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The Allianz FL Thread (Division 2, 3 & 4)

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I can see Tippearey gaining promotion. I had a very strong feeling since start of the year they would get promoted. They have one of the best young and upcoming teams in the country. With a shrewd manager and a brillant unside forward line. But also in the last few years teams promoted from the division 2 had the year previously been promoted from Division 3. For example in the last few years Monaghan Roscommon Kildare have all had sucessive promotions from division 3 to divsion 2 and then the next year being promoted to Division 1 from Division 2. The confidence of being promoted is very important so I can see Tipp being in the mix for promotion.

Meath Roscommon Down Cork and Cavan all are contenders also. If Cavan win saturday they would really come into the mix. Last year playing in division 1 football was a great learning experience for those young Cavan players. Down also are in the mix and many people are not tipping them. They have a good league record and have spent time recently in divsion 1. And Newry is a tough plave to win. Down are genuine contenders.

Its hard to predict in divsion 2. It is wide open . I felt at the start of the year that Tipp and Roscommon would go up. I still think Tipp might. But it very hard to predict. Cork have very strong panel that should be in div 1. But we dont know where Cork are at. Meath are stronger then I thought they would be, but they have allot of new players that could take time to gel. Cavan are the real surprise. The word from Cavan was not good before the league. But there start to the league indicates that was wrong. And Cavan with divsion 1 experience are genuine contenders. Roscommon are favs and deservedly so. The only provicial champuons in the div.

But overall its really hard to know. This week will give us a better idea. But from past experience div 2 always always goes down to the last day to things like scoring difference. Its all to play for.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 08/02/2018 14:42:59    2075020

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Replying To cuttothebone:  "Guess i'll just have to accept you as a meath man know more about what Kildare men think than i as a Kildare man do..
Go figure.. Best of luck in yer league this year but for any reasonable meath fan reading i can asure ye a win against meath is nice but there is no passion expressed and irrelevant in comparison to how our next win v Dublin will be, apologies again for having to correct your deeply flawed theory..."
Of course it's irrelevant in comparison to your next win over Dublin. You could count on one hand the amount of times you've beat them in the championship.

Royalace (Meath) - Posts: 111 - 08/02/2018 19:33:01    2075090

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Div 3 is a very interesting one with big names in there like Armagh and Derry and the annuals of Tipp & Offaly and Wexford and Sligo etc...my own Offaly are in bother...no easy game in sight with Derry and Armagh to come next....

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 220 - 08/02/2018 23:45:57    2075162

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "Just to leave kildare and Meath to one side. Last comment on Meath and kildare. As I said its to early in the year to have Meath v kildare fighting across the border. It is a very close rivarly. I think kildare have won 18 times and Meath have won 18 times. In the last 10 years there has been tussle between both counties for being the second best team in leinster. Between 2007 to 2009 early 2010 Meath where the second best in leinster. Between 2010 to 2011 Kildare were second best ahead of Meath. From 2012 to 2014 Meath where second best ahead of kildare. 2015 2016 Westmeath deserved the title of second best. 2017 to 2018 Kildare are again second best.

But I dont think the gap between Meath and kildare is as big as people think. Kildare are ahead of Meath on terms of team development eg O Neill is in his third year McEntee his second year. The two results last year where a continuation of some of the victories kildare have had recently at under 21 and minor level. But also again the two performances are again example of kildare playing like men possessed against Meath.

Kildare are in div 1 and are a bigger team.then the smaller Meath team. But if you look at the results since the leinster semi final it would seem kildare have gone a bit backwards, while Meath have improved. Since kildare defeated Meath in leinster semi final kildare have not won a match. They have played 6 matchs and had 6 loses. And two of the loses where to divsion 3 teams eg longford Armagh and 1 defeat to Division 2 team eg louth. Since the leinster semi final loss to kildare Meath have only lost once and had 5 victories and 1 draw. Meaths only loss was to division 1 team eg Donegal and no loses to any div 2 or 3 team. (Now that could change on Saturday v Cavan )But I think the above stats would indicate that the gap between Meath and kildare is not as big as people think. Meaths victory over Galway last year and kildares two loses to Galway last year would have indicated that."
Just to add something, and trust me, I have no desire or intention in getting involved in a Meath v Kildare slagging match but you regularly refer to Meath beating Galway last year and Kildare losing twice to Galway as some kind of yardstick. Kildare were already promoted when we played Galway in the first game away, made a host of changes, Galway needed the win to come up too and I think at that point Cian was looking to the summer once promotion was secured. I don't think he went into the div 2 final overly worried about it because the summer was fast approaching and in the end the div 2 final was a close game anyway. The real yardstick surely to use between Kildare and Meath is the actual games we played against each other and the result was clear in both. As it stands we won't play each other this year, barring a qualifier, so the games last year are the most recent evidence we have. Either way we both should be measuring ourselves against Dublin, not each other. Each other is a pointless exercise.

kildare73 (Kildare) - Posts: 770 - 09/02/2018 02:32:20    2075167

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The novel pairing at the weekend is the clash of the smallest county in Ireland against the biggest county. The Wee County make the long trip down to the southern capital. Louth and Cork don't meet too often. This is the first league clash in over twenty years. They have only played each other twice in the championship. The first time was on Sunday 22nd September 1957 when the wonderful Wee County beat the rebels 1-09 to 1-07 to win their third All Ireland. Led by the great Dermot O Brien the Wee County were huge underdogs going in that match but came on top. Even though it's over sixty years ago that Louth team is widely spoken about in this neck of the woods. Due to the colour clash Louth wore the green of Leinster and Cork wore the blue of Munster. The Louth captain Dermot O Brien did not travel with the team. He was receiving treatment for a shoulder injury. On arrival at Croke Park he discovered the gates locked at the Cusack Stand where the dressingrooms were, and had to go round to the Hogan Stand side to try to get in. All the while the loudspeaker was calling for the Louth captain to report to the dressingroom, and he eventually made it with minutes to spare. Ironically the next time Louth and Cork played each other in the championship was in 2007 when Dermot O Brien died the same year. Cork won that qualifier in Portlaoise 0-16 to 0-14. 1957 was def Louth's heaven. An Lu Abu!

