The 2012 Allianz National Hurling League gets underway this weekend, with a full programme of matches in Division 2A and 2B.
Carlow and Down meet in Dr Cullen Park(2.00pm)in the opening game of section A. The home side have shown gradual improvement at this level in recent seasons and should be good enough to get their campaign off to a winning start. Half an hour later, Westmeath host Kerry in Cusack Park(2.30pm). This has the makings of a cracking contest,as both sides are evenly matched on paper. Home advantage sees Westmeath chalked up as favourites, and perhaps Kerry represent some value here. The Kingdom are one of the stronger teams in the section and awin here would set them up nicely.
In the final match of 2A, Wicklow and Derry meet in Aughrim(2.30pm). Again, home advantage could prove crucial here, as the Garden County always do best on their home patch. Meath and Kildare meet in Navan(2.30pm)in 2B. There should be little between the Leinster rivals but home advantage may just be enough to see the Royals through. Roscommon and Mayo play a Connacht derby in Athleague at 2.30,and the former should prevail in this tie. Finally,the meeting of London and Armagh in Ruislip, and here the visitors are given the nod.