League: Ulster Championship

Cavan v Donegal 2020 Ulster Final – Live score commentary

It’s the 2020 Ulster Football Final and we have the starting teams and live score commentary from Cavan v Donegal, start time is 4pm Sunday.

It’s a repeat of last year’s Ulster Final in the Athletic Grounds on Sunday as Cavan attempt to dethrone Donegal again. Donegal claimed a five-point win last year but Cavan still went much further than many expected. Likewise, they have been major underdogs on two occasions already this year and have proved everyone wrong. But, Donegal have been proving they’re a class above their Ulster opponents so far this year. Hence, Cavan face their toughest task if they are to continue they’re trend of providing upsets.

Firstly, the Breffni men got the Ulster Championship off to a spectacular start. With ten minutes left on the clock, they trailed Monaghan by six. Somehow Cavan came back to send the game to extra-time which was an achievement in itself. But, they smelled blood and pushed Monaghan all the way. Penalties seemed inevitable until goalkeeper Raymond Galligan scored the winner from 59metres out.

A reasonably comfortable win over Antrim followed but Cavan repeated their comeback trick last weekend against Down.

This time, they were on the wrong side of an eight-point deficit at half-time. It seemed like five games in five weeks was taking its toll on Mickey Graham’s men as bad handling and decision-making suggested fatigue. Furthermore, Down were just much more economical in possession.

But, Graham’s adjustments at the interval proved to be good ones. For example, Conor Madden came in and kicked three points in addition to two assists. Likewise, Thomas Galligan was put at full-forward and tied up the Down defence effectively. They smothered Down in midfield and the forwards capitalised with a steady stream of points to eclipse Down’s early lead.

Donegal hype train rolls on

Meanwhile, Donegal returned to the pitch for the first time since their duel with Tyrone. Armagh were the opposition and on paper it was going to be another stern test for Donegal’s credentials. Yet, half-time Declan Bonner’s side had blown the Orchard County out of the water and there was already talk of a Donegal-Dublin semi-final.

At the interval it was 1-12 to 0-3 after a display of sheer dominance by Donegal. Their physicality in the tackle made Armagh’s attacks absolutely futile. At the other end, size didn’t come at the expense of skill as the points continued to come.

Somewhat worryingly, Donegal’s defensive guardian Stephen McMenamin left the pitch after three minutes with a hamstring strain. Bonner admitted the chances of him being fit for this weekend’s final didn’t look good at the time.

Odhran McFadden-Ferry is another absentee for Donegal. He is on tour with the Irish Army. In addition, Paul Brennan left the pitch midway through the second-half due to injury.

In contrast, Paddy McBrearty got some well-needed Championship minutes and scored with his first contribution.

While Cavan have already proved themselves capable of turning the tide against major opponents, the Donegal train is at full tilt. They racked up 1-22 against Armagh in 70 minutes of pure precision.

Monaghan and Down had bad spells to allow Cavan back into their games. It’s hard to imagine Donegal showing such a lapse.

The Ulster final is live on RTÉ.

Paddy Power have Donegal at a short 1/10 versus Cavan’s 7/1. A draw is 10/1.

Prediction: Donegal. Cavan are no right-off. But, even their best is probably not enough to see them past Donegal here who are proving to be genuine title contenders.

Ulster Championship Final: Cavan vs Donegal, Sunday, 22nd November, 16:00 (Athletic Grounds).

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Cavan V Down – Ulster Football Live score commentary

Its a 1:30pm throw-in for the Ulster football semi-final between Cavan v Down, we have live score commentary  and starting team news. 

Cavan added to their usurping of Monaghan with a win over Antrim last weekend. Now, they face Down in the Ulster semi-final. The Mourne man were victorious against Fermanagh in their quarter-final on Sunday. Both of these sides have made it to Ulster finals in recent years. Last season, Cavan made it to the decider but lost to Donegal. Likewise, Down played the 2017 final against Tyrone but came out on the wrong side. Now, one of these teams is guaranteed to contest the Anglo-Celt Cup again.

