Ruairi Deane remains a key player for Cork, who face Tipperary at Semple Stadium on Saturday evening.
Ruairi Deane remains a key player for Cork, who face Tipperary at Semple Stadium on Saturday evening.

Preview: Allianz Football League Division Three

Allianz Football League Division Three

Saturday February 22

Down v Longford, Pairc Esler, 7pm

Tipperary v Cork, Semple Stadium, 7pm

Sunday February 23

Derry v Louth, Celtic Park, 2pm

Leitrim v Offaly, Avantcard Pairc Sean MacDiarmada, 2pm

By Cian O'Connell

During the past number of years Division Three has provided plenty of drama and excitement. That is continuing in 2020.

Cork are the only team to hold a flawless record and while Longford are delighted to be unbeaten, Padraic Davis knows a demanding challenge awaits under the Saturday evening Newry lights.

Paddy Tally's outfit will be striving to earn a home win to inject their promotion push with momentum, but Longford have shown good form in the early weeks of the campaign.

At the same time Tipperary host table toppers Cork in what promises to be an interesting encounter at Semple Stadium.

Ronan McCarthy is introducing some emerging players into the Cork senior set-up, while the return of Ciaran Sheehan has added a potent attacking threat.

Ultimately the fact that Cork have chalked up a hat-trick of victories leaves them in a healthy position, but Tipperary need a positive result also.

David Power's diligent work in the underage grades assisted Tipperary hugely and remaining in Division Three is the objective.

Leitrim senior football manager Terry Hyland.
Leitrim senior football manager Terry Hyland.

On Sunday afternoon Leitrim host Offaly in a vital encounter at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada.

Terry Hyland's charges drew with Derry on the opening weekend, but they will be anxious to avoid another loss against Offaly.

John Maughan's team have shown glimpses of their ability so far with last weekend's win over Louth providing a significant boost.

Ruairi McNamee's 1-4 contribution was immense, while Bernard Allen and Anton Sullivan also performed smartly for John Maughan's team.

Declan Byrne struck four second half points for Louth during the Offaly defeat, but Wayne Kierans' team will be seeking to respond away to Derry.

Shane McGuigan's form is a source of optimism for Derry, who want to build on the recent triumph over Tipperary.

TIPPERARY (v Cork): Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Colm O'Shaughnessy; Emmet Moloney, Robbie Kiely, Bill Maher; Steven O'Brien, Conal Kennedy; Kevin Fahey, Jack Kennedy, Brian Fox; Liam Boland, Conor Sweeney, Kevin O'Halloran.

CORK (v Tipperary): Micheal Martin; Seanie Powter, James Loughrey, Paul Ring; Tomas Clancy, Mattie Taylor, Cian Kiely; Ian Maguire, Killian O'Hanlon; John O'Rourke, Sean White, Brian Hartnett; Ruairi Deane, Luke Connolly, Cathail O'Mahony.