ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 2: TIGHTLY BUNCHED IN VERY COMPETITIVE GROUP
Saturday: Down v Kildare, Newry. 7.0
Sunday: Fermanagh v Clare, Enniskillen; Cork v Meath, Pairc Ui Rinn; Galway v Derry, Tuam Stadium. 2.0
Four points separate top (Kildare on six points) and bottom (Fermanagh on two points) in a group that is living up to the pre-season predictions that it would be extremely tight. Leaders, Kildare head for Newry to take on a revitalised Down. A team that emerged from a long losing run to win two successive games against Meath and Derry. Having been relegated from Division 1 last year, Down are now back in promotion contention. They won the last Allianz League clash with Kildare, 3-13 to 1-15 in 2015 (Division 2).
Galway lost their unbeaten record in their last game when they were edged out by Meath but are still in second place (on scoring difference ahead of Clare) as they prepare to take on Derry (3 points) in Tuam. Galway beat Derry by 1-18 to 2-12 last year.
Cork were fancied for a quick return to Division 1 after being relegated at the end of last season but have taken only three of a possible eight points, leaving them in sixth place. They are a point adrift of Meath, who have won two and lost two games.
Clare, who were promoted from Division 3 for this year’s campaign, have done very well at the higher level, taking five of eight points, a tally they will hope to increase against bottom-of-the-table Fermanagh (2 points). The counties last clashed in the Allianz League in 2015 (Division 3) when Clare won by 1-14 to 2-9.