After their famous win over Monaghan, Cavan returned to action against Antrim last weekend. Initially they made the game hard work for themselves. Antrim were well set-up defensively. But, even when Cavan got a look at goal they were slow to take their chances. 6 wides in the first half saw them enter the break a point down.

Antrim stuck to their system in the second half, showing great discipline. In the third quarter they threatened to steal a goal that would leave Cavan with a lot of work to do. But, Ray Galligan came to Cavan’s rescue again.

Then, in the final stages Antrim finally ran out of steam. Cavan showed the benefit of having already played a Championship game and they finished strongly. After leaving it late twice now, Mickey Graham will be keen to get his team off the mark quickly in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, Down came up against a similarly stubborn Fermanagh team. Both teams adopted big defensive blocks in this fixture and the scoreline was evidence of this. Goals were never really on offer in the first half and long-range shooting proved beneficial. There was never more than one between the teams as Down went into the break 0-7 vs 0-6.

There was always a sense that one goal could open the game up. Caolan Mooney was the one to offer up such a chance. After a bursting run he left the Fermanagh defence stretched. As a result, Daniel McGuinness found space at the back post and palmed it into the empty net.

Fermanagh had no reply from there and Down’s forwards continued to tack on the scores. Barry O’Hagan scored 0-4 from play in an impressive display that will leave him full of confidence.

The experience of winter Championship aided Cavan in their last game. However, they now enter their fifth game in five weeks. With heavy ground under foot, fatigue may play a part, especially after going for more than 90 minutes against Monaghan.

Otherwise, Down are fresh and ready to take on Graham’s men. Their strong finish against Fermanagh was an excellent display of their firepower. At the same time, they showed great patience and discipline to break down a stout Fermanagh defence.

The game is live on BBC Northern Ireland.

Down are 4/6 favourites with Paddy Power. Cavan are the opposite at 6/4 and a draw is 15/2.

Prediction: Down. Cavan proved capable of providing an upset already and have been underestimated in Ulster before. But, five games in five weeks is a lot in these circumstances and Down may just have the extra legs coming down the stretch.

Facts and Figures

This will be their first Ulster championship meeting since 2007 when Down won a prelimi nary round tie by four points. They met in the All-Ireland qualifiers two years ago when  Cavan won by two points. 

LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES 

2018: Cavan 1-14 Down 0-15 (Qualifier Round 2) 

2007: Down 0-15 Cavan 0-11 – Replay (Ulster preliminary round) 

2007: Down 3-8 Cavan 2-11 – Draw (Ulster preliminary round) 

2006: Down 1-13 Cavan 0-11 (Ulster preliminary round) 

2004: Cavan 3-13 Down 2-12 – Replay (Ulster quarter-final) 

*Cavan beat Monaghan (2-15 to 1-17 after extra-time) and Antrim (0-13 to 0-9) to reach the semi-final. Down beat Fermanagh by 1-15 to 0-11. 

*Cavan, who lost to Donegal in last year’s Ulster final, are bidding to reach the final in suc cessive years for the first time since 1968-69. 

*Down were last in the Ulster final in 2017. They haven’t won the title since 1994 while Cavan’s last success was in 1997. 

Ulster Championship Semi-Final: Cavan vs Down, Sunday, 15th November, 13:30 (Athletic Grounds). 

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Donegal vs Armagh: Ulster Semi-Final Preview & Live Score Commentary

The start time for the throw-in is 1:15 on Saturday, it’s the Ulster Football semi-final between Donegal and Armagh, we have a preview and will have live score commentary.

After eliminating Tyrone in a tough Championship opener, Donegal return to action against Armagh. The Orchard county overcame Derry in a 70-minute duel in their opening game. The winner of this one advances to the final against Cavan or Down.

