Preview: Allianz Football League Division Three
Allianz Football League Division Three
Sunday February 24
Longford v Down, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 2pm
It has been a hugely positive start for Longford under new manager Padraic Davis.
The midlanders have accumulated five points without a talented Mullinalaghta St Columba's contingent.
That bodes well for a string of reasons, but Down have thundered back into form following an opening evening loss to Laois.
Paddy Tally's panel is nicely stocked with emerging players so Down will be satisfied with how they are motoring and this tussle offers another good examination.
Louth v Sligo, Gaelic Grounds, 2.30pm
With Ryan Burns delivering a stylish attacking display Louth edged out Laois at Croke Park and subsequently followed that with a fine road win against Offaly.
Suddenly four points have been gathered by Louth, who know another triumph would steer them close to safety.
While Louth have generated momentum Sligo have endured three tough losses against Carlow, Down, and Laois.
If relegation is to be avoided the Yeatsmen need to eke out a victory at the Gaelic Grounds.
Westmeath v Laois, TEG Cusack Park, 2.30pm
Evan O'Carroll's crafty forward play was evident when Laois cruised to a convincing win over Sligo.
It was an important statement from John Sugrue's players following a defeat at GAA headquarters against Louth.
Laois, who won the Division Four title last spring, will feel that another top two finish can be secured, but Westmeath share similar aspirations.
The Bord Na Mona O'Byrne Cup brought a timely injection of optimism for Westmeath, who will want to deliver against Laois in Mullingar.
Offaly v Carlow, Bord Na Mona O'Connor Park, 3pm
Offaly have been caught out twice by late rallies from Westmeath and Louth so John Maughan's team will be intent on remaining composed.
Carlow's reversal against Longford was a setback, but Turlough O'Brien's charges will know the value and importance of this weekend's encounter.
Brendan Murphy's commanding display was crucial when they defeated Sligo and there was sufficient drive and desire in Carlow's performance when dividing the spoils with Westmeath.
Survival is Offaly's target now and anything less than a home win would put the Faithful in severe difficulty.