The quarter finals of the Cadbury Ulster U21 Football Championship kick off tonight, with all but one team making their first Championship outing of the season.
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Ulster U21 Football Championship Quarter Finals
(All throw-in times 8pm)
Cavan begin their defence of the Irish News Cup by welcoming Monaghan to Breffni Park. Hunting for their third Ulster title in-a-row, they’ll be switched on and expect them to have too much for a Monaghan side that haven’t won the Cup since 1999.
Armagh host Down at the Athletic Grounds after seeing off Fermanagh last week in comfortable fashion. An Ethan Rafferty goal early in the second half set the tone in the 2-10 to 0-09 win against the Erne Men, and with a match under their belt and a vital goal threat, the Orchard Men could have the edge on their evenly matched neighbours.
Tyrone generally have a very strong under age set-up, and at the quarter final stage last year they beat tonight’s opponents Donegal by double scores, 0-12 to 0-06. With a new bunch of players who have tasted success by winning the All-Ireland Minor title, expect a similar result tonight at Healy Park for the heavily favoured Red Hand.
Finally, Antrim will be hoping home advantage will help them overcome Derry at Casement Park. It’s been 24 years since Antrim made it to a final, when they won out Ulster in 1989. But a traditionally strong Derry, who are deserving favourites, have also found success hard to come by in recent years at this level, so expect this to be a hard-fought contest that could go all the way.
Cavan and Tyrone have been dominant at this grade over the last two years and are both hot favourites at 4/7 and 1/5 respectively. An accumulator on both sides to win is almost a safe bet.
Meanwhile, the two sides who look most likely to challenge those two meet in Armagh. Down and the Orchard county are both evens to win, so if you’re feeling lucky, 7/1 for the draw is great value.
Antrim might have a better chance against Derry than their odds suggest, so at 7/4 they’re possibly worth a small bet.
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