The Ulster Championship is undoubtedly the most competitive of the four pronvincials. So, when Donegal were drawn against Tyrone for their opener, the rest of Ulster would have rejoiced in being guaranteed to lose a big team straight away. Of course, Donegal were the ones to advance but they still have work to do to be crowned Ulster Champions.

Meanwhile, Armagh have struggled to play to their potential in recent Championships. Having won promotion to Division 1, they’re under pressure to compete with the biggest teams. So, this fixture will be a good test of their credentials.

Donegal were impressive against Tyrone. In particular, Ciarán Thompson and Michael Langan were standout performers. The latter was the Donegal goalscorer. On 25 minutes, he made a direct run forward, getting the ball from Peadar Morgan and holding off challenges before rifling the ball past Niall Morgan in the Tyrone goal.

Donegal only had 5 scorers in the game, Langan notching 1-12 of their total. Absentees from the scoresheet included Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Niall O’Donnell, and Paddy McBrearty who was kept in reserve. If Donegal can add these names to their list of scorers, it will take a mammoth challenge to beat them.

Meanwhile, Armagh led for the entirety of their game against Derry but had to dig deep to see off the oakleafers.

Rian O’Neill kicked four frees that went a long way in Armagh’s favour. But, they allowed Derry to kick seven dead balls that helped them get back in the game. Kieran McGeeney will be sure to make sure his side tidy up their discipline as such fouling could cost them this game.

Leading 0-11 to 0-5 at the interval, McGeeney’s men allowed Derry back into the game in the second half. Jamie Clarke’s black card in the 51st minute only added to their self-inflicted struggles. Despite Derry coming back to make the game a closely contested one, Armagh held on. But, they will know that Donegal would put the game beyond them if they take their foot off the gas in such a way again.

Armagh haven’t won an Ulster title since 2008. With the absence of a back door this year they have to set their sights on ending that drought. Meanwhile, Donegal are going for their third Ulster final in a row. With Monaghan losing on the other side of the draw, Declan Bonner knows it is his to lose now.

Donegal are 2/7 favourites to advance. Otherwise, Paddy Power have Armagh at 7/2 to cause an upset while a draw is 9/1.

The game is live on Sky Sports Mix.

Prediction: Donegal. Armagh are a good side but even if they show up on Saturday Donegal will find a way to win. The north-westerners are just further along in their development than the Orchard men.

This will be their 28thth championship clash, with Armagh winning fifteen to Donegal’s nine  and three draws from the previous 27 contests. Both have one win behind them in the Ul ster championship: Donegal beat Tyrone by two points while Armagh had the same amount  to spare over Derry in their quarter-final. 

LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES 

2015: Donegal 2-11 Armagh 0-8 (Ulster quarter-final) 

2014: Donegal 1-12 Armagh 1-11 (All-Ireland quarter-final) 

2010: Armagh 2-14 Donegal 0-11 (All-Ireland qualifier) 

2007: Donegal 1-9 Armagh 1-8 (Ulster quarter-final) 

2006: Armagh 1-9 Donegal 0-9 (Ulster final) 

Facts to know

This will be their first championship meeting since 2015 when Donegal won an Ulster quar ter-final by nine points. 

Donegal are bidding to reach the final for the ninth time in ten seasons. The only year they missed out was 2017. 

Armagh were last in the final in 2008.

Ulster Football Semi-Final: Donegal vs Armagh, Saturday, 14th November, 13:15 (Kingspan Breffni Park).

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Fermanagh vs Down – Ulster Football – Live score commentary

Ulster SFC quarter-final Fermanagh v Down, Brewster Park, we have live score commentary and starting teams for the match that starts at 1:30pm on Sunday.

It’s Fermanagh vs Down in the Ulster Championship on Sunday. The winner goes on to play Cavan or Antrim the following week while the loser’s season ends. Both of these teams lost at this stage of the competition last year. Now, they’ll be aiming to make amends and capitalise on the absence of Monaghan in their side of the draw.

