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Marc Ó Sé previews the Allianz Football League finals

| 01.04.2022

Marc Ó Sé gives us his thoughts on all four Allianz Football League finals this weekend

Division 4 Final: Cavan v Tipperary   

It’s hard to believe both these counties contested the All-Ireland Semi-Finals a little under two years ago and this year they both played Division 4 Football all season albeit gaining promotion to Division 3.

Unless these two teams get as far as the Provincial Finals, unfortunately it’s Tailteann Cup for them; a massive fall from grace in two years.

Struggling to get over London tells you where Tipperary are at. Sean O’Connor has helped them take the pressure off Conor Sweeney to some extent but those two players will need to be on fire to get over Cavan in my opinion.

Cavan will have one eye on Antrim who they will play in three weeks’ time. Tipp have the luxury of a month break until the start of the Munster Championship which will suit them and mean they can really go after this game.

However, Cavan with Gearoid McKiernan, who looks to be in great form, and with the powerful Thomas Galligan around the middle of the field hold the stronger aces for me. Cavan to win the Division 4 Final.

Division 3 Final: Louth v Limerick

There is very little separating these two counties at the moment in the National League. Limerick finished second to Louth this year in the division.

Both Billy Lee and Mickey Harte will be thrilled with the progress of their teams to date. There was very little separating both teams when they played each other in February down in Limerick, with Louth just edging victory with two points.

Louth face Carlow on April 24 and Limerick don’t have to take on Tipperary until April 30 so I see these two teams really going after the victory here and not just happy with the promotion.

This game in my view will go right down to the wire but I just think Louth will get over the line with the dangerous Sam Mulroy going very well at centre forward. Mickey Harte has huge experience in finals at Croke Park and I think he will have a plan in place for Josh Ryan and Co. Louth.

Division 2 Final: Galway v Roscommon

I think Paraic Joyce will have a firm eye on Mayo for the Championship. Roscommon don’t play New York or Sligo until a month so they can really go after this game.

The same can be said for Galway but with a huge test in Mayo coming down the tracks, Joyce will have to be that bit more cautious with certain players and not risk injury. All said I still think Galway have the more dangerous players and ultimately will have too much firepower for Roscommon.

Donie Smith and Conor Cox were flying last weekend against Galway but they will not get the same space to repeat last week’s performance in my view. I think Galway will win this one.

Division 1 Final: Kerry v Mayo    

This is such a hard game to call. Kerry were brought back down to earth against Tyrone in Killarney last weekend and given a reality check. You can argue that they were already in the final but I thought Kerry really went out to try and win that game.

I thought Tyrone won the key battles hands down. Their inside line in particular was really dangerous with Darren McCurry giving young Dylan Casey a footballing lesson.

At this moment, with the exception of Ryan O’Donoghue, I don’t think the Mayo forwards pose the same threat as that of the Tyrone forwards. However, their defence and midfield does.

Midfield was an area where both Tyrone and Mayo dominated Kerry when they faced them in the league. Kickouts is another area where both teams dominated Kerry also.

These areas have not been addressed by Kerry and need serious work. If Kerry can improve in these areas it is theirs to lose as I am not that sure the O’Connor brothers will be back in time to bolster the Mayo forward line.

Kerry to win but expect a tight battle like we saw in Tralee a month ago.

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Andrew McDermott