Niall McNamee remains an influential figure for Offaly.
Niall McNamee remains an influential figure for Offaly.

Preview: Weekend's Tailteann Cup action

Tailteann Cup Round One

Saturday May 28

Cavan v Down, Kingspan Breffni, 2pm

Leitrim v Antrim, Avant Money Páirc Seán MacDiarmada, 2pm

Longford v Fermanagh, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 5.30pm

Sligo v London, Markievicz Park 6pm

Sunday May 29

Carlow v Tipperary, Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm

Laois v Westmeath, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 2pm

Offaly v Wicklow, O'Connor Park, 2pm

An important weekend beckons in the Tailteann Cup with eight matches sprinkled across Saturday and Sunday.

Significant possibilities exist with Croke Park appearances, silverware, and passage into next year's All Ireland SFC worthy ambitions.

Cavan's pedigree under Mickey Graham is well documented with Donegal eventually shrugging off the Breffni team in the Ulster Championship.

Having triumphed in Division Four of the Allianz Football League already this year, Cavan will be striving to make an impact, but Down should be primed for a battle.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Down, who should be eager to embark on an adventure in this competition.

Leitrim manager Andy Moran.
Leitrim manager Andy Moran.

Leitrim's meeting with Antrim in Carrick-on-Shannon is an attractive fixture.

Both counties endured tough losses in the provincial stage so they will be intent on summoning a defiant response.

Leitrim started well against Galway before leaking four second half goals, while Antrim have shown signs of improvement, but the Cavan reversal was a setback.

Longford, with Billy O'Loughlin in charge, host Fermanagh in the midlands.

Fermanagh enjoyed some good moments against Tyrone with Conal Jones effective, while Longford conceded vital goals when losing to Westmeath.

Longford manager Billy O'Loughlin and forward Daniel Reynolds.
Longford manager Billy O'Loughlin and forward Daniel Reynolds.

Mickey Quinn and the crafty Darren Gallagher continue to contribute handsomely for Longford.

Michael Maher's diligent work with London was reflected during an encouraging Allianz Football League, while they examined Leitrim's resolve in the Connacht Championship too.

Sligo showed glimpses of their attacking ability in the league with Niall Murphy influential.

It has been an exacting spell for Carlow, who will be looking to produce a much improved performance when hosting Tipperary at Netwatch Cullen Park.

The league was demanding for Carlow, who subsequently lost 5-10 to 0-10 against Louth in Leinster.

Wicklow fowards Kevin Quinn and Eoin Darcy.
Wicklow fowards Kevin Quinn and Eoin Darcy.

Tipperary were disappointed to exit the Munster Championship following a defeat to Limerick and will be looking for Jack Kennedy to maintain his enterprising form.

Having lost a goal laden Leinster affair against Wicklow, Laois will want to respond against Westmeath. Gary Walsh and Evan O'Carroll provide a potent attacking threat for Laois, but Westmeath will also believe that they can make a bold bid for the Tailteann Cup too.

Sam McCartan, Ronan O'Toole and John Heslin flourished on the Croke Park stage against Kildare and the midlanders' will want to get back to GAA headquarters.

Kevin Quinn's remarkable goalscoring form has been one of the stories of the summer for Wicklow, who face Offaly.

John Maughan's charges, with Niall McNamee still going strong, avenged the Leinster loss to Wexford when winning a thrilling preliminary round tussle last weekend.