/ GAA

At a glance: The Championship weekend

Updated: Sunday, 01 Jun 2014 14:16 | Comments

For the second consecutive year Tipperary and Limerick meet in the Munster semi-final
For the second consecutive year Tipperary and Limerick meet in the Munster semi-final

Audio

By James McMahon

SATURDAY 31 MAY

1900 Limerick v Tipperary - Gaelic Grounds (Football)

SUNDAY 1 JUNE
1400 Antrim v Wexford - O'Moore Park (Hurling)
1530 Fermanagh v Antrim - Brester Park (Football)
1600 Laois v Galway - O'Moore Park (Hurling)
1600 Tipperary v Limerick - Semple Stadium (Hurling)

ON TV
RTÉ Two: Tipperary v Limerick - Sunday Game. Live from 1530. Available worldwide on RTÉ player

ON RADIO
Radio 1: Limerick v Tipperary (football) Saturday Sport from 1900
Radio 1: Tipperary v Limerick (hurling) - Sunday Sport from 1400
Newstalk: Laois v Galway - Off The Ball from 1330

WEATHER

Sunday: Some bright spells in eastern areas, with a little hazy sunshine, but generally cloudy and misty today. Rain over northern and western areas, will become more widespread this afternoon and evening, with some heavy bursts in places.
A clearance to scattered showers will develop along western coasts later this evening. Top temperatures of 15 to 19 C., in moderate occasionally fresh southerly winds. 

THE FIXTURES

Limerick v Tipperary - Munster SFC quarter-final

In the last decade, Limerick footballers threatened to make a real breakthrough and made life really uncomfortable for Cork and Kerry in provincial deciders.

Their stock has fallen somewhat in recent seasons, but that said, they will be determined to make a decent impact this summer after listless displays, most notably against Cork in 2013.

For Tipperary, the spring brought promotion from Division 4 amid a flurry of scores. Underage success in recent years is now starting to bear fruit and boss Peter Creedon believes the Treaty encounter is a "winnable game."

John Galvin is named on the bench for the home side, with Darragh Treacy coming in. Up front the focus will be on Ger Collins and Ian Ryan to get the bulk of the scores. Tipp are also well served in attack with Conor Sweeney and Barry Grogan catching the eye. 

Verdict: Tipperary

Antrim v Wexford - Leinster SHC quarter-final

This week, Antrim hurling manager Kevin Ryan issued another strong criticism of the new preliminary round-robin series in this year's Leinster Championship.

He told RTÉ Sport: "There is no benefit whatsoever, except probably a bit of momentum from last Sunday (when they beat Laois).

"There are a lot of tired bodies. I think it's a disgrace being honest. It doesn't really give you a chance to prepare for a Leinster quarter-final.

"The only thing we have is momentum in that we've got through some battles and tried to train through it."

Ryan's reference to momentum is key. Wexford haven't had a competitive match since 30 March and despite his protestations, Ryan won't be in awe of the Slaneysiders.

Under Liam Dunne, Wexford have improved and they put it up to both Dublin and Clare last summer. 

Liam Ryan is a newcomer in defence, while the spotlight will also be on Conor McDonald at full-forward, who, like Ryan, was a minor last year.

Verdict: Wexford 

Laois v Galway - Leinster SHC quarter-final

In the 57th minute of last year's Leinster semi-final, Laois were a point ahead of Galway. They could not, however, sustain that effort and the Tribesemen eventually prevailed by seven points.

In a subsequent television interview, Laois boss Seamus Plunkett spoke about his desire to get Laois closer to hurling's top table. This spring they comfortably retained their Division 1B status and finished second in the round-robin format.   

For Galway, it's all about getting back to the surge that saw them nearly claim All-Ireland honours in 2012.

They will want to put down a marker today and have the attacking firepower in Joe Canning, Jonathan Glynn, Cathal Mannion and Damien Hayes to achieve just that.

Verdict: Galway

Tipperary v Limerick - Munster SHC semi-final

Defending champions Limerick put their title on the line when they head to Semple Stadium in a repeat of last year's semi-final.

It's now nearly six weeks since Donal O'Grady controversially left the Treaty management set-up. Enough time, you'd have thought for TJ Ryan and co to get heads focused on the job in hand.

For Tipperary, the league final loss to Kilkenny overshadowed what was a strong finish to that campaign. The view from the experts is that they should have a bit too much for Limerick.

That so called collective got it wrong last weekend as Cork nearly came a cropper against Waterford. If Tipp make the Munster final, it will be hard-earned, particularly if the Treatymen reach the pitch that saw them book their place in the decider 12 months ago.

Verdict: Tipperary

Fermanagh v Antrim - Ulster SFC quarter-final

With home advantage and playing against a side who struggled in Division 4 of the league, you'd expect Fermanagh to secure a date with Donegal in the provincial semi-final. 

However, Ulster football is never that straight forward!

Liam Bradley's return as Antrim boss has so far brought a meagre return. Their cause at Brewster Park will be boosted by the return of brothers Michael and Tomás McCann and Niall McKeever from a four-year stint playing Aussie Rules.

Under Pete McGrath, Fermanagh finished third in Division 3 - a campaign that saw Seamus Quigley leave the squad.

In attack, Ryan Jones and Tomas Corrigan made a worthwhile contribution during the spring.

It's 2010 since Fermanagh last won a game in Ulster; go back a year previous for Antrim's last victory. There is much to play for at Brewster Park.

Verdict: Fermanagh

    

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