Tyrone seek victory over Kerry to preserve Division One place

Sean Cavanagh
Sean Cavanagh

Tyrone need to beat Kerry by two clear points on Sunday to retain their place in Division One.

Last week’s heavy defeat by Donegal has given Tyrone plenty to ponder but they have been lifted by the return of Sean Cavanagh to the starting line-up.

Keeper Niall Morgan has shaken off an injury sustained during the Donegal game and has been passed fit to play, while Ryan McKenna has also been included.

Meanwhile, Monaghan must beat Dublin to have any chance of being involved in the Division One semi-finals. Donegal could also make a late semi-final bid but they must beat Mayo and hope other results go their way.

Monaghan are unchanged for the game against Dublin with coach, Malachy O’Rourke, insisting his side would not be getting carried away following last week’s victory over Kerry.

“If we lost a game we were going to be the same, the idea was to keep an even keel. You have to remember too that Kerry in a league game in March is completely different than Kerry at other times during the year,” he said.

“We’ll take what we got there though, it was a great win for us, a good confidence booster for ourselves, but we know there is lots of work to do and it’s early in the year. This is not championship football.”

In Division Two, Down had promotion in their sights last weekend but stumbled, losing against Meath.

They have another chance on Sunday against Laois and manager Jim McCorry has made three changes with Darren O’Hagan and Brendan McArdle coming into defence while forward Caolan Mooney will make his full league debut.

In Division Three, already promoted Armagh have made seven changes for the trip to Sligo.

Manager Kieran McGeeney has re-shuffled his midfield and attack, bringing in Stephen Harold, Peter Carragher, Brendan Donaghy, Eugene McVerry, Stefan Forker and Gavin McParland.

There is just one change to the defence that lined out against Louth last Saturday with Eoin McArdle replacing Finian Moriarty at centre-back.

Armagh’s opponents in the Division Three Final, Fermanagh, face Clare but manager Peter McGrath already has one eye on the showdown with their Ulster neighbours.

“We have one more game in the league and then a league final in three or four weeks’ time and that’s the perfect build-up to the championship at the end of May,” he said.

“You couldn’t ask for more. Given the mindset and work rate we’ve seen so far, there’s no doubt we’ll get every last drop of benefit out of the league final against Armagh.”

In Division Four, Antrim face Offaly knowing a win will see their promoted. The Saffrons head into this crucial encounter on the back of four successive victories.

Sunday, April 5

Allianz FL Division 1: Mayo v Donegal, Derry v Cork, Monaghan v Dublin, Tyrone v Kerry

Allianz FL Division 2: Down v Laois, Meath v Cavan

Allianz FL Division 3: Sligo v Armagh, Clare v Fermanagh

Allianz FL Division 4: Offaly v Antrim