Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

McGeeney hopes for strong campaign from Kildare

When Wicklow beat Kildare in the Leinster senior football championship last year, Kieran McGeeney’s sporting world all but caved it.

Defeat was a bitter pill for the former Armagh All Ireland winning skipper to swallow in his role as Lily Whites boss.

It is perhaps testament to McGeeney’s coaching and motivational skills that Kildare recovered to make it into the All Ireland quarter-finals only losing out eventually to Cork more through their own profligacy than their opponents’ flair.

On Sunday McGeeney will again find himself in the Leinster spotlight when Kildare, following a modest National League campaign, pit their skills against Offaly at Portlaoise.

Victory would certainly be a welcome bonus for McGeeney’s men who will be led by John Doyle, one of the most lethal marksmen in the country.

Also in the Leinster Championship, Longford will meet Wicklow with the Garden County likely to upset the midlanders.

In the Munster Championship, Cork will be hotter than hot favourites to overcome a Waterford side that includes several members of the squad that surprisingly won the provincial Under 21 title two years ago.

Cork claimed the National League Division Two title and with Graham Canty, Nicholas Murphy, Noel O’Leary, Anthony Lynch, Donnacha O’Connor and Ger Spillane propping up their side, they will pose a huge physical and psychological threat to Waterford.

Tipperary certainly caused a stir when they beat Down to lift the Division Three crown and will be keen to build on that success on Sunday when they confront Limerick.

John Evans has been doing a fine job since taking over the Tipperary reins while Limerick had an indifferent National League campaign.

They boast some talented individual players but their championship pedigree is limited.

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