It hasn’t been plain sailing for Fermanagh since football returned from its extended absence. Ryan McMenamin’s team were hit with Covid-19 before the League resumed. As a result, a weakened side travelled to Clare where they failed to get a result. Then, Laois beat them in the final round to cement their place at the bottom of Division 2.

Last weekend, the break from action allowed McMenamin a chance to take stock. His players will benefit from the chance to recover after a hectic schedule. When they take to the field on Sunday they will relish the opportunity to remind everyone why they can compete in Ulster. Two years ago they made it to the final. Now, a favourable draw will have Fermanagh tails up.

On the other hand, Down were last in the Ulster final in 2017. But, the last two years haven’t seen the same success.

Like Fermanagh, Down’s return to action hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Firstly, they were awarded a walkover when Leitrim conceded there League game. Paddy Tally would have preferred the game in order to dust off cobwebs. However, it proved to be an important two points for Down. The following week they lost to Louth and still managed to earn promotion.

Sunday’s game is sure to be a nervy one as neither team really knows what to expect going in. In addition, a loss ends the season so Fermanagh and Down will both be cautious about leaving themselves open.

Down are 8/13 favourites to win the game with Paddy Power. Otherwise, Fermanagh are 7/4 and a draw is 13/2.

BBC Northern Ireland are broadcasting the game.

Prediction: Down.

Ulster Championship Quarter-Final: Fermanagh vs Down, Sunday, November 8th, 13:30 (Brewster Park).

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Fermanagh v Down, Brewster Park, 1.30pm – Live BBC Two NI

 

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Antrim vs Cavan – Ulster Football – Click for Live score commentary

Ulster Football quarter-final Antrim v Cavan, We have starting teams and live score commentary, match start time is 1:15pm on Saturday.

For the second year in a row, Cavan have caused upset in Ulster by beating Monaghan. After looking like they were down and out last Saturday, a late rally saw them earn extra-time. Then, it looked like penalties were on the cards until Cavan keeper Raymond Galligan won the game with a long-range free. On the other hand, Antrim last featured in an Ulster final in 2009. The straight-knock out format of this year’s Championship doesn’t work in their favour. Yet, it may give the Antrim players the freedom to challenge Cavan on Saturday evening.

Cavan re-writing the script

After a disappointing relegation from Division 2 recently, Cavan were big underdogs going into the Championship opener. But, the Breffni men showed why they were not to be written off just yet with an incredible never-say-die attitude.

Cavan started the brighter against Monaghan. After ten minutes, they had a four-point lead. Oisín Pierson’s goal pushed them out in front. However, Monaghan came back strongly and took a seven-point lead into the break.

In the second-half, Cavan used the wind advantage wisely and began to claw in the deficit. By the time the clock was up Cavan had drawn level thanks to a superbly taken equaliser by Gerard Smith.

In a nervy extra-time period, Monaghan edged in front before Martin Reilly found the net for Cavan. Then, the final few minutes was a demonstration of long-range free taking. It looked like Rory Beggan had sealed a penalty shoot-out with a free in added time. But, with the last kick of the game Raymond Galligan sent Cavan through with a free from 58m out.

Last year, Cavan went all the way to the Ulster final. Mickey Graham will be delighted with the fight his team showed last weekend and will be hoping they can reach the decider again.

Antrim claimed third spot in Division 4 this year. In fact, they could have earned promotion if not for a thrashing by Wicklow in the first game back from lockdown. Lenny Harbinson will be hoping the extended break his team has had will work in their favour. In winter conditions, Cavan’s 90 minute battle with Monaghan will have its effects. No doubt, Antrim will be the fresher of these two sides.

The winner of Cavan vs Antrim plays Fermanagh or Down a week later.

Paddy Power don’t see another upset on the cards. They have Cavan at 1/7 versus Antrim’s 11/2. A draw is 12/1.

