There are two games each on Saturday and Sunday in Division IV of the Allianz Football League as the battle for promotion reaches the crucial half-way juncture.
Allianz Football League Division IV Previews
Saturday, March 9
Clare v Tipperary, Cusack Park, Ennis, 2pm
The meeting of Clare and Tipperary in Division IV on Saturday afternoon in Ennis has the potential to really separate the two teams in the fourth tier. A Clare win would see them move four points ahead of their Munster rivals, while a Tipperary win would put them level with Clare on four points.
Peter Creedons Tipperary side finally got their first points on the board last weekend when they defeated London, while Clare picked up their second win in a row with an impressive win away to Offaly. Clare will look once more to forward David Tubridy, who hit 0-4 from play against Offaly. For Tipperary, anything less than a win here would realistically see their promotion ambitions for 2013 come to an end.
London v Waterford, Ruislip, 2pm
The other game on Saturday afternoon in Division IV is in Ruislip, where London host Waterford. Waterford are looking to bounce back from last weekends defeat to Limerick, while London are still chasing their first points of the campaign.
Waterfords narrow defeat to Limerick in Dungarvan last Saturday night somewhat halted their impressive progress under Niall Carew in the fourth tier, but a win this Saturday would put them firmly back in the promotion hunt. London will be eager to get some positive results in the league as soon as possible, as Manager Paul Coggins looks to build confidence in the Exiles camp ahead of their Connacht Championship clash against Sligo on May 26.
Sunday, March 10
Limerick v Carlow, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, 2.30pm
That Limerick have top billing at the Gaelic Grounds this Sunday on a double header that also involves the county’s hurlers is a real sign of just how well the Shannonsiders have been moving this year. Last Saturday’s 0-8 to 0-6 win over Waterford was their third in a row and they are now clear at the top of Division IV with maximum points and the meanest defensive record across all four divisions.
Following an excellent start to the year under new Manager Anthony Rainbow, Carlow encountered their first major hiccup last weekend when they lost to Leitrim by seven points. The Barrowsiders had been a touch fortunate to beat Tipperary and London by the minimum in the previous rounds so it was no major surprise when their luck ran out at Dr. Cullen Park last weekend. A very settled Limerick side, devoid of any of the major injury problems that have blighted previous campaigns, present an even more intimidating hurdle on Sunday.
Leitrim v Offaly, Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, 2.30pm
In previous seasons, Leitrim probably would have settled for a mid-table finish had they lost their first two games in Division IV. However, with expectation levels increased by their FBD success, joint Manager Barney Breen is already talking about being back in the promotion race after last weekend’s excellent and badly needed win over Carlow.
Offaly have shown a marked improvement this year under Emmet McDonnell, but their only win from three games so far has come against London. After failing tests against Limerick and Clare, a win over Leitrim would be a major confidence booster for the Faithful County. McDonnell has made two changes for the game, with Derek Kelly and Willie Mulhall included from the start.
09-Mar-13 by Colette Fox – PRO