Dublin SHC: Kilmacud Crokes v Na Fianna, Parnell Park, 6.0
Na Fianna have emerged from their football chrysalis to reach a first hurling final. Anchored by new recruit Liam Rushe and with Donal Burke taking the levers up front, abetted by the Currie brothers, they have developed impressively, winning the semi-final against Lucan well.
Kilmacud, though, emphatically disposed of champions Cuala in the semi-final and a repeat of that feverish work rate allied to the menace displayed by Ronan Hayes and Alex Considine would take them a long way to regaining the title after seven years and a number of disappointments.
Antrim SFC replay: Kickhams GAC Creggan v St Mary’s Aghagallon, Corrigan Park, 2.30
A slice of history whoever wins: Creggan haven’t won the title for 67 years and this is Aghagallon’s first final. Creggan have paid their dues, though, losing two of the past three finals to Cargin, who they finally beat in the semi-finals. They can get over the line here.
Armagh SFC: Clann Éireann v Crossmaglen Rangers, Athletic Grounds, 3.0
Cross have won a staggering 21 of the last 25 titles and spun that achievement into Ulster and All-Ireland success whereas Clann are a coming force. The Lurgan club have done huge amounts of development work and although their day is expected to come, it’s just unlikely to be this weekend.
Carlow SFC: Éire Óg v Rathvilly, Dr Cullen Park, 3.0
It’s just three months since the clubs met in the 2020 final and both had big semi-final wins. Victory would mean five-in-a-row for Éire Óg and they have the wherewithal to emulate their predecessors on Bobby Miller’s teams of the 90s.
Cavan SFC replay: Gowna v Ramor United, Kingspan Breffni Park, 2.30
Gowna made less impact than expected in the drawn final and only got back on top of things when Ramor were down to 14. And if they hold their discipline a bit better they can win this.
Clare SHC: Inagh-Kilnamona v Ballyea, Cusack Park, 2.30
Hamlet without the prince: Tony Kelly plays no part and is likely to be out until spring but Ballyea have got this far without him. IK have injury concerns about Aidan McCarthy – whose long-distance run through both football and hurling championships has given him literally no rest – and David Fitzgerald and their chances will adjust if both are only partially fit.
Galway SFC: Corofin v Mountbellew Moylough, 1.30
Corofin's slip last year hasn't impacted on their quest for four All-Irelands in a row but standing in their way are Mountbellew Moylough, who beat them last year before losing the final to Maigh Cuilinn. That reality check may have benefited Corofin and their quality, Daithí Burke in good form and Ian Burke back in the panel, suggests that they'll be able to exact revenge.
Kildare SHC: Celbridge v Naas, St Conleth’s Park, 2.0
Naas, on the trail of a double after last week’s football success, are likely winners.
Laois SFC: Portarlington v Portlaoise, MW Hire O’Moore Park, 3.30
For the two big towns in the county, these have met on surprisingly few occasions. Portlaoise have won 12 of the last 14 titles. This is just the third final between the pair. Portarlington are on the verge of supplanting Portlaoise and this would be a first back-to-back in 65 years. They won the recent league final and are favoured to win this.
Offaly SFC replay: Tullamore v Rhode, O’Connor Park 2.0
Despite Cormac Egan’s absence with injury, Tullamore should have won the first day. They can learn from that hesitancy about getting across the line, which Rhode predictably punished, and having logged the experience, get this done.
Tipperary SHC: Loughmore Castleiney v Thurles Sarsfields, Semple Stadium, 3.15
Thurles showed a resolute streak when their semi-final against champions Kiladangan went to the wire after Sars' apparently decisive opening. Their defence, backboned by Pádraic and Ronan Maher put the clamps on when the match was being decided but it was the performances up front by Paddy Creedon, particularly, and Darragh Stakelum that closed it out.
Loughmore lost last year’s final in crushing circumstances and carry the burden of being a genuine dual club. Brian McGrath is part of the wear and tear and is reportedly doubtful for this. Either way, Thurles looked too good in the mid-Tipp final in August and although it could be closer, they look on course for a first title in four years.
Tyrone SFC: Dromore St Dympna’s v Coalisland Na Fianna, Healy Park 5.30
Two fabulous semi-finals produced this pairing. Coalisland's recovery was more dramatic in that they trailed by seven with 10 minutes left, were reduced to 13 men and somehow found the energy to score three goals and win. The first semi-final was almost more absorbing as Dromore first cruised ahead of Trillick before getting caught and falling five behind. Their methodical dismantling of that deficit, with Emmet McNabb and Niall Sludden to the fore, suggests resilience.
Waterford SFC: Rathgormack v The Nire, Fraher Field, Dungarvan, 2.0
Postponed because of the sudden death of Pat Hunt, county chidrens officer and father of Rathgormack player Paudie.
Westmeath SFC: Garrycastle v St Loman’s, TEG Cusack Park, 2.30
Garrycastle won two years ago when the clubs last met in the final but Loman’s are the defending champions and showed impressive mettle in seeing off Coralstown Kinnegad by finishing strongly after losing early initiative.
Wexford SFC: Shelmaliers v Gusserane O’Rahillys, Wexford Park, 2.15
When they met earlier in the championship, Shelmaliers won narrowly – their four-point margin boosted by a late goal – and a similarly close contest is expected. Shels lost their hurling title this summer but can make amends here.