/ GAA

At a glance: The Championship weekend

Updated: Sunday, 08 Jun 2014 15:14 | Comments

Dublin start their Leinster defence against Laois Cork and Waterford meet again to decide who faces Clare in the Munster hurling semi-final
Dublin start their Leinster defence against Laois Cork and Waterford meet again to decide who faces Clare in the Munster hurling semi-final

Video

Audio

SATURDAY 7 JUNE

1900 Longford v Wexford (Football)
1900 Clare v Waterford (Football)
1900 Kilkenny v Offaly (Hurling)

SUNDAY 8 JUNE

1400 Roscommon v Mayo (Football)
1400 Louth v Kildare (Football)
1530 Cork v Waterford (Hurling)
1600 Laois v Dublin (Football) 
1600 Armagh v Cavan (Football)

ON TV
Sky Sports: Kilkenny v Offaly - Live from 1830 (Sat)
RTÉ Two: Roscommon v Mayo & Dublin v Laois - Sunday Game Live from 1330

ON RADIO
Radio 1: Kilkenny v Offaly - Saturday Sport from 1445
Radio 1: Dublin v Laois - Sunday Sport from 1400
Newstalk: Roscommon v Mayo - Off The Ball from 1330

WEB
RTÉ player - Cork v Waterford - Streamed worldwide from 1530 (Sun) 

WEATHER

SUNDAY: Heavy showers will occur also and there will be further thunderstorms and surface flooding. Maximum temperatures will be in the range 16 to 21 degrees. Quite a blustery day with fresh and gusty southerly winds.

THE FIXTURES

Longford v Wexford - Leinster SFC quarter-final

In the last two seasons, these counties have met three times in the championship. Wexford prevailed after a reply in the Leinster quarter-final in 2012 and in a Round 2 qualifier clash last July.

To further underline the Model County's dominance in recent meetings, they saw off the challenge of Longford in the final round of this year's Allianz League Division 3 campaign - a result that condemned the latter to the bottom tier for next year.  

Longford have the benefit of a game under their belt after their defeat of Offaly in the preliminary round on 18 May. They will hope that home advantage again can seal the deal in their favour in a contest that should see little between the sides on the scoreboard.

Verdict: Longford

Clare v Waterford - Munster SFC quarter-final

A date with Kerry awaits the winners in the semi-final. Clare enter the game on the back of promotion from Division 4. Waterford struggled to make any impact in the same section.

The Déise nearly turned over Galway in an All-Ireland qualifier last year and a repeat of that showing is required if they are upset their hosts at Cusack Park.

For Clare, David Tubridy and Shane McGrath are expected to lead the scoring threat. Dual-star Podge Collins is set to feature a week out from the hurlers date in the Munster semi-final.

Verdict: Clare

Kilkenny v Offaly - Leinster SHC quarter-final

Last season Offaly were competitive for the majority of their quarter-final tussle with Kilkenny. Confidence is not high that they can summon up a repeat before the Sky Sports cameras at Nowlan Park.

Brian Whelehan has endured a tough start as the Faithful boss. Their league campaign saw them involved in a relegation play-off against Kerry. Recent challenge games saw some heavy defeats.

Cats manager Brian Cody will be guarding against any complacency and will be keen to lay down a marker early on that his side mean buisiness.

Verdict: Kilkenny   

Roscommon v Mayo - Connacht SFC semi-final

The 2001 Connacht final was the last time Roscommon tasted success over Mayo in the championship. Indeed, Rossies fans will not need reminding of their last meeting when the Green and Red dismissed them with some ease at the provincial semi-final stage last year.

Since then, however, Roscommon have steadied the ship.They narrowly lost to Tyrone in the subsequent qualifier and gained promotion to Division 2 in the spring. The divisional final against Cavan saw them at their best.

Leitrim were sent packing three weeks in their championship opener and now comes the acid test against a side bidding for a fourth Connacht title on the trot.

Mayo, as we all know, desperately crave a bigger prize. The league saw James Horan's men as top scorers in Division 1. However, defensively they were porous and the nature of their draw against Dublin and subsequent loss to Derry in the semi-final brings up more questions about their well-being.

Andy Moran is not named in the starting XV for the trip to the Hyde. Alan Freeman returns at full-forward. There is a championship start for Conor O'Shea at number 11.

Ian Kilbride comes in for the injured David Keenan for Roscommon.

How will it pan out?

Will John Evans' side deploy a blanket defence to curb the Mayo threat? How productive will John Evans' side be on the counter-attack.

The midfield battle featuring Cathal Shine and Kevin Higgins up against the O'Shea brothers should be fascinating. 

