This years third tier for the first time in a long time holds one of the previous seasons semi finalists. Tipperary are installed as the favourites for the title after last years fairy tale run, Armagh who may feel unlucky to have slipped through the net of Division two join them as the favourites to regain their status.
ALL GAMES 2pm UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE
Laois v Louth, Portlaoise Saturday, (7pm)
The newly relegated Laois face the newly promoted Louth in an all Leinster opener. Laois are rightfully installed as favourites as they’re at home and face the newly promoted side. Louth are not a side to be taken lightly as Kildare found out in last years division three decider. Laois will once again rely on the scores of Kingston to get them over the line. Laois by 4.
Sligo v Armagh, Markievicz Park
Armagh will feel unlucky to find themselves in the third tier after three other sides finished with the same amount of points, the Orchard County going down on scoring difference. Sligo were a formidable outfit at home last year only losing one game with home comforts. Armagh will be looking to bounce back from a topsy turvy McKenna Cup campaign. Armagh by 2.
Longford v Offaly, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park
Two sides who are not unfamiliar with each other meeting eight times in the league and championship since 2014. Longford missed promotion through scoring difference last term as did their opponents calling for another close contest to unfold. Longford were a curse to Ulster sides in last years qualifiers seeing off Down and Monaghan in a great run. Longford by 1.
Tipperary v Antrim, Thurles
Tipperary went on a fairy tale run to the all Ireland semi final encompassing a win over Cork and a Munster Final appearance along the way. The game see’s the favourites for the drop and promotion meet after Antrim gained promotion. Antrim struggled after the league last year and many will not fancy their chances on the trip to Tipp. Tipperary by 6.