OLLIE (Louth) - Posts: 11524 - 09/02/2018 13:21:56    2075235

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Replying To kildare73:  "Just to add something, and trust me, I have no desire or intention in getting involved in a Meath v Kildare slagging match but you regularly refer to Meath beating Galway last year and Kildare losing twice to Galway as some kind of yardstick. Kildare were already promoted when we played Galway in the first game away, made a host of changes, Galway needed the win to come up too and I think at that point Cian was looking to the summer once promotion was secured. I don't think he went into the div 2 final overly worried about it because the summer was fast approaching and in the end the div 2 final was a close game anyway. The real yardstick surely to use between Kildare and Meath is the actual games we played against each other and the result was clear in both. As it stands we won't play each other this year, barring a qualifier, so the games last year are the most recent evidence we have. Either way we both should be measuring ourselves against Dublin, not each other. Each other is a pointless exercise."
Your right. We can agree on one thing. A kildare Meath slagging match is a waste of time. But I do disagree with you on what you say on a number of issues. Also you are corect Meath and kildare need to worry about the closing the massive gap with Dublin , then a local midlands squabble. But it does have a certain revelance. Talking about Kildare and Meath is like talking about who is the second and third best team in Scotland behind Celtic. But I do believe what happened last year was the beginning of a new rivalry between these two young teams. I can see in the next few year this young kildare and Meath teams meeting 5 or 6 times in the championship in the next couple of years. And it will be fascinating to see in 6 or 7 years time which of these young teams will be more sucessful. I can see a kildare v Meath leinster final and even matchs in the super 8 between both teams. Both teams have huge potential. And kildare and Meath are good enough to win a leinster title each in the next few years.

Kildare have 5 or 6 talented young footballers eg Feehily Kelly Doyle D Flynn N Flynn that are the most talented kildare have produced since D Earley J Doyle N Buckley and even larry Tompkins. But Meath also have some very young talented skilful footballers also with potential. But my point is the gap is not as big as people think between Meath and kildare. Again kildare are ahead of Meath . The two victories last year and promotion are obvious evidence of that. And kildare are a bigger physically team then Meath. Again kildare are ahead of Meath. I agree 110%. But the gap is not that big. Let me explain.

1 If you look at kildares two comphresive defeats of Meath last you would say the gap is massive. Thats what must people think and want it to be. But there is some evidence to question that. The main evidence is Meath have drastically changed their team since the two kildare matchs last year. For example many of the Meath payers who played v kildare last year are no longer on the Meath panel eg Paddy O Rourke Jack Hannigan Cian O Brien Conor Downey Alan Forde Brian Sheridan Ronan Jones Ruari O Coilean Padraig Harnan Donnacha Toibin William Carry. All the above played v kildare last year. None of them are on the Meath panel this year. Of the 15 that played kildare in the championship last year . 7 of those 15 Meath players that played kildare last June are no longer on the Meath panel. At least 50% of the team that played kildare last year are off the panel.

In the league McEntee has brought 12 new players onto the panel. While at the moment I would say Meaths first 15 that will more then likeky play v longford in June will have 6 players who werent on the team that faced kildare last year eg Andy Colgan Seamus Lavin Brian Conlon Adam Flanagan Joey Wallace Padraig McKeever. And everyone of these players have improved the Meath team this year. And those 6 have been Meaths best performers this year. All of these new player which include a new goalkeeper, a new corner back,a new wing back, a new midfielder, a new half forward and a new corner forward . All these players have improved every line on the field for Meath substantially. While new players on the panel have meant the Meath bench is stronger then I have ever seen . Even under Boylan we had a weak bench. Im not 100% certain but it does look like kildare have pretty much the same team as last year but for 1 or 2 changes.

So in conclusion Meath have drastically changed the personal of the team and panel and it seems for the better since we last played kildare. It is pretty much a new look Meath team . The Meath team 2017 is different to Meath team 2018 in personal by nearly 50%.

2 Secondly the two areas that caused massive problems v kildare last year, Meath have improved. The major reason for kildares great performance was based on a total domination at midfield. Feehily is one of the best midfielders in the country. A class act. He wiped Meath out at midfield. While Menton worked hard he is very good attacking Atletic midfielder. He is not a traditional high fielding midfielder. We had no one to compete with Feehily last year in the high field stakes. He gave an exhibition of high fielding in both game's. Last year, we had only 1 midfielder. This year we have 3. We were relying on wing backs and half forwards to partner Menton last year. This year Adam Flanagan has been excellent at midfield. He has been one of our best performers this year He is a traditional young high fielding midfielder. While we have Harry Rooney on the bench who is also traditional young high fielding midfielder. Rooney before he left for Australia was one of our best players in 2016.

Our midfield has improved massively this year. We have won the midfield in our 6 games this year. You have to go back to 2013 to see Meath doing so well.at midfield. The year we put it up to Dublin and where the last team in leinster to put it up to Dublin with a strong midfield partnership of Gillespie and Meade.