The game is live on BBC Northern Ireland.

Prediction: Cavan.

Ulster Championship Quarter-Final: Cavan vs Antrim, Saturday, November 7th, 13:15 (Breffni Park).

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SATURDAY 7 NOVEMBER

Connacht Football semi-final
Galway v Sligo, Pearse Stadium, 1.15pm – GAAGO

Munster Football semi-final
Limerick v Tipperary, LIT Gaelic Grounds, 1.15pm – RTE News Now

Ulster Football quarter-final
Cavan v Antrim, Kingspan Breffni, 1.15pm – BBC NI

All-Ireland Hurling Qualifiers round 1
Laois v Clare, 1:15pm GAAGO

Joe McDonagh Cup round 3
Carlow v Meath, Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm

All-Ireland Hurling Qualifiers round 1
Dublin v Cork, 3:45pm – Sky Sports

Leinster Football quarter-final
Dublin v Westmeath, MW Hire O’Moore Park, 6.15pm – Sky Sports Mix

SUNDAY 8 NOVEMBER

Munster Football semi-final
Cork v Kerry, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 4pm – RTÉ2

Connacht Football semi-final
Roscommon v Mayo, Dr Hyde Park, 1.30pm – RTÉ2

Leinster Football quarter-finals
Longford v Laois, Glennon Bros Pearse Park, 1.30pm – GAAGO
Wicklow v Meath, Aughrim, 1.30pm – GAAGO

Ulster Football quarter-final
Fermanagh v Down, Brewster Park, 1.30pm – BBC NI

Munster Football semi-final
Cork v Kerry, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 4pm – RTÉ2

Leinster Football quarter-finals
Offaly v Kildare, MW Hire O’Moore Park, 5.30pm – GAAGO

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Derry vs Armagh Ulster Football – Click for live score commentary

Ulster Football quarter-final Derry v Armagh, we have a preview and live score commentary from the game we a 4pm start time.

The Ulster Championship will be more competitive than ever this year given the straight knock-out format of the Championship. Derry vs Armagh is the second quarter-final on Sunday. The winner of this tie will meet the winner of Donegal vs Tyrone a fortnite after.’

CLICK FOR LIVE SCORE COMMENTARY

Armagh had the more successful league campaign out of these two teams. They earned promotion to Division 1 for the first time since 2012 by beating Clare last weekend.

Oisin O’Neill said that promotion was a huge goal for the team.

“We never talked about the Championship and even since we came back, we haven’t spoken about Derry once. These two games (against Roscommon and Clare) are all that we were focused on and we didn’t get the job done last week but we did this week.”

The win gives Armagh some much-needed momentum going into the most competitive of all the Provincial Championships. They would have perhaps learned more from the defeat to Roscommon than from the win against Clare. Either way, Kieran McGeeney will be delighted to have two games under the belt before heading into this one.

Oakleaves starting to Blossom?

Meanwhile, Derry made an impressive return to action and did all in their power to threaten the promotion places in Division 3. However, they just missed out thanks to their head-to-head record with Down. Firstly, a win at home to Longford marked a successful return to action. Secondly, Derry showed they weren’t just heading into the Championship to take part with a two-point on the road to Offaly.

Rory Gallagher has acknowledged that the lockdown was perhaps beneficial to his squad as it allowed injuries to heal. As a result, Gallagher will have a full squad at his disposal for the Armagh game with the sole exception of Karl McCaigue. Thankfully, the return of Conor Glass from the AFL has significantly strengthened the spine of the Derry team.

After last year’s disappointing Championship that ended in round 2 of the qualifiers, Derry are out to prove that they are able to challenge in Ulster. But, they haven’t been in a final since 2011 and are still on the upward curve.

In contrast, Armagh were unlucky to lose out in the Ulster semi-final replay to Cavan last year. A win over Monaghan was a big way to recover. But, Mayo eliminated them in the following round after a thrilling contest.

