SATURDAY 25 JUNE
SUNDAY 26 JUNE
Galway v Armagh, Croke Park, 1.45pm
Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, 4pm
Live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and RTÉ News Now app.
Galway v Armagh & Kerry v Mayo on The Sunday Game live from 1.15pm on RTÉ 2. Highlights on The Sunday Game, RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 9.30pm. Above games available to watch outside of Ireland on GAAGO.
Live commentary and updates on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport, with coverage starting at 1.30pm on Radio 1 Extra. Raidió na Gaeltachta and BBC Radio Ulster will also be live from Croke Park.
Sunday will see a mix of sunny spells and widespread heavy and possibly thundery showers. Highest temperatures of 13 to 16 degrees in moderate to fresh southwesterly or variable winds. For more go to met.ie.
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Orchard ripening, Galway expectation
On paper, Galway v Armagh is the tie of the weekend. A battle of wits involving Pádraic Joyce and Kieran McGeeney. Since Galway's Connacht final triumph, Armagh have recorded two notable victories over Tyrone and Donegal, so giving them added momentum.
McGeeney has been at the helm of the Orchard men since 2014. And while it has often been the case of one step forward and two steps back since then, this year has seen a more marked improvement. For much of the league, Armagh cut quite a dash. They were particularly impressive in their opener against Dublin. Division 1 status was comfortably retained. The defeat to Donegal in Ulster saw the alarm bells ring again. Would it be a short summer?
The response was emphatic. Stefan Campbell rolled back the years as the All-Ireland champions were sent tumbling. And goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty, a former attacker who has given many years of service to the Orchard cause, was another key figure, advancing repeatedly into opposition territory and kicking two brilliant points from play.
A week later, Rian O'Neill starred with a 1-07 haul against Donegal to secure Armagh's place in the quarters for the first time since 2017. Revenge may have been sweet, but such thoughts are well and truly parked now. You don't have to shout it too loudly, but not many would be surprised if Armagh reach the All-Ireland final. Their attack is as good as any in the country; they will feel they can outscore the opposition even if it's a scorefest.
The intensity, which was lacking in their championship opener, is now there for all to see. Speaking after the win over Donegal a fortnight ago, Rian O'Neill told RTÉ Sport: "A few weeks ago, we looked at ourselves and saw that our intensity wasn't there. Today I think everybody could see the intensity was there from the word go.
"We're a different team when we play like that and if you bring the intensity, you'll not be too far away."
O'Neill, who played much deeper in Clones, will again look to pull the strings across the wide expanses of Croke Park. That setting should suit this Armagh team, given the verve McGeeney's side are now displaying.
Galway's Connacht success was fully deserved after wins over Mayo, Leitrim and Roscommon. They scored 2-16 (of their 2-18) from play with eight players hitting the target against the Rossies. Shane Walsh, with 1-06 of that total, leads a very potent Tribes attack that includes Damien Comer, Johnny Heaney, Rob Finnerty and Patrick Kelly. Like Armagh they will welcome the open spaces at GAA HQ.
At the back, perhaps Galway are bit tighter, and that could be pivotal in deciding what will be a tight affair.
The Tribes are unchanged from the Connacht final. One change for Armagh, with Jemar Hall now dropping to the bench after he was originally named in the team - Andrew Murnin comes back in.
Galway: Connor Gleeson; Liam Silke, Seán Kelly, Jack Glynn; Dylan McHugh, John Daly, Kieran Molloy; Paul Conroy, Cillian McDaid; Patrick Kelly, Matthew Tierney, Johnny Heaney; Rob Finnerty, Damien Comer, Shane Walsh.
Armagh: Ethan Rafferty; James Morgan, Aidan Forker, Conor O'Neill; Aaron McKay, Greg McCabe, Jarly Og Burns; Stephen Sheridan, Ben Crealey; Rory Grugan, Stefan Campbell, Andrew Mernin; Aidan Nugent, Rian O'Neill, Jason Duffy.
