Preview: Allianz Football League Division Three
Allianz Football League Division Three
Sunday March 24
Down v Louth, Pairc Esler, 2pm
On the opening weekend of the campaign Down lost to Laois, but have subsequently won five matches on the spin.
That is why Paddy Tally's outfit are on the verge of securing promotion, but Louth have shown some encouraging signs this spring too.
Sandwiched either side of losses to Longford and Carlow Wayne Kierans' team stitched a three match winning sequence together themselves.
Ryan Burns, Louth's exciting and prolific attacker, is expected to be available once more so they will make the short journey to Newry eager to remain in the hunt for a Division Two spot.
Laois v Carlow, O'Moore Park, 2pm
Last year Laois and Carlow clashed in the Division Four decider.
John Sugrue's charges firmly believe a second successive promotion can be attained, while Carlow simply want to retain Division Three status.
That would represent a satisfactory spring for Carlow, who came within a whisker of beating Down last weekend.
Turlough O'Brien's hard working panel, though, will be anxious to summon a defiant display against a Laois side which features some powerful and potent forwards.
Sligo v Offaly, Collooney, 2pm
It has been a tough couple of months for Sligo, who have suffered six straight losses.
Relegation to Division Four has been confirmed and that is the fate Offaly could suffer also.
John Maughan's team need to earn a victory and hope that Carlow are beaten by Laois to avoid the drop.
Offaly have embarked on some daring survival missions in recent campaigns, but they need fortune to favour them this weekend again.
Westmeath v Longford, TEG Cusack Park, 2pm
Considering Longford were without a healthy Mullinalaghta St Columba's contingent for a large portion of the League it has been a satisfactory start under Padraic Davis.
The well regarded Davis is content that seven points have been accumulated by Longford.
Having impressed in the Bord Na Mona O'Byrne Cup Jack Cooney's Westmeath have enjoyed a promising Division Three adventure too.
Three wins and a draw from five fixtures leaves the midlanders nicely poised and a couple of victories from their remaining encounters would be sufficient to claim a top two finish.