The home side are 15/8 outsiders and the Orchard county are 8/15 with Paddy Power. A draw is 15/2.

The game is live on BBC Northern Ireland.

Prediction: Armagh.

Ulster Football Championship Quarter-Final: Derry vs Armagh, Sunday, November 1st, 16:00 (Celtic Park). 

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Donegal v Tyrone Ulster Football – Starting teams and live score commentary

Donegal v Tyrone Ulster Football Championship, we have a preview of the game along with the starting teams and live score commentary.

Donegal Starting Team

Shaun Patton; Stephen McMenamin, Niall McGee, Eoghan Ban Gallagher; Ryan McHugh, Paul Brennan, Pedar Mogan, Hugh McFadden, Jason McGee; Ciaran Thompson, Niall O’Donnell, Michael Langan; Paddy McBrearty, Michael Murphy (C), Jamie Brennan.

 

We had a preview of Donegal vs Tyrone two weekends ago when the National League resumed. On that occasion, Donegal were convincing four points winners. But, Tyrone bounced back with a big performance in Mayo that makes this the game to look out for in the opening weekend of the Championship.

The League game between these sides predictably saw some rustiness among the Tyrone side. However, Donegal hit the ground running and their 2-17 tally was an impressive one.

As a result, Declan Bonner chose to rest some of his key players such as Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, and Neil McGee for the Kerry game last weekend. Their absence was evident as Kerry claimed a fourteen-point victory. The result won’t rest on Bonner’s mind though as he has gotten a good look at his players.

Paddy McBrearty is yet to feature since the restart. Likewise, Odhrán McFadden-Ferry is out with injury. But, the Kerry game saw Michael Langan return and present himself for selection.

Meanwhile, Tyrone responded to their defeat to Donegal by winning an important game in Castlebar to remain in Division 1. They won by a single point and impressively held their nerve against a Mayo fightback.

Most notably, Conor McKenna’s return to the red and white has been an eventful one. After scoring 1-2 against Donegal, he scored a further 2-2 against Mayo. Furthermore, the return of Peter Harte meant another 0-3 on the scoreboard.

In addition to this, Dara Canavan, son of Tyrone legend Peter, played over an hour in McHale Park and left the pitch with 1-1 to his name. Despite Cathal McShane’s absence, the Tyrone forward line seems to be clicking at the right time.

No Second Chances

Last season, these teams met in the Championship at the Provincial semi-final stage. Donegal were victorious that day but Tyrone still made it to Super 8s. In fact, they emerged from their group to the semi-finals unlike Donegal who failed to earn a result in Castlebar.

Despite the recent outcome of the League game between these two, this is going to be a titanic clash in the Championship. The Football Championship is guaranteed to lose a big contender here early on. Whereas, the winner will gather huge momentum which will be needed to get out of Ulster. Otherwise, there are still strong teams that could trump either of these sides.

Paddy Power are predicting another Donegal victory. They’ve priced the O’Donnell County at 8/13 versus Tyrone’s 7/4. A draw is 13/2.

RTÉ Sport are showing the game live on Sunday.

Prediction: Donegal.

Ulster Football Championship Quarter-Final: Donegal vs Tyrone, Sunday, November 1st, 13:30 (Ballybofey). 

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Monaghan vs Cavan — Click for Live score commentary updates

It’s the first round of the Ulster Football championship, Monaghan v Cavan, Clones, start time 1.15pm –  We have live score commentary updates.

Monaghan vs Cavan is the opener for what is easily the most competitive of the Provincial Championships. Last year, the same fixture threw up an upset as Cavan prevailed. Now, following the relegation to Division 3, Cavan are underdogs again. But, Monaghan are not exactly carrying form into this game. Hence, it could be an exciting tie to kick off an exciting Championship.

