An ‘Offaly’ familiar beginning for Longford in Allianz League

The Longford senior football team will operate out of Division three of the Allianz Football league for the second year running in 2017. Denis Connerton’s men will face familiar opposition on Sunday when they take on Offlay a team that defeated then in the 2017 Leinster football championship.

The game will be played on Sunday at 2p.m. in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park and the home side will be looking to register back to back over the “Faithful County” after already defeating them in the 2017 O’Byrne Cup.

Next Sunday’s game will be the eighth between the Leinster rivals in League and Championship since the start of 2014.

They met twice last year with Offaly winning both games. They won the Allianz League clash by two points and the Leinster first round game by eight points. Both finished on eight points in last year’s League with Offaly edging into third place on the table behind Kildare and Clare on scoring difference.

Many would feel that Longford did well to maintain their third tier status last year, and 2017 promises to even more difficult.

Laois and Armagh, now find themselves in Allianz Football League Division 3 after disappointing Allianz Football League Division 2 campaigns last year, needless to say both sides be very anxious to make a quick exit from a group that also includes a Tipperary side that reached last year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Laois begin their promotion bid at home to Louth, who were promoted from the Allianz Football League Division 4 last April. Armagh travel to Markievicz Park to take on Sligo, who finished fifth last year. The counties last met in the Allianz League in 2015 when Sligo won by 11 points in the final round of the Allianz Football League Division 3 games. However, Armagh had already clinched promotion by then. Sligo’s preparation for the opening round of fixtures included a narrow victory over Leitrim in their final FBD league match.

Much is expected from Tipperary this year and they will be looking for a bright start to their campaign against Antrim, who were promoted at the end of last season. Tipperary finished 6th in the Allianz Football League Division 3 table last year after winning two, drawing three and losing two of their seven games.

SATURDAY (7pm): Laois v Louth, Portlaoise
SUNDAY (2pm): Longford v Offaly, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park; Tipperary v Antrim, Thurles; Sligo v Armagh, Markievicz Park.