So in conclusion I believe Meath would be stronger in the midfield this year then last year. We are also stronger in the half back line. Kildare really did well.last year in this area. Power was missing in the championship game v kildare last year and he is good holding centre back and Meaths centre of defence looks more solid with him there. Also Brian Conlon performances this year have been excellent. Kildare have good Atleticism in their half fotward line. Conlon is very Atletic player and wing back has been a problem for a long time. We have not produced a top class wing back since Martin O Connell. Conlon is the best prospect we have produced in this area of the field in a long time. He would be match the Atleticism of the kildare half forward line. Overall our half back line a problem for years , looks much stronger this year.

3 Another factor is kildares poor record in Croker. I woul88d go into rhe stats in detail. But the picture it paints is that kildare have a very poor record there for the last ten years. They have lost in Croke Park 6 times in the last two years. Meaths record in Croker is much better. I think if both teams met in Croker in the coming years this would be an advantage for Meath.

4 Regards the Galway results. Yes the last game Kildare were promoted. But I dont believe O Neill had no interest in the league final. Seen Kildare's poor record in Croker, it would been a great chance to put on a good performnce in Croker. To say he didnt want to win or wasnt worried about their performance in Croke park in a national final. (which if kildare won would have been only their second trophy in 17 years ), I dont buy that one.

The fact is kildare played Galway twice last year and were defeated twice. Meath played Galway twice in the last two years and were undefeated v Galway in both games. Meath have played Galway 5 times in the last 5 or 6 years in league and championship and have only lost once.

5 It does also seem since that kildare v Meath game , Kildare have gone back a bit and Meath have improved. Kildare havent won since that game with 6 loses. Meath have only lost once 5 wins 1 draw. In the bynre cup this year longford defeated kildare. While Meath defeated Longford a few weeks later. More evidence the gap is not as big as people think or want it to be.

Overall Meath have a new look team since last year and remeber last year was McEntees first year in charge to O Neill second. A first year in charge is usually a write off for a manager as he gets to know players. Managers that had very poor first years are Cian O Neill Kevin Walsh Donal Kingston Michael Donoghue Jimmy Barry Murphy Nicolas English Pat Gilroy Mick Dwyer Eugene McGee and the list goes on. All these managers had better second and third years.

Also there is also the issue that Kildare like our neighbours Cavan when they play Meath it doesnt matter if Meath are the best team in the land and kildare and Cavan are in division 4 they always throw the kitchen sink at Meath and Meath always found hard to beat them both even in the glory years of 80s and 90s.

So overall I think the gap has closed. But in one way that is irrelevant. Meath beating Kildare or kildare beating Meath means feck all in the general run of things. Beating Dublin is and always will be sign of greatness of any Meath or kildare team
To be a great Meath or kildare team you need to beat Dublin in a leinster final. They are and always have been the yardstick in leinster. And I do think Meath and kildare will do this in the next 4 to 5 years. Both have huge potential and both are going in the right direction. Leinster football needs a strong Meath and a strong kildare. Even Dublin need a strong Meath and a strong kildare. Never has the leinster championship being so low in its history then it is now. You always had at least two top division 1 teams in the provience. Two teams who rivals. Dublin have not had a rival or top division 1 team to face in the provience since early 00s. Thats is unprecedented. Look at below stats

1920s and 1930s kildare All Ireland winning champions had All Ireland winning champions Dublin as rivals
1940s Meath All Ireland champions had Louth leinster champions and Dublin leinster champions as rivals
1950s Meath All Ireland champions had Louth All.Ireland champions and Dublin All Ireland champions as rivals
1960s Meath All Ireland champions had Dublin All Ireland champions and Offaly All Ireland finalist as rivals
1970s Dublin All Ireland champions had Offaly All Ireland champions and Meath league div 1 winners as rivals
1980s Meath All Ireland champions had Dublin All Ireland champions and Offaly All Ireland champions as rivals
1990s Meath all Ireland champions had Dublin All-Ireland champions and Kildare All Ireland finalist and offaly leinster and league div 1 champions as rivals
00s Dublin leinster champions had Meath All Ireland finalist and kildare Westmesth laois all leinster champions as rivals
This decade Dublin All Ireland champions have no other top div 1 rival. Dublin have no other leinster champions , All Ireland champions, league champions or top div 1 team to face as a rival in the provience. This is unprecedented in the history of leinster gootball.

So we need kildare and Meath to be stronger and winning titles. We also need to see Westmeath louth Offaly Laois Longford Wexford and Carlow improving and pushing for leinster titles also. For the sake of the future of the provience we need to see more leinster teams in div 1 and stay there. The and only then will things change for the better in the provience.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 09/02/2018 16:42:50    2075268

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Replying To OLLIE:  "The novel pairing at the weekend is the clash of the smallest county in Ireland against the biggest county. The Wee County make the long trip down to the southern capital. Louth and Cork don't meet too often. This is the first league clash in over twenty years. They have only played each other twice in the championship. The first time was on Sunday 22nd September 1957 when the wonderful Wee County beat the rebels 1-09 to 1-07 to win their third All Ireland. Led by the great Dermot O Brien the Wee County were huge underdogs going in that match but came on top. Even though it's over sixty years ago that Louth team is widely spoken about in this neck of the woods. Due to the colour clash Louth wore the green of Leinster and Cork wore the blue of Munster. The Louth captain Dermot O Brien did not travel with the team. He was receiving treatment for a shoulder injury. On arrival at Croke Park he discovered the gates locked at the Cusack Stand where the dressingrooms were, and had to go round to the Hogan Stand side to try to get in. All the while the loudspeaker was calling for the Louth captain to report to the dressingroom, and he eventually made it with minutes to spare. Ironically the next time Louth and Cork played each other in the championship was in 2007 when Dermot O Brien died the same year. Cork won that qualifier in Portlaoise 0-16 to 0-14. 1957 was def Louth's heaven. An Lu Abu!"
Ollie without doubt louths win in 1957 is one of the greatest victories or All Irelands win by a leinster team in Croke Park ever . Even in Meath the team of 1957 is remembered fondly. Those men of 57 are legends in every part of Louth. Deservedly so.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 09/02/2018 16:52:54    2075270

