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Calling the Shots

By Declan Bogue

Ulster Senior football Championship - Armagh v Donegal (Sunday, Athletic Grounds, 2pm)

Any suggestion that Donegal are showing signs of wear and tear after their win over Tyrone has to be taken in the context that they have now become extremely well-versed in the art of doing just enough, and learning how to capitalise on good fortune.

Undoubtedly Armagh will seek to make this as physical as possible, with manic intensity their best characteristic in the Noughties. Manager Kieran McGeeney has challenged Donegal's manhood in suggesting they are not among the biggest hitters in the game and man mountains such as Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher will not be fooled into making rash challenges in the hope of answering McGeeney back.

Donegal’s experience could see them through if they can swamp Jamie Clarke again, although it will be a mightily close-run thing.

VERDICT: Donegal

Leinster Senior football Championship

Kildare v Laois

(Saturday, O'Connor Park Tullamore, 7.15pm)

There really is nothing to choose between the two sides, and those who were using a better league campaign for Laois to make pronouncements on Kildare’s exit were shown up. Jason Ryan’s men to march on.

VERDICT: Kildare

Meath v Wicklow

(Sunday, Páirc Tailteann Navan, 3.30pm)

Mick O’Dowd has handed Championship debuts to no less than six Meath players, but they still should have enough here at home.


Westmeath v Wexford

(Sunday, Cusack Park Mullingar, 3.30pm)

A dreadful spring for Wexford has not inspired much hope on Slaneyside. An easy home win here.

VERDICT: Westmeath

Munster Senior football Championship

Tipperary v Kerry

(Sunday, Semple Stadium Thurles, 3.30pm)

Colm Cooper returns for a game that many in Kerry are putting on the crash helmets for. Tipperary were minutes away from a statement Championship win over Cork last year and will fancy themselves here.

Expect to see old warriors such as Tommy Walsh and Paul Galvin featuring prominently.


Cork v Clare

(Sunday, Páirc

Uí Rinn, 3.30pm)

The cruciate ligament injury to Podge Collins has virtually scuppered any hope Clare were carrying into this one.


Connacht Senior football Championship

Galway v Mayo

(Sunday, Pearse  Stadium, 4pm)

Although they could lay claim to being the second best team in the country for the last four seasons, Mayo have not entirely convinced throughout the league campaign.

Galway realise that this is an opportune time to strike, but still Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly are able to name a Mayo side capable of eking out the win, with a seriously strong spine, and Tom Parsons starting his first Championship game in five years.


Nicky Rackard Play-off

Fermanagh v Louth

(Saturday, 3pm, Kingspan Breffni Park)

The Erne hurlers could be sufficiently enthused by their Lory Meagher exploits to catch Louth on the hop and avenge the league defeat earlier in the year.

VERDICT: Fermanagh

Christy Ring Play-off

Mayo v Roscommon

(Sunday, Pearse Stadium, 1.45pm)

With Keith Higgins captaining the Mayo footballers tomorrow, they are up against a side with momentum from last weekend’s dramatic late strike for victory in the Nicky Rackard final.

VERDICT: Roscommon

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