Cork's Mark Collins in Allianz Football League action against Meath last year.
Cork's Mark Collins in Allianz Football League action against Meath last year.

Preview: Allianz Football League Division Two


Allianz Football League Division Two

Saturday February 23

Cork v Meath, Pairc Ui Rinn, 7pm

Division Two is once again proving to be a seriously competitive environment with bottom of the standings, Cork, hosting top of the table, Meath by the banks of the Lee.

Only three points separates the eight teams involved, but Cork will be hoping for a much improved performance.

The loss to Clare was worrying and while Ronan McCarthy is carrying out experiments avoiding relegation matters deeply with Sean Powter's availability a real boost.

Andy McEntee has made no secret about the fact that Meath need to be operating in the top tier so this is exactly the type of match the Royals need to win.

Either side of the defeat to Donegal, Meath chalked up victories against Tipperary and Armagh so they aren't short on confidence.

Sunday February 24

Armagh v Tipperary, Athletic Grounds, 2pm

Two teams who frequently adopt a direct kicking style collide at the Athletic Grounds.

Only a couple of years ago Tipperary, inspired by Michael Quinlivan's splendid goals, stunned Armagh to secure promotion at the venue.

That defeat hurt Armagh, but both outfits are now operating in Division Two and are anxious to develop further.

Tipperary lost out to Meath before drawing with Fermanagh and beating Donegal.

That Thurles triumph over the promotion favourites was a notable scalp for Liam Kearns' team, who face a tricky test this weekend.

Despite failing to secure a victory Kieran McGeeney's Armagh have played quite well in their opening fixtures earning two draws before losing to Meath in Navan.

Declan Bonner's Donegal team will be hoping to respond following an Allianz Football League Division Two loss against Tipperary.
Declan Bonner's Donegal team will be hoping to respond following an Allianz Football League Division Two loss against Tipperary.

Donegal v Fermanagh, Letterkenny, 2pm

Rory Gallagher returns to Letterkenny with a Fermanagh team, who have collected four points thus far.

That represents a satisfactory start for Fermanagh, who drew with Cork and Tipperary prior to a morale boosting win over Kildare.

Donegal were surprisingly beaten by Tipperary following a couple of solid success over Clare and Meath.

Declan Bonner is eager to develop the Donegal panel ahead of the summer and some promising youngsters continue to be afforded opportunities.

Kildare v Clare, St Conleth's Park, 2pm

Kildare and Clare bring indentical records into this game: Played three, won one, drawn one, lost one.

Ultimately it means whoever lands the spoils will be very much in the promotion race, while the loser will be scrambling to look at results elsewhere to see how they are fixed.

It is that type of group, but David Tubridy's brilliant form and the enduring excellence of Gary Brennan allow Clare to venture to Newbridge with a sense of optimism.

The Lilywhites suffered a bad loss against Fermanagh and will be anxious to summon an instant response on home turf.