GAA club championship fixtures, throw-in times and TV details

Clough Ballacolla and Rapparees get things started in Leinster on Saturday

Rapparees Jack Kelly celebrates scoring his side’s fifth goal during the Wexford final. Photo: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Rapparees Jack Kelly celebrates scoring his side’s fifth goal during the Wexford final. Photo: Ken Sutton/Inpho

 

SATURDAY

Leinster Club SHC quarter-final

Clough Ballacolla (Laois) v Rapparees (Wexford), MW Hire O’Moore Park Portlaoise, 5.45 [Live, RTÉ2] - The Laois champions, fresh from putting a second county title in three months on the mantelpiece, take on Rapparees, who’ve managed one in 43 years. Declan Ruth’s team have had a decent interval to celebrate the achievement, which featured the biggest score in a county final, 6-18, for over 100 years. Clough Ballacolla showed tremendous resilience in both the semi-final and final in Laois but they’re up against it here. The Enniscorthy men aren’t just high scorers; Liam Ryan bedrocks the defence and will be expected to take Stephen Maher or Willie Dunphy whereas Alan Tobin ran riot at centrefield. It should be too much for the home side.

SUNDAY

Leinster Club SHC quarter-final

Raharney (Westmeath) v Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin), TEG Cusack Park Mullingar, 1.0 - Raharney will be encouraged by Kilmacud’s club style of late with its lengthy catatonic interludes but with the monkey of a county title off their back, they should be restored to decent form. Raharney were very good in the Westmeath final, sharp and aggressive but you’d have to fancy Crokes.

Munster Club SHC quarter-final

Ballyea (Clare) v Ballygunner (Waterford), Cusack Park, 1.15 [Live, TG4]- Two different preparations: Ballyea pulled out a big win in Clare without star man Tony Kelly, hors de combat for a while now. The team really rose to the challenge and won tight matches to take the county title two weeks ago. Ballygunner won theirs eight weeks ago and it wasn’t particularly arduous. They looked very impressive, though. Dessie Hutchinson delivered yet another tour de force. When they met three years ago, the Gunners needed an injury-time goal to get to extra time after two periods of which they suppressed the Clare men. Ballyea will be at home but the visitors can pull it out of the hat.

Cork SFC final

Clonakilty v St Finbarr’s, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 3.0 [Live streamed on Irish Examiner] - Back for a first final since winning in 2018, the Barrs are hot favourites after the epic semi-final win over Castlehaven and the form of Stephen Sherlock. Clon though are no respecters of favouritism, as Sunday’s opponents found out in 2009 - and a star-studded UCC 13 years before that. Still, if the city team keep their nerve and their wits about them, they can win.

Tipperary SHC final replay

Loughmore-Castleiney v Thurles Sarsfields, Semple Stadium, 3.15 [Live TG4]- The marathon men of L-C are back for another week, suitably fortified with an unexpected football title last week. They controlled much of the drawn encounter after a disastrous opening but Thurles still came back at them and it was Loughmore who needed the equaliser. Thurles under-performed which, while it wasn’t an unusual experience for them, they nonetheless survived. They have more room for improvement, as only Denis Maher and Pa Bourke really delivered for them up front. Or could it be that Loughmore were ultimately better? They don’t seem to register the fatigue of their dual existence but reserves have to be running low, which Thurles can exploit.

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