• Home
  • /
  • GAA
  • /
  • Tonight Is A Big Night In The Eirgrid U21 Championship - Here Are The Previews

Tonight Is A Big Night In The Eirgrid U21 Championship - Here Are The Previews

Tonight Is A Big Night In The Eirgrid U21 Championship - Here Are The Previews
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
Share this article


We're already down to the semi-final stage in Leinster and Mayo and Cork breezed past Leitrim and Limerick respectively last night but the Eirgrid U21 Football Championship really cranks up a notch next week.



Dublin v Longford, Wed - 7.30 (Navan)

Meath v Kildare, Wed - 7.30 (Portlaoise)

Longford have a strong record in underage in football in the modern era, winning provincial titles at minor level in 2002 and 2010 and reaching the 2013 Leinster final at the U21 grade, a run which included a sensational victory over the Dubs at Parnell Park.

The Dubs are roaring hot favourites in Leinster at 4/11. They have a few stars in the shape of Shane Carthy and a veteran of last year's success Conor McHugh while Eoghan O'Gara's brother Killian grabbed a goal against Laois.


Their opponents have been impressive in getting to this point, recording emphatic victories over Wicklow and Louth. A surprisingly tame challenge was put up by the latter in particular. Their forward line duo, Liam Connerton and Larry Moran had an enjoyable night against Louth.

Kildare slaughtered Offaly 3-12 to 0-9 in Portlaoise and they are ever so slightly fancied to beat Meath, who squeezed past Westmeath with a goal from speedster Eamonn Wallace.

VERDICT: Dublin and Kildare to win




Cork v Kerry, Wed - 7.30 (Pairc Ui Rinn)

Tipperary v Clare, Wed - 7.30 (Thurles)


Kerry and Cork have not been kept apart. They meet in Pairc Ui Rinn next Wednesday with Cork already having recorded a relatively comfortable win over Limerick. Kerry should be favourites given the rich inheritance their minor teams of the past couple of years have bequeathed to this year's U21 side.

VERDICT: Kerry and Tipperary to win




Roscommon v Sligo, Wed - 7.30 (Kiltoom)

Mayo v Galway, Sat 21st March - (Castlebar)

Roscommon have been the kingpins in the west at this grade for the last few years and they are heavy favourites this year following their Hastings Cup triumph. Senior stars Enda Smith and Diarmuid Murtagh will be relied on for scores. They are expected to dispose of Sligo - who have never won a provincial title at U21 level (Leitrim have two) - in St. Brigid's fortress in Kiltoom.


Mayo are considered to be slight favourites against Galway in this Saturday's Connacht semi-final. They've drafted in a few graduates from the 2013 All-Ireland winning minor team in the shape of Diarmuid O'Connor and the very highly rated Stephen Coen. They enjoy home advantage and have one championship game under their belt after a demolition of Leitrim.

Galway remain an unknown quantity. They reached the Hastings Cup final but were easily beaten by Roscommon. Galway remain a curiosity at U21 level. They have only won four provincial titles in the past thirteen. From this modest tally, they mined... yes, you guessed it, four All-Ireland titles. They are the Down of U21 football.

VERDICT: Roscommon (highly likely) and Mayo (somewhat likely) to win




Tyrone v Fermanagh  (20:00)

Donegal v Cavan (20:00)

Monaghan v Derry (20:00)

Armagh v Antrim (20:00)

Cavan have enjoyed a golden era at this grade, winning a remarkable four U21 provincial titles in a row. The consensus says a fifth may prove a bridge too far for them. They travel as underdogs to Ballybofey tonight. Donegal boast two players who started last year's All-Ireland senior final. Ryan McHugh and Darrach O'Connor wont be overawed by anything much for the rest of their careers. Cavan are heavily reliant on young star Michael Argue.

Goals from Niall O'Loughlin and Niall Toner helped Derry to a four point preliminary round victory over Down and they travel to Inniskeen to face Monaghan.

The highly fancied Tyrone side and Armagh are expected to dispose of Fermanagh and Antrim respectively. Tyrone won the Ulster title in 2012 and this side contains a number of players from that team.

VERDICT: Tyrone, Armagh, Derry and Donegal to win

See also: The 5 Greatest Shocks In The Eirgrid U21 Football Championship





Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com