Another collision in this modern-day rivalry
The last of the quarter-finals sees Kerry and Mayo clash in the championship for the first time since 2019. On that occasion, the Kingdom ran out 10-point winners in a Super 8s clash.
To bring things forward, this will be third meeting between the sides this year, with the Kingdom holding the upper hand after a narrow league win in Tralee and then a more convincing success in the Division 1 final. Fifteen points was the margin of victory in the latter; a day when Mayo were cast aside with ease.
Can we read too much into Kerry's 23rd league success, though? Were Mayo all that bothered? In truth, James Horan's side probably didn't want to be there. Since then the Green and Red relinquished their Connacht title, this before they got back on the horse with qualifier wins over Monaghan and Kildare.
They were far from impressive in both games; in fact they were quite abject in the opening half against the Lilies. Late goals from Oisín Mullin and Jordan Flynn eventually saw Mayo over the line in a game where they trailed by six points on 45 minutes. Not for the first time, the westerners survived a back-door scare.
Kerry, for their part, came through Munster with the minimum of fuss. David Clifford was out with a calf injury in the final win over Limerick, but he is set to start on Sunday. Like Dublin, the Kingdom have enjoyed an easy run of things up to know. Speaking to RTÉ Sport ahead of the game, former Kingdom star Dara Ó Cinnéide, while accepting that a clash with Mayo is still a good draw, is still rather "wary" of facing a side who have the potential to up their game.
"The focus down here is to totally discount this year's league final because Mayo were missing at least a third of their team.
"Kerry learned from last year that beating Tyrone by as much as they did didn't count for a whole lot when it came to the championship and the feeling is very much the same now. We beat Mayo very handily in the league final, there is no sense that a repeat is in the offing.
"Mayo are just hard to predict, they are the type of team that play to the level of the opposition. Since they have re-emerged as a force over the last decade, they have managed to take out a big player in most of those years. There is a wariness down in Kerry about that, a natural wariness, following on from a soft Munster championship."
That said, Ó Cinnéide believes Kerry are the better team and if they are the genuine contenders that most view them to be, then they will go out and do the business against their Connacht rivals.
"That's not All-Ireland winning form"Pat Spillane talks Mayo after they made their way past Kildare and into the All-Ireland quarter-final draw.
"That's not All-Ireland winning form"— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) June 12, 2022
Pat Spillane talks Mayo after they made their way past Kildare and into the All-Ireland quarter-final draw #rtegaa #sundaygame
📺 Watch live: https://t.co/1kIVZ2ei11 @RTE2 @RTEplayer pic.twitter.com/cENqqRvxgA
Not surprisingly, there are no shortage of questions as to the match-ups. Will Mayo deploy extra cover to keep tabs on David Clifford? Gavin White, who did so much damage in the league final from wing-back, will also need minding.
Where will Aidan O'Shea be positioned? Will it be as named in midfield, at 11, or back at six for added cover?
Will Ryan O'Donoghue see action for Mayo? Well, he's not named in the starting XV, with the only change from the last day seeing Jordan Flynn return to the team at wing-forward in place of Jason Doherty.
David Clifford will start for the Kingdom.
Mayo: Rob Hennelly; Lee Keegan, Oisin Mullin, Enda Hession; Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen, Eoghan McLaughlin; Aidan O'Shea, Matthew Ruane; Jordan Flynn, Diarmuid O'Connor, Conor Loftus; James Carr, Jack Carney, Cillian O'Connor.
Kerry: Shane Ryan; Graham O'Sullivan, Jason Foley, Tom O'Sullivan; Brian Ó Beaglaíoch, Tadhg Morley, Gavin White; David Moran, Diarmuid O'Connor; Dara Moynihan, Seán O'Shea, Stephen O'Brien; Paudie Clifford, David Clifford, Paul Geaney.