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Meath v Cavan is very close contest. And could have a massive impact on both teams league campaign. Week 3 is when things start to change and you can see the real contenders for promotion and real contenders for relegation. It is a big week in every divsion for every county.
I must say it is very quite agmost our neighbours regards Meath lately on the forum. If Meath lose on Sunday I expect that to change with our neighbours eg The Dubs followed by kildare Cavan louth and few tyrone lads telling us how crap we are and throwing a few digs. Every time Meath lose the negative comments come by the truckload .

I remeber last year a few Meath lads where saying that they were confident and optimistic about Meath. One after another comment from the neighbours told them they were to arrogant and cocky. A couple of months later a few Meath lads where saying they were not confident on Meaths future. One after another comment they were told they were too pessimistic and too negative. We cannot win. If a Meath lad came on the forum and said Meath wear green and gold and it is a nice jersey. Im sure a few Dubs followed by Cavan kildare and probaly Tyrone lads would be giving out about these comments saying us Meath men are colorblind and have no sense of fashion. We cannot win whatever we say.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 09/02/2018 17:08:26    2075272

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "Your right. We can agree on one thing. A kildare Meath slagging match is a waste of time. But I do disagree with you on what you say on a number of issues. Also you are corect Meath and kildare need to worry about the closing the massive gap with Dublin , then a local midlands squabble. But it does have a certain revelance. Talking about Kildare and Meath is like talking about who is the second and third best team in Scotland behind Celtic. But I do believe what happened last year was the beginning of a new rivalry between these two young teams. I can see in the next few year this young kildare and Meath teams meeting 5 or 6 times in the championship in the next couple of years. And it will be fascinating to see in 6 or 7 years time which of these young teams will be more sucessful. I can see a kildare v Meath leinster final and even matchs in the super 8 between both teams. Both teams have huge potential. And kildare and Meath are good enough to win a leinster title each in the next few years.

Kildare have 5 or 6 talented young footballers eg Feehily Kelly Doyle D Flynn N Flynn that are the most talented kildare have produced since D Earley J Doyle N Buckley and even larry Tompkins. But Meath also have some very young talented skilful footballers also with potential. But my point is the gap is not as big as people think between Meath and kildare. Again kildare are ahead of Meath . The two victories last year and promotion are obvious evidence of that. And kildare are a bigger physically team then Meath. Again kildare are ahead of Meath. I agree 110%. But the gap is not that big. Let me explain.

1 If you look at kildares two comphresive defeats of Meath last you would say the gap is massive. Thats what must people think and want it to be. But there is some evidence to question that. The main evidence is Meath have drastically changed their team since the two kildare matchs last year. For example many of the Meath payers who played v kildare last year are no longer on the Meath panel eg Paddy O Rourke Jack Hannigan Cian O Brien Conor Downey Alan Forde Brian Sheridan Ronan Jones Ruari O Coilean Padraig Harnan Donnacha Toibin William Carry. All the above played v kildare last year. None of them are on the Meath panel this year. Of the 15 that played kildare in the championship last year . 7 of those 15 Meath players that played kildare last June are no longer on the Meath panel. At least 50% of the team that played kildare last year are off the panel.

In the league McEntee has brought 12 new players onto the panel. While at the moment I would say Meaths first 15 that will more then likeky play v longford in June will have 6 players who werent on the team that faced kildare last year eg Andy Colgan Seamus Lavin Brian Conlon Adam Flanagan Joey Wallace Padraig McKeever. And everyone of these players have improved the Meath team this year. And those 6 have been Meaths best performers this year. All of these new player which include a new goalkeeper, a new corner back,a new wing back, a new midfielder, a new half forward and a new corner forward . All these players have improved every line on the field for Meath substantially. While new players on the panel have meant the Meath bench is stronger then I have ever seen . Even under Boylan we had a weak bench. Im not 100% certain but it does look like kildare have pretty much the same team as last year but for 1 or 2 changes.

So in conclusion Meath have drastically changed the personal of the team and panel and it seems for the better since we last played kildare. It is pretty much a new look Meath team . The Meath team 2017 is different to Meath team 2018 in personal by nearly 50%.

2 Secondly the two areas that caused massive problems v kildare last year, Meath have improved. The major reason for kildares great performance was based on a total domination at midfield. Feehily is one of the best midfielders in the country. A class act. He wiped Meath out at midfield. While Menton worked hard he is very good attacking Atletic midfielder. He is not a traditional high fielding midfielder. We had no one to compete with Feehily last year in the high field stakes. He gave an exhibition of high fielding in both game's. Last year, we had only 1 midfielder. This year we have 3. We were relying on wing backs and half forwards to partner Menton last year. This year Adam Flanagan has been excellent at midfield. He has been one of our best performers this year He is a traditional young high fielding midfielder. While we have Harry Rooney on the bench who is also traditional young high fielding midfielder. Rooney before he left for Australia was one of our best players in 2016.

Our midfield has improved massively this year. We have won the midfield in our 6 games this year. You have to go back to 2013 to see Meath doing so well.at midfield. The year we put it up to Dublin and where the last team in leinster to put it up to Dublin with a strong midfield partnership of Gillespie and Meade.

