GAA weekend previews: Throw-in times, TV details and team news

Seán Moran looks ahead to a weekend which includes Munster and Connacht semi-finals

Kerry will meet Tipperary in the Munster SFC semi-finals. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kerry will meet Tipperary in the Munster SFC semi-finals. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Saturday July 10th

Munster SFC semi-finals

Cork v Limerick

Throw-in: 3pm. Venue: LIT Gaelic Grounds. How to watch: Live on GAAGO

Limerick bring a fair bit of form into this as they look for a first win in the fixture in 18 years. Their destruction of Waterford in the quarter-final was impressively clinical and their league playoff with Derry reflected well on them in the light of Offaly’s fate in the Division Three final. Tommy Childs has performed well at centrefield and up front Hugh Bourke has been a constant threat. They have looked vulnerable however to the sort of running attacks that Cork at their best are capable of - at worst it can resemble a ponderous game of donkey. Ronan McCarthy is beset by injuries but there are hopes that the perpetually afflicted Seán Powter can play in this, as he adds a lot to the defence. Cork’s league wasn’t bad even though they missed out on the promotion playoffs and they secured their Division Two spot and should score enough to win but don’t be too surprised if it’s tight.

Verdict: Cork

Tipperary v Kerry

Throw-in: 7pm. Venue: Semple Stadium. How to watch: Live on Sky Sports

A shattering season to date for Tipperary as they shouldered the burden of provincial champions for the first time since 1935. The reign looks likely to end similarly - defeat at the semi-final stage against Kerry a year later. David Power’s team that swept to the title in November has been so disrupted by injury, retirement and other departures that it slumped to relegation. In the absence of qualifiers there is little to build on in the championship. Kerry have been on a mission this year, harder at the back and ravenous up front. They were a bit intermittent against Clare but still came out 13-point winners. There is concern that they aren’t being tested but you play what’s in front of you. Tipp’s pride in their title should provoke a performance but there’s no way through this.

Verdict: Kerry

Ulster SFC quarter-final

Tyrone v Cavan

Throw-in: 4.30pm. Venue: Healy Park. How to watch: Live on Sky Sports

By coincidence the second of 2020’s surprise provincial winners are also out on Saturday, as Cavan head to Omagh. Tyrone, under new management, have been trying to move on from the Harte era - with mixed success. Paul Donaghy had a good rookie league but there are doubts about Darragh Canavan’s fitness for this. Both teams ended their league in calamity - Tyrone conceding six goals to Kerry and Cavan getting relegated by Wicklow - but only one of them has a manager with a championship track record. Mickey Graham’s pedigree spells a certain amount of danger for Tyrone even though for four decades the traffic has been one-way. Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher are however, likely to get a response to what happened in Killarney and they can survive even a spirited challenge.

Verdict: Tyrone

All-Ireland SHC Qualifiers preliminary round

Antrim v Laois

Throw-in: 2.30pm. Venue: Parnell Park. How to watch: Live on GAAGO

So much happened last week in the championship that this vital fixture looms as something of an afterthought. Yet for the counties it is arguable more significant than a provincial final. One of them will fall out of the senior championship for at least a year. Antrim won the league fixture in Belfast but not easily and Laois hit 20 wides. That suggests on neutral ground this could be closer than expected but the Ulster team have been more reliable scorers.

Verdict: Antrim

Joe McDonagh Cup

Westmeath v Kildare, TEG Cusack Park, 3pm; Meath v Kerry, Páirc Tailteann, 3pm

Christy Ring Cup

Derry v Wicklow, Celtic Park, 2pm

Nicky Rackard Cup

Leitrim v Donegal, Carrick-on-Shannon, 2pm

Lory Meagher Cup

Monaghan v Longford, Inniskeen, 2pm

All-Ireland U20HC 2020 final

Cork v Dublin

Throw-in: 7.15pm. Venue: Nowlan Park. How to watch: Live on TG4

Cork are back in the final for a third year, still seeking a first title at the grade - or its under-21 predecessor - since 1998. Hopes have been high for the cohort in the county and they face unexpected opponents in Dublin, who have yet to win an underage All-Ireland to mark their re-emergence in the hurling world over the past 20 years. Impressive in beating Galway, they probably are up against it here.

Verdict: Cork

All-Ireland MHC 2020 final

Kilkenny v Galway

Throw-in: 5pm. Venue: Portlaoise. How to watch: Live on TG4

Galway’s extraordinary record at the grade - champions in four of the last five years - has come at Kilkenny’s expense in the past two All-Irelands. This has the look of a third.

Verdict: Galway

All-Ireland MFC 2020 semi-final

Meath v Derry, Newry, 3pm (TG4 YouTube)

Leinster MFC quarter-finals

Offaly v Dublin, O’Connor Park, 12pm; Louth v Laois, Stabbanon, 12pm; Kildare v Carlow, Newbridge, 12pm

Declan Bonner’s Donegal meet Derry on Sunday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Declan Bonner’s Donegal meet Derry on Sunday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Sunday July 11th

Ulster SFC quarter-final

Derry v Donegal

Throw-in: 4pm. Venue: Ballybofey. How to watch: Live on RTÉ and BBC NI

One of the most striking developments of the league was the re-emergence of Derry. They cut a high-scoring swathe through Division Three, topped off by a final win in Croke Park. Most prominent has been the impact in two pivotal positions, centrefield where Conor Glass has been making a major impact since his return from AFL, and centre back where the undoubted talent of Gareth McKinless has finally been harnessed to give direction and thrust to the counter attack. Donegal are still the top prospects in Ulster but with Michael Murphy’s fitness a talking point, Declan Bonner will hope not to have to use him unnecessarily - even though he declared him ready to go. Donegal did look in form when dusting off Down in the preliminary round and for all Derry’s improvement this challenge is a step up.

Verdict: Donegal

Connacht SFC semi-final

Leitrim v Mayo

Throw-in: 2pm. Venue: MacHale Park. How to watch: Live on RTÉ

Their Covid difficulties aside, Mayo have the worry of Lee Keegan having picked up a shoulder injury that may leave his fitness in doubt before the Connacht final in two weeks. In the aftermath of all the retirements earlier in the year, it leaves the panel a little short on experience. In the meantime, Leitrim arrive with little in their pockets after a league campaign of three defeats and no play-off in Division Four.

Verdict: Mayo

All-Ireland MFC 2020 semi-final

Roscommon v Kerry, LIT Gaelic Grounds, 2.30pm (TG4)

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