GAA National Football and Hurling Leagues: Round 5

Galway's Peter Cooke gets to grips with Mayo's Colm Boyle in this year's FBD League Semi-FInal

Éanna Atkinson looks forward to Round 5 of the Allianz National Leagues

This weekend we have another full round of NFL and NHL fixtures to look forward to. 

Uniquely we have 10 National Football League games on Saturday evening, with the full round of hurling fixtures and only six football fixtures taking place on Sunday afternoon. This week the two live featured games will be from Division 1 of the football.

On Saturday evening, Connacht rivals Mayo and Galway clash in Castlebar. This game will be shown live on eir Sport 1.

On Sunday afternoon, the Dubs travel west to take on Roscommon at Dr. Hyde Park. This game will be shown live on TG4.

NFL Division 1 – Mayo v Galway (Throw-in @ 7:15pm, live on eir Sport 1, on 02/03):

These two sides lost last time out so they will both be more than keen to bounce back this Saturday against their old foes.

Mayo were extremely disappointing last weekend. After their very positive start to this year’s league campaign, I really expected them to give the Dubs a good run for their money, but they were no match for the All-Ireland Champions on the night.

In truth, the 8-point defeat flattered Mayo, as Robbie Hennelly in the Mayo goal kept the scoreline respectable with several point-blank saves.

Although Galway fell to a 1-point defeat to Kerry, their performance was more encouraging than Mayo’s. They faced a Kerry team who are in top-form and they were unlucky in the end to lose out by the minimum. However, they are still missing key players that would really help them get over the line in these big games.

From their attack Ian Burke and Damien Comer are huge losses. Burke is still on-duty with Corofin who are through to the All-Ireland Club Final. It has now been confirmed also that Comer, who has missed the opening rounds of the league, is set to undergo surgery for an ankle injury. The Annaghdown powerhouse looks set to miss the rest of the Division 1 campaign.

To the contrary, the majority of Mayo’s household names with the exception of the injured Cillian O’Connor, have been playing in the league, with the likes of Aiden O’Shea, Lee Keegan and Andy Moran all getting plenty of game time.

For this reason I am going to side with Mayo. I don’t see Galway having the firepower this weekend to hurt their old rivals the way Dublin did last weekend. You would have to expect Mayo will turn in a much improved performance from last week’s showing.

Verdict: Mayo @ 4/7

See Bar One Racing’s National Football League betting here

NFL Division 1 – Roscommon v Dublin (Throw-in @ 2pm, live on TG4, on 03/03):

These two teams come into this contest on the back of contrasting results. The Dubs strolled to an 8-point win over Mayo, while Roscommon had a very disappointing result when they lost out to Cavan by nine.

Dublin will be hoping that they can put their problems on the road to bed when they take on the Rossies in Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday afternoon. So far, outside of Croke Park, they have been beaten by Monaghan in Clones and Kerry in Tralee.

There is no doubt that Roscommon are well up against it in this game, but they have proved to be very sticky opponents in Dr. Hyde Park as Monaghan and Tyrone both found out already this year. Their 3 points in this years league have came at home (Win v Monaghan and Draw v Tyrone).

The Rossies will be hoping for huge performances again from strong running midfielder Enda Smith and free-scoring newcomer Conor Cox amongst others, if they are to get close to the Dubs this weekend.

Last Saturday evening Ciarán Kilkenny made a welcome return for the Dubs, but it was the on-fire Cormac Costello who once again caught the eye. He weighed in with 1-4, and his goal was out of the top drawer. He left a usually very sticky marker in Keith Higgins in his wake and finished emphatically past an inspired Robbie Hennelly. The only time Hennelly was to be beaten on the night.

I think Dublin will win this game. However, the fact that Roscommon have home advantage is a big factor. In my opinion, if this game was in Croke Park, the Dubs would blow them out of the water.

I think the Rossies can make this a contest for most of the game, but once Dublin empty their talented bench they should finish the game off. I do feel though that Roscommon with a nine-point head start @ 8/15 is decent value for your weekend accumulators.

Verdict: Roscommon +9 (Handicap Betting) @ 8/15

NFL

Division 1:

Tyrone v Cavan Verdict: Tyrone -2 (Handicap Betting) @ 4/7
Kerry v Monaghan Verdict: Kerry @ 4/11

Division 2:

Tipperary v Cork Verdict: Tipperary @ 4/5 
Donegal v Armagh Verdict: Armagh +2 (Handicap Betting) @ 10/11
Meath v Kildare Verdict: Meath @ 4/5
Fermanagh v Clare Verdict: Fermanagh @ 4/7

Division 3: 

Carlow v Louth Verdict: Carlow @ Evens
Laois v Longford Verdict: Laois @ 4/7
Down v Offaly Verdict: Down @ 1/3 
Sligo v Westmeath Verdict: Westmeath -2 (Handicap Betting) @ Evens

Division 4: 

Waterford v Antrim Verdict: Antrim @ 8/15
Limerick v Derry Verdict: Derry -4 (Handicap Betting) @ Evens
Wicklow v Wexford Verdict: Wexford +1 (Handicap Betting) @ Evens
Leitrim v London Verdict: Leitrim -6 (Handicap Betting) @ 10/11

Check Out Bar One Racing’s National Hurling League Betting here

NHL

Division 1A:

Wexford v Kilkenny Verdict: Kilkenny @ 8/11
Cork v Tipperary Verdict: Tipperary @ 11/10
Clare v Limerick Verdict: Limerick @ 10/11

Division 1B:

Carlow v Offaly Verdict: Carlow @ 8/13
Dublin v Laois Verdict: Dublin -9 @ 10/11
Waterford v Galway Verdict: Galway @ Evens 

 



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