So in conclusion I believe Meath would be stronger in the midfield this year then last year. We are also stronger in the half back line. Kildare really did well.last year in this area. Power was missing in the championship game v kildare last year and he is good holding centre back and Meaths centre of defence looks more solid with him there. Also Brian Conlon performances this year have been excellent. Kildare have good Atleticism in their half fotward line. Conlon is very Atletic player and wing back has been a problem for a long time. We have not produced a top class wing back since Martin O Connell. Conlon is the best prospect we have produced in this area of the field in a long time. He would be match the Atleticism of the kildare half forward line. Overall our half back line a problem for years , looks much stronger this year.

3 Another factor is kildares poor record in Croker. I woul88d go into rhe stats in detail. But the picture it paints is that kildare have a very poor record there for the last ten years. They have lost in Croke Park 6 times in the last two years. Meaths record in Croker is much better. I think if both teams met in Croker in the coming years this would be an advantage for Meath.

4 Regards the Galway results. Yes the last game Kildare were promoted. But I dont believe O Neill had no interest in the league final. Seen Kildare's poor record in Croker, it would been a great chance to put on a good performnce in Croker. To say he didnt want to win or wasnt worried about their performance in Croke park in a national final. (which if kildare won would have been only their second trophy in 17 years ), I dont buy that one.

The fact is kildare played Galway twice last year and were defeated twice. Meath played Galway twice in the last two years and were undefeated v Galway in both games. Meath have played Galway 5 times in the last 5 or 6 years in league and championship and have only lost once.

5 It does also seem since that kildare v Meath game , Kildare have gone back a bit and Meath have improved. Kildare havent won since that game with 6 loses. Meath have only lost once 5 wins 1 draw. In the bynre cup this year longford defeated kildare. While Meath defeated Longford a few weeks later. More evidence the gap is not as big as people think or want it to be.

Overall Meath have a new look team since last year and remeber last year was McEntees first year in charge to O Neill second. A first year in charge is usually a write off for a manager as he gets to know players. Managers that had very poor first years are Cian O Neill Kevin Walsh Donal Kingston Michael Donoghue Jimmy Barry Murphy Nicolas English Pat Gilroy Mick Dwyer Eugene McGee and the list goes on. All these managers had better second and third years.

Also there is also the issue that Kildare like our neighbours Cavan when they play Meath it doesnt matter if Meath are the best team in the land and kildare and Cavan are in division 4 they always throw the kitchen sink at Meath and Meath always found hard to beat them both even in the glory years of 80s and 90s.

So overall I think the gap has closed. But in one way that is irrelevant. Meath beating Kildare or kildare beating Meath means feck all in the general run of things. Beating Dublin is and always will be sign of greatness of any Meath or kildare team
To be a great Meath or kildare team you need to beat Dublin in a leinster final. They are and always have been the yardstick in leinster. And I do think Meath and kildare will do this in the next 4 to 5 years. Both have huge potential and both are going in the right direction. Leinster football needs a strong Meath and a strong kildare. Even Dublin need a strong Meath and a strong kildare. Never has the leinster championship being so low in its history then it is now. You always had at least two top division 1 teams in the provience. Two teams who rivals. Dublin have not had a rival or top division 1 team to face in the provience since early 00s. Thats is unprecedented. Look at below stats

1920s and 1930s kildare All Ireland winning champions had All Ireland winning champions Dublin as rivals
1940s Meath All Ireland champions had Louth leinster champions and Dublin leinster champions as rivals
1950s Meath All Ireland champions had Louth All.Ireland champions and Dublin All Ireland champions as rivals
1960s Meath All Ireland champions had Dublin All Ireland champions and Offaly All Ireland finalist as rivals
1970s Dublin All Ireland champions had Offaly All Ireland champions and Meath league div 1 winners as rivals
1980s Meath All Ireland champions had Dublin All Ireland champions and Offaly All Ireland champions as rivals
1990s Meath all Ireland champions had Dublin All-Ireland champions and Kildare All Ireland finalist and offaly leinster and league div 1 champions as rivals
00s Dublin leinster champions had Meath All Ireland finalist and kildare Westmesth laois all leinster champions as rivals
This decade Dublin All Ireland champions have no other top div 1 rival. Dublin have no other leinster champions , All Ireland champions, league champions or top div 1 team to face as a rival in the provience. This is unprecedented in the history of leinster gootball.

So we need kildare and Meath to be stronger and winning titles. We also need to see Westmeath louth Offaly Laois Longford Wexford and Carlow improving and pushing for leinster titles also. For the sake of the future of the provience we need to see more leinster teams in div 1 and stay there. The and only then will things change for the better in the provience."
You're not John Milton by any chance??

St.Conleth (Kildare) - Posts: 1473 - 09/02/2018 18:57:27    2075287

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Replying To St.Conleth:  "You're not John Milton by any chance??"
My good man St. Conleth how did you know it was myself the poet John Milton. Wonderful guesswork. I hope your fellow county men will be as sharp at 2.00 on Sunday. Seen you have guessed my true identity the well known poet John Milton. I have written a poem in honour of another of the ABM ( anybody but Meath) ,the Dub called Waynol.

(What are the chances that Waynol will appear on the Meath forum if Meath lose Saturday . Id say the odds are 10/11. Actually u can forget those odds u can put every penny you have on he will)

Oh where are you Waynol oh where have you gone
Has Meaths good start to the season made you feel unhappy and everything is so wrong
Oh where are Waynol oh where have you gone
We miss your degrading insults like a hole in the head
Dublins recent sucess has gone to your friggin head.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 09/02/2018 19:54:10    2075299

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "My good man St. Conleth how did you know it was myself the poet John Milton. Wonderful guesswork. I hope your fellow county men will be as sharp at 2.00 on Sunday. Seen you have guessed my true identity the well known poet John Milton. I have written a poem in honour of another of the ABM ( anybody but Meath) ,the Dub called Waynol.

