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At a glance: the championship weekend

Updated: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 09:21 | Comments

Mayo's Aidan O'Shea with possession of the ball during the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final
Mayo's Aidan O'Shea with possession of the ball during the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final

Audio

The first of the All-Ireland football semi-finals sees Mayo go in search of a first championship win over Kerry since 1996.

The Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship is also at the last-four stage. Wexford are up against Cork, while in a repeat of last year's All-Ireland final, Galway take on Kilkenny.

SATURDAY 23 AUGUST
1400
Wexford v Cork (All-Ireland camogie semi-final, Semple Stadium)

Live updates on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.

SUNDAY 24 AUGUST
1330
Kerry v Mayo (All-Ireland MFC semi-final, Croke Park)

ON TV
Live on TG4 from 1300

1530 Kerry v Mayo (All-Ireland SFC semi-final, Croke Park)

ON TV
Live on RTÉ Two from 1445, Sky Sports 3 from 1500. Also live on RTÉ Player and worldwide on GAAGO.

RADIO
Live coverage on Sunday Sport on RTÉ 1 from 1400.

1600 Kilkenny v Galway (All-Ireland camogie semi-final, Gaelic Grounds.

Live updates on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1

WEATHER
Saturday
looks set to be dry with a mix of cloud and sunny spells. Sunday will see heavy rain spread from the southwest during the afternoon and evening. Conditions not looking good then for the camogie in Limerick. 

ALL-IRELAND SFC SEMI-FINAL

Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, 3.30pm

The cream has risen to the top in this year's football championship. The four provincial winners have arrived safely at the last-four stage.

First into battle are a Mayo side bidding to reach their third consecutive final. Against them are a Kerry outfit minus the services of the mercurial Colm Cooper.

Recent history has not been kind to Mayo when it's the Green and Gold facing them down in championship fare.

Heavy defeats in the 2004 and '06 All-Ireland finals followed the Maurice Fitzgerald-inspired success for the Kingdom in 1997.

It led to the notion that Mayo couldn't hack it on All-Ireland final day and that whatever Kerry team turned up in the final, the Davitt County would always fall short against their Munster rivals.

Since James Horan arrived as manager, Mayo have 'toughened up' and they were far from disgraced when losing the '12 and '13 All-Ireland deciders. Indeed, under Horan, the westerners were competitive for much of their loss to Kerry at the semi-final stage three seasons ago

It's most unlikely that Sunday's game will be over, bar the shouting, after 20 minutes.

Kerry's high-water mark this summer came when they trounced Cork in the Munster final. James O'Donoghue bagged 0-10 that day and he was again to the fore when grabbing a brilliant goal that helped to floor Galway in the quarter-final.

How Mayo deal with him and Paul Geaney will be crucial. Question marks in defence surround Mayo after Cork made productive in-roads the last day. Much focus will be on Ger Cafferkey. Could James Horan deploy extra cover for his last line of defence?

In midfield, Anthony Maher and David Moran will be looking to gain the upper hand in an area where Mayo have, for the most part, excelled in recent games.

When it comes to the school of hard knocks, Horan's men have shipped the blows, but they've got up and dusted themselves down.

Twice this summer (against Roscommon and Cork), they have managed to extricate themselves from tricky situations and that resolve may once again be called upon to deal with the Kerry challenge.

Verdict: Mayo 

Watch Kerry v Mayo live on RTÉ Two television from 1445, Sky Sports 3 from 1500. Also live on RTÉ Player and worldwide on GAAGO.

Live radio coverage on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday Sport from 1400. 

Preview: Mayo v Kerry


   

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