Preview: All Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 2B
Saturday July 8
All Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers Round 2B
Cavan v Tipperary, Kingspan Breffni, 2pm
A defining match for two teams, who feel that reaching the All Ireland Quarter-Finals is a possibility.
Tipperary managed to reach the last four in 2016, but Liam Kearns will be completely aware that a demanding encounter awaits.
Though Cavan were relegated from Division One of the Allianz Football League, Mattie McGleenan's charges have produced two good Championship displays.
Monaghan eventually shrugged off a spirited Cavan in Ulster, but McGleenan's team impressed against Offaly.
Gearoid McKiernan's 1-4 haul in that match was influential, while Niall McDermott is a cool finisher also.
That 1-17 to 0-16 success over the Faithful County at Bord Na Mona O'Connor Park was a boost for Cavan.
Tipperary's defeat against Cork in the Munster SFC Semi-Final was a disappointment especially considering they accumulated a five point advantage early in the second half of that contest.
Michael Quinlivan's injury was a cruel blow, but Conor Sweeney continued to be effective in attack.
Alan Campbell, Robbie Kiely, George Hannigan, Brian Fox, and Sweeney are impressive performers from Tipperary, who will be striving to take the Cavan scalp.
CAVAN: Raymond Galligan; Padraig Faulkner, Killian Clarke, Jason McLoughlin; James McEnroe, Niall Murray, Conor Moynagh; Liam Buchanan, Tomas Corr; Cian Mackey, Martin Reilly, Ciaran Brady; Caoimhin O'Reilly, Gearoid McKiernan, Dara McVeety.
TIPPERARY: Ciaran Kenrick; Colm O'Shaughnessy, Alan Campbell, Emmet Moloney; Bill Maher, Robbie Kiely, Jimmy Feehan; Liam Casey, George Hannigan; Josh Keane, Liam Boland, Brian Fox; Conor Sweeney, Kevin O'Halloran, Jack Kennedy.
Wexford v Monaghan, Innovate Wexford Park, 3pm
With these two teams in different bowls for the draw there was almost an inevitability that Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney would have to face his native county.
McEnaney, such an integral figure in the rebirth of Monaghan as a respected force, is trying to develop Wexford now.
Promotion from Division Four of the Allianz Football League was a boost, but they didn't finish well in that competition and were subsequently beaten by Carlow in the Leinster Championship.
It meant that Wexford ventured to the Gaelic Grounds in Round 1B for a vital game.
A victory was carved out, it was all that mattered, but less than 48 hours later Monaghan were put on the agenda when the draw took place.
“The reality is Monaghan started very well against Down the last day, they just didn’t execute all their opportunities, but that’s still one of the best forward lines in the country with the best forward - Conor McManus," McEnaney says.
"I would class him as the best forward in the country."
Despite trailing by seven points early in the second half against Down, Monaghan staged a dramatic late rally, but it wasn't enough.
Conor McManus did kick some excellent scores, while Jack McCarron, Conor McCarthy, and Owen Duffy showed glimpses of class.
Darren and Kieran Hughes are other accomplished players, who will want Monaghan to make a significant impression this summer.
A year ago following an Ulster loss to Donegal, Monaghan were subsequently defeated by Longford in the Qualifiers. Monaghan will be striving to avoid that type of a scenario again.
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Fintan Kelly, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Colin Walshe, Vinny Corey, Neil McAdam; Kieran Hughes, Karl O'Connell; Darren Hughes, Kieran Duffy, Owen Duffy; Conor McCarthy, Jack McCarron, Conor McManus.
Carlow v Leitrim, Netwatch Cullen Park, 3pm
Carlow and Leitrim have one thing in common this year: both counties left Ruislip relieved to have eked out narrow wins against London.
Ciaran Deely's Exiles had both teams in bother in Connacht and Qualifiers action, but Carlow and Leitrim survived.
Leitrim were well beaten by Roscommon in a Connacht Semi-Final, but Brendan Guckian has named the same starting XV for Saturday's encounter.
Carlow have already played Wexford, Dublin, and London in this year's Championship so a feel good factor exists in the county.
"There is no doubt about it," O'Brien states. "There is a lot of positivity towards the football and the hurling as well. People are optimistic it is going in the right direction."
Paul Broderick's accurate free-taking was critical against London, the talented corner forward contributed six points in that triumph.
The lively Sean Murphy has enjoyed an encouraging campaign for Carlow, while Leitrim will hope that captain Donal Wrynn and Shane Moran can inspire them.
In Division Four of the Allianz League Carlow accumulated eight points, Leitrim took nine including a success over O'Brien's charges at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada on March 5.
LEITRIM: Brendan Flynn; Noel Plunkett, Donal Wrynn, Paddy Maguire; James Rooney, Michael McWeeney, Oisin Madden; Shane Moran, Damien Moran; Dean McGovern, Conor Gaffney, Ryan O’Rourke; Keith Beirne, Darragh Rooney, Brendan Gallagher.
Westmeath v Armagh, TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar, 7pm
This first Championship meeting between the counties at Mullingar should be keenly contested.
Armagh were industrious when defeating Fermanagh in Round 1B with Jamie Clarke's three points from play decorating a decent display.
Niall Grimley and Rory Grugan kicked the frees in a solid fashion, while Andrew Murnin and Stefan Campbell both showed their attacking ability.
Westmeath were thumped 4-29 to 0-10 by Dublin in the Leinster Semi-Final. It took Tom Cribbin's side two games to get over Offaly, but Westmeath finished strongly in that replay.
John Heslin was influential for Westmeath, who reached provincial deciders in 2015 and 2016.
That edged them into the last 12 in those two campaigns and Cribbin will want them to return to that stage once more.
Kieran McGeeney's Armagh, though, have adopted an attacking style throughout 2017 and they will head to Mullingar keen to pose stern questions for Westmeath.
WESTMEATH: Darren Quinn; Mark McCallon, Kevin Maguire, Jamie Gonoud; David Lynch, Frank Boyle, James Dolan; Paul Sharry, Ger Egan; John Egan, Kieran Martin, Sam Duncan; Kelvin Reilly, John Heslin, Killian Daly.
ARMAGH: Blaine Hughes; Aaron McKay, Charlie Vernon, Paul Hughes; Aidan Forker, Brendan Donaghy, James Morgan; Stephen Sheridan, Niall Grimley; Ciaran O'Hanlon, Anthony Duffy, Rory Grugan; Jamie Clarke, Andrew Murnin, Gavin McParland.