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James Crombie/INPHO

Mayo impress, and Dublin away day boost: Allianz Football League talking points

It was another busy weekend of action.

1. Mayo impress

An impressive Saturday night’s work for the Mayo footballers. A first win in the Allianz Football Leagues under new manager Kevin McStay after a pair of draws. A first success in Castlebar at the expense of Kerry since 2014. And all with the aid of a powerful first-half show that saw Mayo blow Kerry away as they surged eleven points clear.

Mayo pounced on laxness in the Kerry defence to punish mistakes with Ryan O’Donoghue and James Carr both getting free for goals. The point-taking of Jordan Flynn – he finished with four to his name – was also a major strength. They’ll move forward with confidence to take on Tyrone next weekend.

2. Dublin away day boost

For the first time since 1990, Dublin travelled to Cork and came away with the points on offer in the Allianz Football Leagues tie. That sequence spanned eight meetings; Cork’s slippage from the top grade has seen the counties operate at different levels in recent times. Dessie Farrell may not have been focused on the historical trend — he will likely have been simply glad to have kept their winning run going.

Dublin had to work for their victory yesterday: a pulsating game of Cork goals, red cards on both sides, and All-Ireland winning greats coming off the bench to make their mark, with Jack McCaffrey and James McCarthy posting key scores. Three wins from three, and the Dubs’ promotion bid still fully on track.

3. Roscommon continue to rise

Only one team in Division 1 have managed to put three wins on the board from their three games to date. Indeed, no other team has recorded two wins so far. That the identity of that team is Roscommon, last year’s Division 2 champions and a side stuck in a yo-yo existence over the last decade, may well prompt some surprise.

It is a position of merit, as they have flourished under the guidance of new manager Davy Burke, beating Tyrone, Galway and now Armagh. Roscommon have won their games by an accumulated total of nine points. They are battle-hardened and proving a tough nut to crack.

4. Derry’s latest statement of intent

Derry enjoyed a pretty impressive Allianz Football Leagues campaign last year. They won their first four games before then coming unstuck in the space of a week, a draw away to Roscommon followed by a home defeat to Galway where they shipped four goals. That proved costly for their promotion bid.

But they have started 2023 with the look of a team keen to redress the record. Their latest win on Saturday night was a comfortable one, the 2-15 to 1-7 scoreline reflecting their superiority against Meath. Three victories from three games, and a perfect start as they stand at the top alongside Dublin. The Round 5 meeting between the counties looks significant.

5. Cavan flying high

The relegation of the Cavan footballers in 2021 to Division 4 was something of a surprise, given they were a team who had been crowned Ulster champions in late 2020. They moved swiftly out of the basement division last spring, and this season, they do not look like a team planning on hanging around for long at the third level.

Mickey Graham’s side picked up their third win on the bounce yesterday, sitting top of the division with a gap between them and the rest. Their scoring rates are impressive, chalking up 1-19 against Longford, and their scoring difference is now a healthy +26.

Get instant updates on the Allianz Football and Hurling Leagues on The42 app. Brought to you by Allianz Insurance, proud sponsors of the Allianz Leagues for over 30 years.

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