This week the league begins in Tyrone and we are casting our eye over the divisions opening games.
Omagh v Greencastle – Omagh face their neighbours at home and it should be a close encounter for a while before expecting Omagh to pull away. Greencastle are a hard team to shake off but Omagh have the better quality and have a youthful team keen to impress. Omagh should win with a few to spare.
Killyclogher v Edendork - A lot of county men featuring in this one. Killyclogher will be keen to make a good start again in the league against a youthful Edendork team. If McCurry is on form there’s no one better but he’s playing out of sorts at the minute so I expect Killyclogher to take advantage of this. Mark Bradley is flying and he’s always worth 4-5 points and with McCann at his side they can guide their team to take the win.
Pomeroy v Carrickmore – this is an interesting match-up. Pomeroy are newly promoted and will be eager to get a good start and pick up a valuable win over their neighbours. Carrickmore will look to build upon their league performance last year where they seemed to find a bit of form again. This is close to call but with McGeary’s and Frank Burns on song Pomeroy will have the legs here, Pomeroy by 1.
Trillick v Coalisland – This will be a close encounter. Both teams will operate a sweeper and will rely on their forwards to make their difference. Two very fit and quick teams that are evenly matched it seems but I feel Coalisland offer more offensively, Coalisland to shade it.
Strabane v Dromore – Dromore offer more consistency and quality all over the pitch and Strabane wont be able to match them. Are the legs of Dromore finally tiring or do they have more left in the tank this season, we will see..
Galbally v errigal - At home the Pearses wont be lying down to Errigal and will be seeking a surprise win here. Errigal have been on the decline over the past few years but they still have quality throughout their ranks and will be keen to start the season with a win. Hard to know what Errigal team will turn up but they should have enough to see them through against a youthful and determined Galbally team.
Arboe v Urney – Urney were the surprise package last year and they make their division one football debut away to Ardboe. Urney bring a high work rate and have a few nippy forwards that will trouble a leaky Ardboe defensive. The urney men couldn’t have been handed a much harder task however and Ardboe should be convincing winners in this one.
Donaghmore v Clonoe – Donaghmore are back up into the division one and their ability to win by slender margins last year has stood by them well. This form however won’t be good enough to win games in the top division. Clonoe are still ranked one of the top teams in Tyrone and they are expected to win this one with a few to spare. Clonoe’s drawn games caught up with them in the end last season but expect a big response from the O'Rahilly's this year. Consistent in the league and a cracking championship team they set the benchmark in Division One.
Aghyaran v Gortin – Two fairly similar teams but Gortin might shade it. Hard to know much about Aghyaran at this stage but couldn’t see them offering too much in this division.
Rock v Eglish
– The Rock after a fantastic run in the all-ireland junior final will probably find it hard to motivate themselves in the league. The Rock have proved their quality in the junior stages and were unlucky to face a strong Kerry team who should have never been allowed to enter the Junior competition in the first place. Eglish are freshly relegated and will be keen to make amends straight away in this division. Expect a tight match here but Eglish might be the fresher off the two to take the win.
Derrylaughan v Dungannon – Once again a very tight clash as both teams are quite similar in their match up. Both teams have nippy players all over the park so expect a high scoring game here. With the Clarkes missing Stefan McKenna this year their defense will be weakened, Derrylaughan just to nip it.
Moy V Kildress
– the Moy will look to start their league campaign off with a home win over Kildress. The Moy men have a point to prove this year after a disappointing year last year where they were strongly fancied for the league and championship. Kildress will offer a high work rate and will try and upset the tempo of the game at any chance but the Moy have more quality and should be able to get the win with a few to spare.
Augher v Eskra
– Another close encounter here and it’s a tough one to call. Augher were relegated from division one and were extremely lucky the year before not to be relegated. Close game could go either way, a draw perhaps.
Loughmacrory v Stewartstown – Loughmacrory are hard to beat at home but they are playing a team that wont be short of confidence. These two sides vary in style Loughmacrory enjoy a slow build up whereas Stewartstown enjoy a fast transition up the pitch. Loughmacrory's home advantage might see them just edge this one.
Castlederg v Cookstown – Cookstown will look to put last years performance behind them and get a win over Castlederg. Castlederg newly promoted will want to continue in their rich vein of form and shouldn't be taken lightly. Castlederg won’t be an easy place to travel to but Cookstown still offer quality all over their team and should get the win here.
Aghlaoo v Moortown
– Aghaloo ended the year strongly and will be looking to improve upon their performance this year with a win over Moortown. They loughshore club hasn’t offered much over the past while and will have to improve to make a dint in this division.