Spring Show: Why we’re loving the National League…

 

 

 

A break from the league? You must be joking. PAUL HEALY selects ten not-very-scientific/more ‘casually observational’ highlights of the story so far…

 

Daly stars and ‘Evan sent’

 

The Roscommon players as a whole are having a very good league campaign, but we’ve been particularly impressed by all of the defenders. The three Daly brothers have been inspirational, and what a find Evan McGrath is proving to be!

 

Signing of the season!

We’re staying in Roscommon (via Kerry) and once again we’re celebrating the arrival of Conor Cox. He’s certainly hit the ground running in the Roscommon colours. Cox made an impressive debut against Monaghan and produced a man of the match performance against Tyrone. A very exciting acquisition!

 

Keane on Kingdom

‘The Kingdom’ have made a flying start, capped off by a thrilling win over the mighty Dubs. In a superb match – credit to both teams – Kerry showed enough defensive prowess, attacking quality and will to win to suggest they will be serious All-Ireland challengers. New manager Peter Keane’s genius for dismissing the merest hint of hype about his team will merely add to the summer entertainment!

 

It’s the hope that kills us…

We’re under no illusions that the superb, all-conquering Dubs are short some key players, not at full tilt yet, and of course have as their main focus the upcoming pursuit of a historic All-Ireland five-in-a-row. Still, still…their two league defeats in three outings is surely a confidence booster to the chasing pack!

 

Guess who?

It took Mayo a long time to get going against Roscommon, but after a score-shy first 35 minutes that evening in Castlebar, the ‘green and red’ have impressed with some clinical, assured play. Morever, there’s more than a hint of new talent coming through. James Horan’s back – and Mayo are looking good!

 

Bridesmaids? Never!

Just as the Championship in English soccer is arguably more exciting (at least at times) than the Premier League, it’s well established that Division Two of the Allianz Football League has the capacity to outshine the top division. Division One is holding its own this season, but Division Two is certainly living up to expectations…just three points separate the eight teams. Don’t take your eyes off this one, folks!

 

Cork sinking 

Once-mighty Cork have been in decline for a few seasons. And it’s not getting any better. Cork have one miserly point from three games, and are propping up Division Three. Sunday’s nine-point defeat to Clare was a humiliation. It’s a real Cork crisis.

 

Lovely, Leitrim!

Leitrim could be on course for promotion to Division Three, having made a faultless start to their campaign, recording three wins from three, the latest a 0-14 to 1-10 triumph over Antrim. 

 

Longford lord it…without those guys!

Longford are flying high at the top of Division Three, some achievement when you factor in the unavailability of the Mullinalaghta lads. There are some relatively big names in this division, so it’s a super start by our neighbouring county.

 

A pat on our backs…

Newspapers, radio stations and social media platforms are all playing a blinder, and we’re enjoying RTE’s highlights show, League Sunday, where Joanne Cantwell is a great ‘anchor’. Dessie Dolan is really coming into his own as a pundit. Joe Brolly is…Joe Brolly (and long may he continue to do what he does). Biggest plaudit of all goes to TG4 and eir Sport for great coverage (Senan Connell a fine pundit with the latter).