Sporting guide to the weekend: Times, TV details and more

It’s the busiest weekend of the sporting year so far with football, rugby, GAA and more

Leinster’s James Ryan during training ahead of the Champions Cup final against Saracens. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Leinster’s James Ryan during training ahead of the Champions Cup final against Saracens. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Friday

Golf: The British Masters takes centre stage on the European Tour this week at Hillside. Eddie Pepperell is the defending champion and the tournament – which is hosted by Tommy Fleetwood – boasts a strong field. Paul Dunne (who won this event in 2017), Gavin Moynihan and Michael Hoey make up the Irish contingent. Sky Sports Golf: 10.30am-1.30pm, 3.30pm-6.30pm.

On the PGA Tour the AT&T Byron Nelson is the final tournament ahead of next week’s US PGA Championship and it takes place at Trinity Forest in Dallas. Pádraig Harrington and Séamus Power are the two Irish competitors in the field. Sky Sports Golf: 6.30pm-11.30pm.

Racing: There are two Irish meetings on Friday evening with Downpatrick going to post at 5.25pm while Cork gets underway at 5.35pm.

Football: There are three Airtricity League fixtures on Friday. At Dalymount Park second plays third in the clash of Bohemians and Dundalk (kick-off: 7.45pm) while at Turner’s Cross Cork City will be hoping to make it back-to-back wins when they take on UCD (kick-off: 7.45pm) with Derry City meeting St Patrick’s Athletic at the Brandywell in the other game (kick-off: 7.45pm).

Rugby: The Challenge Cup reaches its conclusion at St James’s Park with an all-French derby between Clermont and La Rochelle. BT Sport 2: 7pm (kick-off: 7.45pm).

Saturday

Motor racing: The Formula One season reaches Barcelona where qualifying will take place for the Spanish Grand Prix. Sky Sports F1: 10.45am.

Football: With no Premier League matches taking place until Sunday, it’s the beginning of the Championship playoffs which take centre stage on Saturday. First up is the first leg between rivals Aston Villa and West Brom at Villa Park. Sky Sports Football: 12pm (kick-off: 12.30pm).

Later in the evening there will be a renewal of the ‘Spygate’ rivals as Leeds United visit Derby County for the first leg of their semi-final. Sky Sports Football: 5pm (kick-off: 5.15pm).

Domestically there is one game in the Airtricity League Premier Division as Waterford take on Sligo Rovers at the RSC (kick-off: 7pm).

Golf: It’s moving day at the British Masters (Sky Sports Golf: 12.30pm-5.30pm) and at the AT&T Byron Nelson (Sky Sports Golf: 6pm-11pm).

Racing: Ascot is the main interest racing-wise on Saturday as Victoria Cup day gets underway in Berkshire. ITV4: 1.30pm-4.30pm.

In Ireland, Naas begins at 1.35pm and Cork at 1.50pm.

Rugby: The main event of the weekend from an Irish perspective will take place in Newcastle on Saturday evening as Leinster look to claim a fifth Champions Cup title. However, they will not have it easy against an all too familiar Saracens side who will be looking for revenge for their quarter-final defeat last year. BT Sport 2: 4pm, Virgin Media Sport: 4pm, Channel 4: 4.30pm (kick-off: 5pm). The Irish Times liveblog will be up and running from 4pm.

GAA: The provincial hurling championships get underway on Saturday night with Dublin’s visit to Nowlan Park to face Kilkenny providing the curtain-raiser in Leinster. Sky Sports Arena: 6pm (throw-in: 7pm). The Irish Times liveblog will start from 6.30pm.

Elsewhere the Christy Ring Cup first round sees Down meet Derry in Ballycran (throw-in: 3pm), in the Nicky Rackard Armagh meet Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds (throw-in: 3pm) and Louth take on Sligo at Dowdallshill (throw-in: 3pm) while in the Joe McDonagh it’s Antrim v Kerry in Dunloy (throw-in: 5pm) and Offaly v Laois at O’Connor Park (throw-in: 7pm).

On the football side of things Wicklow meet Kildare in the Leinster championship at Netwatch Cullen Park (throw-in: 7pm).

In the Munster SFC quarter-finals Tipperary take on Limerick at Semple Stadium (throw-in: 7pm) while Clare welcome Waterford to Cusack Park (throw-in: 7pm).

Sunday

Golf: It’s the final day of the British Masters at Hillside (Sky Sports Golf: 10am-6pm) as well as the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas (Sky Sports Golf: 6pm-11pm).

Motor racing: The Spanish Grand Prix takes place in Barcelona where Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to bounce back from his second place finish last time out in Baku. Sky Sports F1: 1pm.

GAA: After its brilliant debut last year the Munster round-robin hurling championship gets underway on Sunday with Waterford taking on Clare at Walsh Park (throw-in: 2pm) before Cork take on Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (throw-in: 4pm). RTÉ 2: 1pm.

In Leinster, 2017 All-Ireland champions Galway kick off against Cork at Pearse Stadium (throw-in: 3pm).

In the Christy Ring there are three games – Roscommon v Kildare in Athleague (throw-in: 12.45pm), Meath v London at Páirc Tailteann (throw-in: 1pm) and Donegal v Wicklow in Letterkenny (throw-in: 1pm) while in the Nicky Rackard Longford take on Warwickshire at Pearse Park (throw-in: 1pm) and Tyrone meet Mayo at Healy Park (throw-in: 2pm).

In the football there are two Leinster SFC games as Wexford meet Louth at Wexford Park (throw-in: 3pm) while Meath take on Offaly at Páirc Tailteann (throw-in: 3pm).

In the Connacht SFC quarter-finals Roscommon welcome Leitrim to Dr Hyde Park (throw-in: 3.30pm) while up north Tyrone take on Derry in the preliminary round of the Ulster SFC (throw-in: 4pm, deferred coverage on BBC NI).

Racing: There are two Irish meetings on Sunday with Killarney getting underway at 1.35pm while the first goes to post at 1.45pm at Leopardstown.

Football: It’s the busiest day of the season in the Premier League but first up there is the final Old Firm of the season to whet your appetite. Celtic have already won the league and go to Ibrox knowing they will not be given the traditional guard of honour. Should be a tasty affair as always. Sky Sports Main Event: 11am (kick-off: 12pm).

And then comes to conclusion of the Premier League. With all of the European places and relegation already decided the focus is fully on the title race where Liverpool, fresh from their heroic comeback against Barcelona, will be hoping for another miracle. They must beat Wolves at Anfield (Sky Sports Football red button: 2.30pm) and hope that Manchester City slip up away to Brighton (Sky Sports Main Event: 2.30pm). All 10 games kick-off at 3pm and the rest of the fixtures are: Tottenham Hotspur v Everton (Sky Sports Football for customers in Ireland: 2.30pm), Manchester United v Cardiff City, Watford v West Ham United, Southampton v Huddersfield, Leicester City v Chelsea, Fulham v Newcastle United, Crystal Palace v Bournemouth and Burnley v Arsenal.

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