FIXTURES

SATURDAY 3 JULY

Quarter-final: Monaghan v Fermanagh, Clones, 3.30pm,

SUNDAY 4 JULY

Quarter-final: Armagh v Antrim, Athletic Grounds, 3.30pm,

ONLINE
Live blogs on both games on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app.

TV
Both quarter-finals will be shown live on BBC Northern Ireland. Viewers outside of Ireland can watch the games on GAAGO.

The Sunday Game, RTÉ2 at 9.30pm, will have highlights of all the weekend's action.

RADIO

Live updates on RTÉ Radio 1.

WEATHER

Overall cloudy on Saturday with scattered outbreaks of rain mostly in Muster and Leinster during the morning. Sunny spells and slow moving thundery showers will spread from the southwest during the afternoon leading to spot flooding in places. Highest temperatures of 17 to 20 degrees.

Sunday will bring widespread heavy slow-moving showers with thundery downpours leading to spot flooding. Some bright or short sunny spells too. Humid and rather warm with highest temperatures of 16 to 20 degrees. For more go to met.ie.

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Farey and Erne men seek Ulster improvement

The one thing we can say for certain is that come Saturday evening, at least one of the teams will have improved on their 2020 showing.

Both Monaghan and Fermanagh had just one outing in Ulster last winter, the Farney men going down dramatically to surprise package Cavan, while Fermanagh were well off the pace against Down in a quarter-final.

Monaghan entered the last campaign with realistic hopes of another Ulster tilt, but where Séamus McEneaney's side stand in the 2021 pecking order is more difficult to gauge.

At times in the league they were unstoppable - see the first-half blitz against Donegal where Conor McCarthy claimed a hat-trick - and showed glimpses against Tyrone and Armagh of what this evolving team is capable of.

For all that promise however, they failed to notch a win in a highly competitive Division 1 North, and used all their resources going to see off Galway by the bare minimum after extra time in an absorbing relegation play-off.

Stephen O'Hanlon and Jack McCarron are trying to ease the burden of responsibility that seems to rests on Conor McManus every year, and Fermanagh will be up against it to keep those forwards quiet.

Ryan McMenamin's side had a distinctly average league campaign - a draw, a win and a loss - but it was the 19-point loss to Derry that stood out.

They fell to an Offaly side in a semi-final and will have to upset the form guide, as well as recent history - Monaghan have won four of the last five meetings - if they are to advance to the last four.


Orchard County ripe for success?

There is a lot of talk brewing that Armagh, after a number of years in the doldrums, are ready to step out of the shadows in Ulster.

It is 2008 since the Orchard County last tasted provincial success, but Kieran McGeeney has been building up both his panel and backroom team and there were some encouraging signs in the league.

With the O'Neill brothers, Stefan Campbell and Rory Grugan on form up front, they will be handful for even the meanest defence, especially with former Kerry player Kieran Donaghy lending his expertise as an attacking coach.

Last year's comprehensive defeat to Donegal will ensure supporters won't be getting carried away, but anything other than victory over Antrim will be seen as a shock.

Not that McGeeney and co will be dismissive of a team that earned promotion to Division 3 with a 100% record, though there were shaky moments in the one-point wins over Louth and Sligo.

Manager Enda McGinley has said that promotion was the priority for the Saffrons, with the game at the Athletic Grounds something of a free-hit.

"If things go right for you on the day, you can pose those so-called bigger teams a really strong challenge," he said. The boys are looking forward to it because of the confidence gained in the league.

It was confirmed this week that 1700 fans will be permitted to the game, with the winner progressing to a semi-final date against the winner of Monaghan and Fermanagh.

Follow all the championship matches this weekend with our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app.

Watch Roscommon v Galway and Tipperary v Clare live on RTÉ2 (from 12.45pm Sunday) and see highlights of all the weekend's action on The Sunday Game at 9.30pm on RTÉ2.

Listen to live and exclusive national radio commentaries on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday and Sunday Sport.