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Evan O'Carroll has impressed for Laois in the early weeks of the Allianz Football League.
Evan O'Carroll has impressed for Laois in the early weeks of the Allianz Football League.

Preview: Allianz Football League Division Two


Allianz Football League Division Two

Saturday February 8

Armagh v Kildare, Athletic Grounds, 7pm

Sunday February 9

Westmeath v Fermanagh, TEG Cusack Park, 2pm

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

Roscommon v Clare, Dr Hyde Park, 2pm

By Cian O'Connell

Perhaps just to illustrate how competitive the opening two rounds have been, every team in Division Two has registered at least one point.

Two victories haven't been achieved by anyone either offering further proof of just how interesting and competitive it has been.

Saturday's joust at the Athletic Grounds features Armagh and Kildare, who will both be seeking an instant response following disappointing losses on the road.

So impressive when overcoming Cavan, Armagh suffered a setback when losing to an Evan O'Carroll inspired Laois.

Despite a sharp start, Kildare were eventually beaten by Clare in Cusack Park which represented a blow.

Suddenly the trip to Armagh assumes added significance and a revealing evening looms for Kieran McGeeney and Jack O'Connor's respective panels.

Westmeath and Fermanagh are two of the other counties armed with two points.

Roscommon senior football manager Anthony Cunningham.
Roscommon senior football manager Anthony Cunningham.

Jack Cooney's Westmeath took a commanding position in Kingspan Breffni before being pegged back by a spirited late Cavan rally.

Fermanagh led Kildare late on in Newbridge, but subsequently produced a daring finish to overcome Roscommon.

Conall Jones' accuracy was pivotal up front so Ryan McMenamin's collection of footballers took significant confidence from that morale boosting result.

Roscommon's encounter against Clare is also packed with importance.

Anthony Cunningham's Roscommon were on the verge of earning a win over Laois, who fought back to earn a share of the spoils.

Then in Enniskillen Roscommon appeared to be motoring well before Fermanagh vexed them in the closing stages.

Now Roscommon need a positive result when Clare hit the Hyde.

Clare, though, demonstrated real grit when outfoxing Kildare with Gearoid O'Brien and Keelan Sexton nailing seven points from play between them.

ARMAGH (v Kildare): Blaine Hughes; Paddy Burns, Brendan Donaghy, Greg McCabe; Conor O'Neill, Stephen Sheridan, Joe McElroy; Niall Grimley, Oisin O'Neill; Callum Cumiskey, Stefan Campbell, Mark Shields; Conor Turbitt, Rian O'Neill, Jason Duffy.

KILDARE (v Armagh): Mark Donnellan; Con Kavanagh, Mick O'Grady, Peter Kelly; Kevin Flynn, Shea Ryan, Johnny Byrne; Kevin Feely, Liam Power; Paul Cribbin, Paddy Brophy, Keith Cribbin; Niall Kelly, Daniel Flynn, Jimmy Hyland.

LAOIS (v Cavan): Niall Corbett; Brian Byrne, Mark Timmons, Gearoid Hanrahan; Sean O'Flynn, Robert Pigott, Patrick O'Sullivan; John O'Loughlin, Sean Byrne; Michael Keogh, Colm Murphy, Eoin Lowry; Mark Barry, Kieran Lillis, Evan O'Carroll.

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