(What are the chances that Waynol will appear on the Meath forum if Meath lose Saturday . Id say the odds are 10/11. Actually u can forget those odds u can put every penny you have on he will)

Oh where are you Waynol oh where have you gone
Has Meaths good start to the season made you feel unhappy and everything is so wrong
Oh where are Waynol oh where have you gone
We miss your degrading insults like a hole in the head
Dublins recent sucess has gone to your friggin head."
Actually that sounded funnier in my head. After writing it the forum. I apologise to all members of hogan stand even the aforementioned Waynol for such a lame and bad attempt at humour
From now on I will continue writing 1000 words on why Seamus lavin is the new Mark Reilly. Or my 10000 word message on why Robbie O Malley is a greater corner back then Marc O Se. Im sure you cannot wait.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 09/02/2018 20:05:52    2075302

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "Your right. We can agree on one thing. A kildare Meath slagging match is a waste of time. But I do disagree with you on what you say on a number of issues. Also you are corect Meath and kildare need to worry about the closing the massive gap with Dublin , then a local midlands squabble. But it does have a certain revelance. Talking about Kildare and Meath is like talking about who is the second and third best team in Scotland behind Celtic. But I do believe what happened last year was the beginning of a new rivalry between these two young teams. I can see in the next few year this young kildare and Meath teams meeting 5 or 6 times in the championship in the next couple of years. And it will be fascinating to see in 6 or 7 years time which of these young teams will be more sucessful. I can see a kildare v Meath leinster final and even matchs in the super 8 between both teams. Both teams have huge potential. And kildare and Meath are good enough to win a leinster title each in the next few years.

Kildare have 5 or 6 talented young footballers eg Feehily Kelly Doyle D Flynn N Flynn that are the most talented kildare have produced since D Earley J Doyle N Buckley and even larry Tompkins. But Meath also have some very young talented skilful footballers also with potential. But my point is the gap is not as big as people think between Meath and kildare. Again kildare are ahead of Meath . The two victories last year and promotion are obvious evidence of that. And kildare are a bigger physically team then Meath. Again kildare are ahead of Meath. I agree 110%. But the gap is not that big. Let me explain.

1 If you look at kildares two comphresive defeats of Meath last you would say the gap is massive. Thats what must people think and want it to be. But there is some evidence to question that. The main evidence is Meath have drastically changed their team since the two kildare matchs last year. For example many of the Meath payers who played v kildare last year are no longer on the Meath panel eg Paddy O Rourke Jack Hannigan Cian O Brien Conor Downey Alan Forde Brian Sheridan Ronan Jones Ruari O Coilean Padraig Harnan Donnacha Toibin William Carry. All the above played v kildare last year. None of them are on the Meath panel this year. Of the 15 that played kildare in the championship last year . 7 of those 15 Meath players that played kildare last June are no longer on the Meath panel. At least 50% of the team that played kildare last year are off the panel.

In the league McEntee has brought 12 new players onto the panel. While at the moment I would say Meaths first 15 that will more then likeky play v longford in June will have 6 players who werent on the team that faced kildare last year eg Andy Colgan Seamus Lavin Brian Conlon Adam Flanagan Joey Wallace Padraig McKeever. And everyone of these players have improved the Meath team this year. And those 6 have been Meaths best performers this year. All of these new player which include a new goalkeeper, a new corner back,a new wing back, a new midfielder, a new half forward and a new corner forward . All these players have improved every line on the field for Meath substantially. While new players on the panel have meant the Meath bench is stronger then I have ever seen . Even under Boylan we had a weak bench. Im not 100% certain but it does look like kildare have pretty much the same team as last year but for 1 or 2 changes.

So in conclusion Meath have drastically changed the personal of the team and panel and it seems for the better since we last played kildare. It is pretty much a new look Meath team . The Meath team 2017 is different to Meath team 2018 in personal by nearly 50%.

2 Secondly the two areas that caused massive problems v kildare last year, Meath have improved. The major reason for kildares great performance was based on a total domination at midfield. Feehily is one of the best midfielders in the country. A class act. He wiped Meath out at midfield. While Menton worked hard he is very good attacking Atletic midfielder. He is not a traditional high fielding midfielder. We had no one to compete with Feehily last year in the high field stakes. He gave an exhibition of high fielding in both game's. Last year, we had only 1 midfielder. This year we have 3. We were relying on wing backs and half forwards to partner Menton last year. This year Adam Flanagan has been excellent at midfield. He has been one of our best performers this year He is a traditional young high fielding midfielder. While we have Harry Rooney on the bench who is also traditional young high fielding midfielder. Rooney before he left for Australia was one of our best players in 2016.

Our midfield has improved massively this year. We have won the midfield in our 6 games this year. You have to go back to 2013 to see Meath doing so well.at midfield. The year we put it up to Dublin and where the last team in leinster to put it up to Dublin with a strong midfield partnership of Gillespie and Meade.

So in conclusion I believe Meath would be stronger in the midfield this year then last year. We are also stronger in the half back line. Kildare really did well.last year in this area. Power was missing in the championship game v kildare last year and he is good holding centre back and Meaths centre of defence looks more solid with him there. Also Brian Conlon performances this year have been excellent. Kildare have good Atleticism in their half fotward line. Conlon is very Atletic player and wing back has been a problem for a long time. We have not produced a top class wing back since Martin O Connell. Conlon is the best prospect we have produced in this area of the field in a long time. He would be match the Atleticism of the kildare half forward line. Overall our half back line a problem for years , looks much stronger this year.