In round 7 of the National League, a draw with Meath was enough to see Monaghan survive in the top Division. In what was an up-and-down League for the Farney men, they will be content as they head into knock-out football. The Meath draw was preceded by a loss to Kerry. But, Seamus McEnaney will have told his side that if they were to lose, that was the time to do so.

2019’s defeat to Cavan in the Ulster Championship will be at the front of McEnaney’s mind. The loss shook the team who went on to lose to Armagh in the qualifiers. Now, he will be relying on his talisman Conor McManus to lead from the front. Thankfully for McEnaney, McManus is finding form at the right time. He scored 1-08 against Meath and 0-05 the week before against Kerry in just 35 minutes.

Cavan need to show mental toughness

On the other hand, Cavan will be wishing they had another week to prepare for this fixture. Last year’s trip to the Ulster final seems like a long time ago now in light of their new Division 3 status. Two losses since the restart will need to be quickly forgotten about by Mickey Graham’s men.

Graham admitted his side “got what we deserved” after failing to get a result against Roscommon. In fact, a win on the day could have seen Cavan finish in the promotion spots. But, Division 2 was the tightest of the four and, true to form, the loss saw Cavan fall to 7th. Graham continued to confess nerves among his team before the game.

If Cavan are to replicate their victory from last season, they need to quickly make peace with their League result. In the Championship there will be no time to wallow in self-pity. In particular, the Ulster Championship will be a gruelling one on its own. Beginning in the preliminary round only adds to the challenge.

Paddy Power rightfully have Monaghan at 3/10 favourites. Cavan are 10/3 and a draw is 8/1. The game is live on Sky Sports.

Prediction: Monaghan.

Ulster Football Championship Preliminary Round: Monaghan vs Cavan, Saturday, October 31st, 1.15pm (Clones).

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Donegal v Tyrone – Preview and Live Score Commentary

Preview and Live Score Commentary – Donegal vs Tyrone is the fixture for the Ulster Quarter-Final on the 1st of November. Firstly, these teams have a chance to test each other out in the League. They meet in Ballybofey on Sunday October 18 as inter-county football resumes.

Currently, these two sides are sitting in the middle of Division 1. However, Donegal and Tyrone both have tough round 7 ties against Kerry and Tyrone respectively. As a result, this clash is important for both teams if they wish to be safe from a relegation fight heading into their final game.

The postponement of the League came at a bad time for Tyrone. They had just beaten Dublin in Omagh to bounce back from a trouncing in Galway. Previously, they had wins against Kerry and Meath to overshadow a loss to Monaghan. Four points from their last two games could see Mickey Harte’s team contest the title. But, if results go the opposite way they could easily be leapfrogged and be in relegation trouble.

Meanwhile, Donegal are just a point behind their Ulster rivals. This is courtesy of an earlier draw with Mayo. Wins over Meath and Monaghan came either side of defeats to Galway and Dublin. In a similar way to Tyrone, Donegal could still finish at either end of the table. However, they are more unlikely to go top. Instead, good results from their final two games are important to remain in Division 1. After winning Division 2 to gain promotion in 2019, the 2012 All-Ireland winners will be keen to justify their place among the best.

Championship the Priority

Last weekend, Donegal lost a challenge game to Mayo in Sligo. But, they were without their Kilcar and Naomh Conaill contingent for this game as the sides were scheduled to play the county final. Now, this final is suspended and the likes of Paddy McBrearty and Ryan McHugh will bolster Declan Bonner’s squad.

In Tyrone, all the talk is about Conor McKenna’s return from the AFL. This summer, the 24-year-old announced his return to Ireland after a successful few years with Essendon. If he should link up with the squad, it will provide much needed attacking prowess in Cathal McShane’s absence.

With the Championship fixture between these two the priority, both managers will be cautious of picking up injuries. Therefore, we could see two experimental sides in Ballybofey.

Allianz National League: Donegal vs Tyrone, Sunday October 18th, 4pm (Ballybofey). 

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