Mayo's journey to the Connacht crown last year was relatively straightforward. Roscommon's graph has risen sufficiently to ensure that Sunday's clash will be competitive.

Verdict: Mayo 

Louth v Kildare - Leinster SFC quarter-finals

In 2010, Louth famously defeated Kildare in the Leinster quarter-final. Confidence is high within the Wee County camp that they can take the Lilywhite scalp again.

Manager Aidan O'Rourke feels there is "real sense of mission" within the camp and that they won't be satisfied with just beating Westmeath. 

Louth suffered relegation in the spring, as did Kildare, though Jason Ryan has given youth a chance to shine in the Lilywhite cause.

On paper it looks like the game of the day at GAA HQ, with Kildare just getting the nod to prevail.

Verdict: Kildare  

Laois v Dublin - Leinster SFC quarter-finals

You have to go back to 15 June 2003 for Laois' last victory over Dublin in the Leinster championship. Mick O'Dwyer was at the helm - masterminding a first provincial success since 1946. The Dubs were dispatched at the semi-final stage.

Tomás Ó Flatharta is now in charge of the midlanders and the consensus is that his side have it all to do if they are to upset Jim Gavin's men at GAA HQ on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking during the week, Ó Flatharta revealed that no team in the country, as of now, is unbeatable and that he has the utmost faith in the ability of his squad.

A strong second half performance saw Laois get over the hurdle that was Wicklow in the preliminary round. The manager singled out the contribution of newcomers - Graham Brody in goals, and Stephen Attride at centre-back - but overall the Kerry native was satisfied with his team's effort in Aughrim

Colm Begley was dropped for the clash with the Garden County after playing with his club Parnell's in the days before the match. However, he and Ó Flatharta have patched up their differences and the presence of the Begley will be a plus as the county aims to bridge that 11-year gap and lower the colours of the boys in blue.

Dublin are seeking a ninth Leinster title in ten years. On paper it would appear that Laois present the stiffest challenge en route to them reaching the provincial decider. No disrespect here to either Longford or Wexford!

Jim Gavin has been talking up the chances of the O'Moore County, but realistically you would have to think the Dubs would have too much for a side who struggled in Division 2 this spring.

The pace in the Dublin team is frightening and the second-half blitzing of Cork in the league semi-final is evidence of what they can do in full flight. 

Gavin's problem will be picking his strongest XV as he appears to have an embarrassment of riches in nearly every position.

Dean Rock recently returned to play with his club Ballymun Kickhams after a long lay-off with injury and then there is the triumvirate of Jack McCaffrey, Cormac Costello and Paul Mannion - all no doubt relishing action after the recent All-Ireland U-21 triumph.

Jason Sherlock, in speaking to RTÉ Sport this week, was of the view that only a few Dublin players reached their potential in 2013. If there is more to come from Gavin's squad then the rest of the country better watch out. 

Verdict: Dublin 

Armagh v Cavan - Ulster SFC quarter-final

Armagh will have revenge on their minds when Cavan come calling to the Athletic Grounds. Last year at the preliminary round stage the Breffnimen, with Martin Dunne leading the scoring charge, prevailed by four points.

Afterwards RTÉ pundit Joe Brolly was critical of the Armagh manager Paul Grimley, stating that he was "out of his depth" in terms of preparing a side for a championship game. Grimley, not surprisingly, chose to ignore such comments.

However, the pressure on him may increase again if the Orchard County don't have a decent summer. Relegation to Division 3 was not in the script earlier in the year. 

For Cavan, the backdrop is a lot brighter a successful league campaign and further success for the U-21s at provincial level. The ambition is there to win a senior provincial crown following on from Monaghan's exploits last year. 

Manager Terry Hyland used 37 players during the league and on Sunday he welcomes back Gearoid McKiernan for his first championship match in two years.

Cavan's continued progress has them as favourites to progress in the minds of many. However, home advantage will spur on Armagh to a mount serious challenge in what is likely to be an attritional affair.

Verdict: Cavan

Cork v Waterford - Munster SHC quarter-final replay

The view after the drawn game is that Cork have more room for improvement. Credit must go to them for clawing back a nine-point deficit a fortnight ago, but Waterford can also take the plaudits for the way they dictated affairs from the off, never allowing their opponents to really settle.

Debutants Tadhg Burke and Austin Gleeson really stood out for the Déise in the drawn game, while the likes of Bill Cooper, Mark Ellis and Alan Cadogan can be satisfied that they did more than was required for the Rebels. 

Jimmy Barry Murphy's side have been criticised for their slow starts. It will be interesting to see what complexion the game takes on if they are the ones to fly out of the traps at Semple Stadium on Sunday.

Verdict: Cork  

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use