3 Another factor is kildares poor record in Croker. I woul88d go into rhe stats in detail. But the picture it paints is that kildare have a very poor record there for the last ten years. They have lost in Croke Park 6 times in the last two years. Meaths record in Croker is much better. I think if both teams met in Croker in the coming years this would be an advantage for Meath.

4 Regards the Galway results. Yes the last game Kildare were promoted. But I dont believe O Neill had no interest in the league final. Seen Kildare's poor record in Croker, it would been a great chance to put on a good performnce in Croker. To say he didnt want to win or wasnt worried about their performance in Croke park in a national final. (which if kildare won would have been only their second trophy in 17 years ), I dont buy that one.

The fact is kildare played Galway twice last year and were defeated twice. Meath played Galway twice in the last two years and were undefeated v Galway in both games. Meath have played Galway 5 times in the last 5 or 6 years in league and championship and have only lost once.

5 It does also seem since that kildare v Meath game , Kildare have gone back a bit and Meath have improved. Kildare havent won since that game with 6 loses. Meath have only lost once 5 wins 1 draw. In the bynre cup this year longford defeated kildare. While Meath defeated Longford a few weeks later. More evidence the gap is not as big as people think or want it to be.

Overall Meath have a new look team since last year and remeber last year was McEntees first year in charge to O Neill second. A first year in charge is usually a write off for a manager as he gets to know players. Managers that had very poor first years are Cian O Neill Kevin Walsh Donal Kingston Michael Donoghue Jimmy Barry Murphy Nicolas English Pat Gilroy Mick Dwyer Eugene McGee and the list goes on. All these managers had better second and third years.

Also there is also the issue that Kildare like our neighbours Cavan when they play Meath it doesnt matter if Meath are the best team in the land and kildare and Cavan are in division 4 they always throw the kitchen sink at Meath and Meath always found hard to beat them both even in the glory years of 80s and 90s.

So overall I think the gap has closed. But in one way that is irrelevant. Meath beating Kildare or kildare beating Meath means feck all in the general run of things. Beating Dublin is and always will be sign of greatness of any Meath or kildare team
To be a great Meath or kildare team you need to beat Dublin in a leinster final. They are and always have been the yardstick in leinster. And I do think Meath and kildare will do this in the next 4 to 5 years. Both have huge potential and both are going in the right direction. Leinster football needs a strong Meath and a strong kildare. Even Dublin need a strong Meath and a strong kildare. Never has the leinster championship being so low in its history then it is now. You always had at least two top division 1 teams in the provience. Two teams who rivals. Dublin have not had a rival or top division 1 team to face in the provience since early 00s. Thats is unprecedented. Look at below stats

1920s and 1930s kildare All Ireland winning champions had All Ireland winning champions Dublin as rivals
1940s Meath All Ireland champions had Louth leinster champions and Dublin leinster champions as rivals
1950s Meath All Ireland champions had Louth All.Ireland champions and Dublin All Ireland champions as rivals
1960s Meath All Ireland champions had Dublin All Ireland champions and Offaly All Ireland finalist as rivals
1970s Dublin All Ireland champions had Offaly All Ireland champions and Meath league div 1 winners as rivals
1980s Meath All Ireland champions had Dublin All Ireland champions and Offaly All Ireland champions as rivals
1990s Meath all Ireland champions had Dublin All-Ireland champions and Kildare All Ireland finalist and offaly leinster and league div 1 champions as rivals
00s Dublin leinster champions had Meath All Ireland finalist and kildare Westmesth laois all leinster champions as rivals
This decade Dublin All Ireland champions have no other top div 1 rival. Dublin have no other leinster champions , All Ireland champions, league champions or top div 1 team to face as a rival in the provience. This is unprecedented in the history of leinster gootball.

So we need kildare and Meath to be stronger and winning titles. We also need to see Westmeath louth Offaly Laois Longford Wexford and Carlow improving and pushing for leinster titles also. For the sake of the future of the provience we need to see more leinster teams in div 1 and stay there. The and only then will things change for the better in the provience."
Furlong I could punch a few holes in your hypothesis but I'm going to leave it alone. Let's just hope for good results for both our counties this weekend, if for nothing else for the good of Leinster football in general.

kildare73 (Kildare) - Posts: 770 - 09/02/2018 20:55:32    2075309

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "My good man St. Conleth how did you know it was myself the poet John Milton. Wonderful guesswork. I hope your fellow county men will be as sharp at 2.00 on Sunday. Seen you have guessed my true identity the well known poet John Milton. I have written a poem in honour of another of the ABM ( anybody but Meath) ,the Dub called Waynol.

(What are the chances that Waynol will appear on the Meath forum if Meath lose Saturday . Id say the odds are 10/11. Actually u can forget those odds u can put every penny you have on he will)

Oh where are you Waynol oh where have you gone
Has Meaths good start to the season made you feel unhappy and everything is so wrong
Oh where are Waynol oh where have you gone
We miss your degrading insults like a hole in the head
Dublins recent sucess has gone to your friggin head."
Just something about your posts reminded me of Paradise lost :)

St.Conleth (Kildare) - Posts: 1473 - 09/02/2018 21:08:21    2075318

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Replying To kildare73:  "Furlong I could punch a few holes in your hypothesis but I'm going to leave it alone. Let's just hope for good results for both our counties this weekend, if for nothing else for the good of Leinster football in general."
Agreed . Hopefully we will see a stronger and more competitive leinster in the next few year.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 09/02/2018 21:50:52    2075328

