By Micil Glennon
Wicklow v Meath, Aughrim, Saturday 7pm
Wicklow host last year’s beaten Leinster Football Championship finalists Meath on Saturday evening looking to build on their impressive win over Longford at Aughrim.
The two sides are becoming familiar foes with the Royal County having recorded a five-point win in the Leinster preliminary stage last summer and an eight-point victory in the league in February.
The Division 3 Allianz campaign saw the teams go in opposite directions with Meath gaining promotion while Wicklow failed to win a game en route to Division 4.
But the home side's disappointment will have been forgotten after claiming the scalp of Longford three weeks ago.
Séanie Furlong hit 1-05 in that 1-15 to 0-16 win, all but one point coming from play for the Kiltegan clubman.
Defender Paddy McWalter acknowledges that Meath are justifiable favourites but is looking forward to the challenge.
He told the Irish Daily Star: “They will be favourites, but it is just a great game for us. Aughrim doesn't take a whole lot to fill it, so [it] will be packed that night and we'll just try to put in a big performance.”
Wicklow are expected to name the same side that beat Longford.
The NFL encounter was held in Aughrim and the double-score victory for the visitors will go some way to undermining the fortress myth that builds up ahead of trips to the Garden County.
Meath boss Mick O’Dowd was keen to point out that although his team are heavy favourites to progress to a semi-final with Wexford on 30 June, Harry Murphy’s men have home advantage and a win under their belt already.
The new manager did, however, admit that the league outing should stand to them.
“It was a good experience. Fellas get to know the surroundings, they're well used to it so it won't be a big surprise to us heading down,” he told the Irish Daily Mirror.
Corner–forwards Eamonn Wallace and Mickey Newman, who scored five points against Wicklow in the league, are set to make their Championship debuts.
Meath: P O'Rourke; D Keogan, K Reilly (c), B Menton; C Lenihan, C King, M Burke; B Meade, C Gillespie; P Byrne, D Carroll, G Reilly; E Wallace, S Bray, M Newman.
Live television coverage of Wicklow v Meath from 18:40 on Saturday 15 June on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only).
Live radio coverage of all the day’s action featuring Wicklow v Meath from 15:00 on RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ RnaG and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).
Highlights of all the weekend’s action on The Sunday Game on RTÉ Two from 10.00pm