National Football League Round One Reaction From Diarmuid Connolly
We have reaction and analysis to round one of the National Football League from our gaelic football ambassador Diarmuid Connolly.
The first round of the National League is in the books and what a weekend of football we were treated to. For fans of gaelic football it was great to see competitive intercounty action back on our screens for the first time since July.
The intensity and quality of football did not disappoint with plenty of great performances on display along with some surprises too.
Check out the thoughts of Dublin legend Diarmuid Connolly as he gives us his takeaways from round one of the National League.
Dublin’s Full-Back Line A Cause For Concern
Dublin edged past Kildare in their opening fixture in Division Two on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-13. That result sees them sit in third in the table behind provincial rivals Meath and Derry who top the table following an impressive victory against Limerick.
DC: “It’s between Dublin and Derry in Division Two. I was expecting a better fight from Limerick after a great season, but Derry beat them convincingly and they’ve kicked on again.”
“Dublin weren’t as convincing, but they got the job done. The question mark for me will be in the full-back line. Kildare took nine points off the full-backs and if that trend continues, I think there will be changes in that position this year.”
“Jack Robinson was brilliant for Kildare, but I was really impressed by Greg McEneaney and Ross McGarry for Dublin.”
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Kerry League Title No Foregone Conclusion
One of the big surprises from the weekend was Kerry falling to a narrow one point defeat against Donegal. This could be an early sign that Kerry might find it difficult to defend their league crown.
DC: “I haven’t changed my opinion on Kerry as I didn’t see them as that superior last season and it could be Dublin’s year for me if they keep a fit squad together.”
“It’s a tough trip to Ballybofey, but the likes of Killian Spillane and Tony Brosnan got their chance with the Cliffords out and probably didn’t take it as much as they would have wanted.”
“Monaghan at home is a huge game for Kerry now. If they don’t get points on the board it will put the pressure on and while they may still be favourites for the league, it’s no foregone conclusion by any stretch.”
Check out Diarmuid’s reaction to the All-Ireland Club final controversy between Glen and Kilmacud Crokes.
Donegal’s Caolan McColgan Stakes Claim For Jersey
One of the stand out performers from the weekend was Donegal’s Caolan McColgan who was crucial to Donegal’s attack against Kerry.
DC: “Kerry got off to a great start, but Donegal just dug in and they had a great young lad in Caolan McColgan who hit three points. He stood out as player of the week for me. He really put his hand up for a jersey, especially with Michael Murphy gone.”
Tyrone Can’t Be Ruled Out Yet
Roscommon and Tyrone went head-to-head in the opening round and it was Roscommon who got the better of proceedings in a five point win. The result was a surprise to many and sees the Rossies at the top of the league table in the early stages.
DC: “It was a great start for Roscommon who started as outsiders in the division. I thought Tyrone would come back and hit the ground running this season, but they don’t seem to have any settled cohesion around the team and I just can’t put my finger on it. I wouldn’t rule them out just yet because the first league game on the road isn’t easy.”
Connolly Praises Mayo v Galway Thriller
Mayo and Galway kicked off their National League campaigns in Castlebar in what ended up being a cracking game of football. A point right at the death from Mayo forward Ryan O’Donoghue meant the game ended in a draw.
DC: “Mayo v Galway was the best game of the weekend in terms of crowd and atmosphere and Galway probably should have won it. It was impressive intensity-wise as the tackle count was way above that in the Dublin v Kildare game.”
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