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Game On

Wednesday, 21st February, 2018 4:42pm

Cork vs Cavan

It's first versus second in what is turning out to be a very competitive Division 2, where with eight points last season, Meath failed to get promotion which means every point is vital.

Cavan are the only unbeaten side in the division and showed their quality by hammering Meath in Breffni Park last Sunday to send them to the top on five points, and Mattie McGlennon seems to be building a very efficient side from a county with a rich football tradition.

Conor Moynagh, Ciaran Brady, Enda Flanagan, Adrian Cole, Padriag Faulkner and Oisin Kiernan have all impressed in the campaign to date and will travel to Leeside confident in maintaining that run.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s encounter, Cork boss Ronan McCarthy said: “It is an important game, especially with it being at home, we have recovered well from the loss to Tipperary but we will need to show improvement on the display.”

Kevin Crowley, Ian Maguire, Colm O’Neill, Mark Collins, John O’Rourke, Jamie O’Sullivan and Tomas Clancy should all feature as Cork bid to make it three wins on the bounce; it won’t be easy but it’s one they are well capable of winning.

Cork vs Waterford

In contrast to the footballers, John Meyler's men have suffered back-to-back defeats which makes this clash a must win or else they will be dragged into the relegation battle.

Of course Waterford are in that position, already pointless after three outings and if they lose this one, they will be in the relegation play-off.

When these two sides met at the very same stage of last season’s competition, Cork were in exactly the same position and won in Walsh Park to get their season up and running - a similar scenario would be welcome on Sunday.

Cork hope to have Mark Coleman, Alan Cadogan and Conor Lehane back in the equation for this game and that will strengthen the team, especially in an attack that did not function well enough and for long enough in Ennis.

Sean O’Donoghue, Colm Spillane and Tim O’Mahoney all impressed last Sunday, and while Waterford would appear to have a strange approach to this league given the quality players they have, they will really test Cork.

A very tight group where wins for Cork and Tipperary on Sunday would guarantee Cork a place in the quarter-final and that should be incentive enough for a home win.

Nemo Rangers vs Slaughtneill

It's hard to believe it is 2003 since Nemo last won the All-Ireland Club title, a lifetime for a club that still lead the roll of honour in this championship, a fact not lost on manager Larry Kavanagh.

“It is really, that was 15 years ago, a player’s career if you like and that is something we have spoken about but, look, it is what it is and that will count for little on Saturday.”

Nemo have no injury concerns and Paul Kerrigan's return to full fitness is a huge boost.

Slaughtneill, with Christy McKaigue, Cormac O’Doherty, along with Paul and Christopher Bradley, will test them and any side that can win back to back Ulster titles deserve huge respect. While Nemo will afford them that, the Cork and Munster champions usually revel at this stage of the championship.

Micheál Aodh Martin, Luke Connolly, Stephen and Alan Cronin, Colin O’Brien, Paddy Gumley and Aidan O’Reilly anchor a Nemo side that are fueled by the desire to end an unprecedented wait for another All-Ireland title.

Semi-finals can be dour affairs - look at last Saturday's game - and while Slaughtneil might have the edge in experience, the pace and power that Nemo have in attack should be enough to get them over the line and set up a St Patrick’s Day Final against Corofin in Croke Park, a place where they feel they belong.

The match will be broadcast live on C103 as will the double-header from Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

Camogie and Ladies Football

A busy weekend with Cork teams involved in both codes, with three camogie games on Saturday alone.

The seniors have already secured their place in the league semi-final but should maintain their unbeaten run when they travel to play Offaly.

In Division 2, Antrim are the visitors to Castle Road at 1.30pm, and with a great win over Carlow last week, they will be determined to make it two from two and enhance their chances of a semi-final spot.

Meanwhile, Ballynoe is the venue for All-Ireland Minor A championship clash with Kilkenny, 2.30pm start. Both had wins in their opening group games so a lively encounter is in prospect.

Then on Sunday, it’s the turn of the Cork Ladies Footballers who play Westmeath in Mallow at 2pm. Cork were somewhat unlucky to lose to Dublin last time out, while Westmeath were put to the sword by Donegal, which suggests there will only be one outcome to this contest.

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