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "Ollie without doubt louths win in 1957 is one of the greatest victories or All Irelands win by a leinster team in Croke Park ever . Even in Meath the team of 1957 is remembered fondly. Those men of 57 are legends in every part of Louth. Deservedly so."
The Meath minors won the All Ireland the same day as they trashed Armagh in the final. That would of been some craic that day Furlong as both trophies ended up in the Boyne Valley. Louth and Meath's rivalry was at it's height in forties and fifties. From 1945 to 1953 Louth and Meath played each other 13 times in the championship. Louth won 4 matches, Meath won 5 matches and there were 4 draws. Between 1947 and 1954 the Leinster title was won by either Louth or Meath. This included two Leinster finals that both sides faced each other. Louth beat Meath after a replay in 1950 while in 1952 Meath beat Louth in the final. The remarkable thing about them matches is that they were also close and the winning team won only by between 1-3 points.

OLLIE (Louth) - Posts: 11524 - 09/02/2018 23:23:47    2075344

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By all accounts we were robbed in Armagh today. 2 black cards that no one knew what they were for, A third player sent off for 2 yellows and then Armagh score a goal that should of been a free out! Questioned the appointment of the ref before the game and was proven right from what I have heard and read....and that includes people from Armagh. Great performance by our lads who were missing Sean McCormack and his brother Padraig who went off injured early in the game. Two huge losses. 3 out of our remaining games at home so no reason we can't push for promotion after today's performance.

Spinx (Longford) - Posts: 844 - 11/02/2018 21:47:17    2076027

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Replying To OLLIE:  "The novel pairing at the weekend is the clash of the smallest county in Ireland against the biggest county. The Wee County make the long trip down to the southern capital. Louth and Cork don't meet too often. This is the first league clash in over twenty years. They have only played each other twice in the championship. The first time was on Sunday 22nd September 1957 when the wonderful Wee County beat the rebels 1-09 to 1-07 to win their third All Ireland. Led by the great Dermot O Brien the Wee County were huge underdogs going in that match but came on top. Even though it's over sixty years ago that Louth team is widely spoken about in this neck of the woods. Due to the colour clash Louth wore the green of Leinster and Cork wore the blue of Munster. The Louth captain Dermot O Brien did not travel with the team. He was receiving treatment for a shoulder injury. On arrival at Croke Park he discovered the gates locked at the Cusack Stand where the dressingrooms were, and had to go round to the Hogan Stand side to try to get in. All the while the loudspeaker was calling for the Louth captain to report to the dressingroom, and he eventually made it with minutes to spare. Ironically the next time Louth and Cork played each other in the championship was in 2007 when Dermot O Brien died the same year. Cork won that qualifier in Portlaoise 0-16 to 0-14. 1957 was def Louth's heaven. An Lu Abu!"
It was quite a novelty alright. First time I ever seen Louth play and a minute silence for soccer player Liam Miller (RIP) before throw in. Luckily we worked up a bit of a lead at the break as we were not at the races in the second half. The Louth number 21 came on and changed the complexion of the game. Onwards and upwards for a young Cork team.

rebelrouser (Cork) - Posts: 41 - 12/02/2018 10:32:19    2076115

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Replying To Spinx:  "By all accounts we were robbed in Armagh today. 2 black cards that no one knew what they were for, A third player sent off for 2 yellows and then Armagh score a goal that should of been a free out! Questioned the appointment of the ref before the game and was proven right from what I have heard and read....and that includes people from Armagh. Great performance by our lads who were missing Sean McCormack and his brother Padraig who went off injured early in the game. Two huge losses. 3 out of our remaining games at home so no reason we can't push for promotion after today's performance."
Hard luck on Longford footballers, who were just edged out at the very end of added time. A battling display away from home. Longford teams always have a great attitude who ever they are playing,and put in a strong performance. They could be in line for promotion.
Offaly's game with Derry was only called off at 1pm when the team and a few brave fans were already there.
Not good enough, as other games were called off earlier Sunday morning.

thelongridge (Offaly) - Posts: 906 - 12/02/2018 11:47:39    2076164

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Replying To thelongridge:  "Hard luck on Longford footballers, who were just edged out at the very end of added time. A battling display away from home. Longford teams always have a great attitude who ever they are playing,and put in a strong performance. They could be in line for promotion.
Offaly's game with Derry was only called off at 1pm when the team and a few brave fans were already there.
Not good enough, as other games were called off earlier Sunday morning."
For a county with 20 odd clubs, I admire Longford as they always produce fiercely competitive football teams. From the bits of highlights I seen last night they were unlucky with the Armagh goal. One of the Longford players appeared to be pushed in the back beforehand. Also agree on Offaly v Derry, to postpone the game at 12.30 less than two hours before throw in shows a complete lack of disrespect to players and supporters etc.

PortInFaithful (Offaly) - Posts: 367 - 12/02/2018 12:11:26    2076179

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Replying To thelongridge:  "Hard luck on Longford footballers, who were just edged out at the very end of added time. A battling display away from home. Longford teams always have a great attitude who ever they are playing,and put in a strong performance. They could be in line for promotion.
Offaly's game with Derry was only called off at 1pm when the team and a few brave fans were already there.
Not good enough, as other games were called off earlier Sunday morning."
Cavan Meath game only called off a little over a hour before throw in, then the nonsense of the fixing for Sunday, Andy mcenetee not one bit happy about it, everyone knew the game couldn't go ahead on Sunday, very poor form, Meath players waiting on a game that could never happen. As Andy said, so much for player welfare.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 13807 - 12/02/2018 12:30:02    2076187

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