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Which counties have momentum ahead of All-Ireland quarter-finals?

Ireland prepare to depart for tough tour in South Africa; England prepare to face Slovenia in final group game

Derry’s Conor Doherty celebrates after scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out against Mayo. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

One of the lads down Denis Walsh’s local bet €50 on Derry winning the All-Ireland after they beat Kerry in the league back in January. To keep his hopes of a windfall alive, Mickey Harte’s crew must get the better of the same opposition in the championship quarter-finals on Sunday. How high are those hopes? Well, Denis reckons “Derry are still moving with a limp, but they’re off the crutches”, so you never know. But have they momentum? Maybe, but possibly with a small ‘m’. Roscommon have it, though, in spades, as do Armagh, Donegal and Louth. He is less sure about Galway, and as for Kerry, they “will arrive in Croke Park without a serious test of their credentials since last July”, while Dublin were only stretched the once, by Mayo a fortnight ago.

Michael Murphy reflects on Derry’s win over Mayo, when they brought themselves “back from the brink” after their recent loss of form. They will, he says, now believe they can beat Kerry – although he’s not entirely sure. But Gordon Manning heard former Kerry captain Séamus Moynihan warn his fellow county men to be wary of a resurgent Derry, a “battle-hardened” team too after playing the last two weekends. Kerry’s last outing was on June 16th.

Can Louth continue their odyssey beyond next Sunday when they play Donegal in their first ever championship quarter-final? “It’s been a hell of a ride and hopefully we can keep it going,” captain Sam Mulroy tells Gordon who also sets the scene for Saturday’s double-header: Armagh v Roscommon and Dublin v Galway.

Over at Euro 2024, Ken Early was in Leipzig to see Italy dig themselves out of a very large hole by equalising against Croatia in injury-time, setting up a second-round meeting with Switzerland on Saturday, while Spain comfortably topped the group with a 1-0 win over Albania.


In rugby, John O’Sullivan hears from Mike Catt in the build-up to next month’s Test matches against South Africa, Owen Doyle looking ahead to those games too. “Be prepared for high-octane physicality, all of which must stay within the laws on foul play,” he writes. And John brings us news of the Olympic draws for our men’s and women’s Sevens teams – New Zealand, South Africa and Japan for the men; Australia, Britain and South Africa for the women. Somehow he resisted saying “gulp”.

In athletics, Sarah Burns talks to some young Irish athletes who are being inspired by the success of the likes of Rhasidat Adeleke and Sharlene Mawdsley on the international stage. In cycling, there was decidedly good news on Monday, Shane Stokes reporting that Sam Bennett’s spot in the Tour de France, which gets under way in Florence on Saturday, has been confirmed after a four-year absence from the race.

And in racing, having played “second fiddle to his great friend Frankie Dettori” for so long, veteran Scottish jockey Rab Havlin is finally having his moment in the sun, Brian O’Connor looking at his hopes of crowning his “late-career resurgence” in Sunday’s Irish Derby when he will ride the favourite, Ambiente Friendly.

TV Watch: Two more Euro 2024 groups will be decided today, starting with Group D where the Netherlands take on Austria (RTÉ 2 and BBC 2, 5.0) and France play Poland (RTÉ News Channel and BBC 1, 5.0). Later, England wrap up their shaky Group C campaign against Slovenia (RTÉ 2 and UTV, 8.0) while Denmark meet Serbia (RTÉ News Channel and ITV4, 8.0).

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