laois on April 4th 2015 their last. Clare however will be buoyed by a positive start, I expect them to further compound the Ulstermen’s misery. CLARE BY 3.
FERMANAGH VS GALWAY, BREWSTER PARK, 2pm
Fermanagh continued their strong early season momentum hammering Ulster rivals, Down in a comprehensive nine point victory. All six forwards scored from play with the seemingly untouchable Tomas Corrigan hitting 0-8. Galway come into the game after drawing with favourites Cork in Salthill. A result most teams would take against a strong Rebel side. The worrying thing for the Tribesmen is their ability to kick scores from play, only five of last weeks fourteen scores came from play. Expect an intriguing clash to play out in a tight hard fought game, the Ernesiders should be boolstered by the return of the experienced Ryan McCluskey, this may just tip the scales. FERMANAGH BY 1.
KILDARE VS CORK, NEWBRIDGE, 2pm
The home side will come into the game full of confidence after thoroughly dismantling Leinster rivals Meath in Navan, a strong spring opener. Their opponents this week should provide a sterner test. Fresh off the back of a draw in Galway which many would believe to be their toughest assignment they are on the road again, with a rejuvenated Kildare side in waiting. The Rebels in recent years have been described as poor travellers, this was not the problem last week, the problem was their accuracy in front of the goals kicking fifteen wide’s in a game they really should of won. Expect the Munster men to right last weeks wrongs, not without a real test though. CORK BY 2,
MEATH VS DERRY, NAVAN, 3pm
Two sides who have had their promotion merits written off, meet in a game where the two points are crucial even at this early stage. A loss for either side and they could be worried about the drop which may sound silly in week two but with the tough fixtures ahead both sides know the importance of a win. Last weekend Derry earned a last gasp draw at home to Clare thanks to a James Kielt free, while opponents fell to a ten point home defeat against Kildare. In 2016 both sides played out an entertaining 2-16 a piece draw, another tight encounter is expected to play out and a draw is not out of the realms of possibility. Derry will miss the presence of the influential Mark Lynch expected to be out for at least six weeks. MEATH BY 1.