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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Badly bruised Louth could be vulnerable in back-door duel

Tyrone’s Mattie Donnelly (left) shields the ball against Derry’s Neil Forester in the McKenna Cup final
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From 3pm

Louth must have been badly bruised from their second-half meltdown at the hands of Meath and now is the perfect time to take them on with Longford in the first round of the football qualifiers in Drogheda.

Meath are Louth's arch-enemies and losing to the Royals in the manner they did at Parnell Park could leave them scarred for a while. They suffered a heavy defeat to Tipperary in the Division 3 league final as well and this is surely a Louth side severely lacking in confidence.

Longford are hardly high on confidence either but it would be foolish to read too much into their hefty loss to Laois as they were hit with a couple of sucker punches. They conceded four goals and each time they threatened to get back into contention, they shipped a goal. It must have been gut-wrenching.

Longford managed to score 0-15 themselves in that outing and they have had plenty of time to recover on the training ground.
Longford lost out by only a single point to Louth in round two of the league in February and they might be able to reverse that result. Indeed, the 11-4 with Paddy Power about the visitors winning by three points or more is worth taking.

Given how cagey last Sunday's drawn encounter was and that both teams managed to score only 0-10, it is hard to believe that there is some 10-11 available with BoyleSports about Offaly scoring 14 or fewer points in their Leinster replay against Westmeath. 

We should see more of the same from both managers and with a low-scoring tussle in store, it is very hard to see Offaly getting 15 points.

Derry were relegated from Division 2 of the league and failed to find the net against Tyrone when bowing out of the Ulster championship but they managed to score eight goals in seven league games and
7-4 is too big a price about them netting twice in Fraher Field against Waterford. 

Getting so close to Cork was not the amazing feat we thought it was at the time and perhaps the layers have read too much into that where Waterford are concerned.

With James Kielt back in the side, a landslide Derry success is surely on the cards. Waterford conceded nine goals in Division 4 of the league and, while Cork only netted once, they wasted at least two glorious goal opportunities. 

Longford -2
2pts 11-4 Paddy Power
Offaly under 14.5 points
2pts 10-11 BoyleSports
Derry over 1.5 goals
2pts 7-4 Paddy Power

Longford lost out by only a single point to Louth in round two of the league in February and they might be able to reverse that result
E.W. Terms
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