Championship 2024 Blog

Tailteann Cup the focus this weekend

Mike Finnerty | 6 June 2024

Tailteann Cup the focus this weekend

Leitrim look to make headlines

With the Tailteann Cup taking centre stage on the football front this weekend, there is a great chance for the likes of Leitrim to make some headlines in Longford on Saturday evening.

Andy Moran’s team missed out on a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals when they came off second best against Kildare last weekend, but a win over Wicklow would get the Westerners back on track after an impressive Division 3 league campaign.

They will feel that if Darragh Rooney, Mark Plunkett, Barry McNulty and Ryan O’Rourke all perform, Leitrim can reach the last eight for the second time in three seasons.

Never a dull moment for Wicklow

It’s been a real rollercoaster of a season for the Wicklow footballers.

One win from seven outings in Division 4 of the National League meant that only Limerick finished below them.

But Oisin McConville’s outfit still managed to ambush Westmeath in the Leinster championship before being pipped by Kildare in the provincial quarter-final.

Hopes were high of a good start in the group stages of the Tailteann Cup but, instead, they lost heavily to Fermanagh and fell agonisingly short against Laois, before bouncing back to beat Carlow last weekend.

Their reward is a preliminary quarter-final against Leitrim and a glorious chance for them to extend their action-packed summer.

Laois looking to hit top gear

Last year’s Tailteann Cup semi-finalists have been at their inconsistent best again this season.

After a surprise defeat to Offaly in the Leinster championship two months ago, they were involved in three dramatic finishes in the group stages as they drew with Carlow, squeezed past Wicklow and lost a high-scoring shoot-out to Fermanagh.

They played some sparkling football at times, but only got over the line on one occasion, and Justin McNulty will be hoping that they can find their best form in the coming weeks.

New York will find forwards like Mark Barry, Evan O’Carroll and Paul Kingston hard to handle on Saturday.

New York return to action

Nine weeks after Mayo beat them by 15 points in the Connacht championship at Gaelic Park, the New York footballers return to action in the Tailteann Cup this weekend.

Their preliminary quarter-final against Laois at O’Moore Park is sure to attract plenty of interest as the Exiles attempt to cause a huge upset.

Last year they finished five points off Carlow in their only Tailteann Cup outing, but their squad has changed a lot in the interim.

Cavan native Alan O’Mara is the New York manager who will be aiming to make ‘hope and history rhyme’ but lack of match practice is likely to count against them again

High-profile managers walk the line

There will be no shortage of big names on the sideline in the two Tailteann Cup preliminary quarter-finals being broadcast on GAAGO this weekend.

Former Footballer of the Year Andy Moran, who represented Mayo for 17 seasons, will be hoping that his Leitrim team can get the better of Oisin McConville’s Wicklow.

McConville, who won an All-Ireland senior medal with Armagh in 2002, took charge of the Garden County’s senior footballers for the first time two years ago.

Meanwhile, McConville’s former Armagh team-mate, Justin McNulty, will have Laois chasing just their second championship victory of the season against Alan O’Mara’s outsiders from New York.