Five games are down for decision across the Bank Holiday weekend and first up is the novel pairing of Carlow and Dublin in the Leinster football championship, while in hurling Limerick and Clare will be battling for a place in the Munster final, writes James McMahon


Leinster SFC quarter-final 
1900 Carlow v Dublin, O'Moore Park


Ulster SFC quarter-final 
1400 Down v Armagh, Páirc Esler

Leinster SFC quarter-finals 
1500 Laois v Kildare, O'Connor Park 
1500 Louth v Meath, Parnell Park 

Munster SHC semi-final 
1600 Limerick v Clare, Semple Stadium


Live blog on RTÉ.ie and RTÉ News Now on Carlow v Dublin from 1830 on Saturday and on all of sunday's games from 1330.

Carlow v Dublin live on Sky Sports 5 from 1800
Sunday: Down v Armagh live on RTÉ 2 from 1330 and on BBC2 from 1345 - Limerick v Clare live on Sky Sports 3 from 1500.

Highlights of all the weekend's action on The Sunday Game on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player from 2205

Live games also available on GAAGO

Carlow v Dublin live on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 from 1900
Sunday: Live commentary on Down v Armagh and Limerick, with updates on Laois v Kildare and Louth v Meath on Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 from 1400

There will be a mix of sunshine on Saturday and Sunday, with these showers most frequent along Atlantic coastal fringes. Afternoon temperatures will typically reach the early to mid-teens.

Carlow on the centre stage in Leinster quarter-final

"There was a good feeling in Carlow for the last two or three weeks that something was happening and thankfully the team delivered. We are very proud of them".

The words of Carlow manager Turlough O'Brien in The Sunday Game studio after he masterminded a first win for the county in the Leinster championship since 2011 with victory over Wexford.

The prize is now a date with the best team in the country on Saturday evening in Portlaoise. No disrespect to the latter venue, but it's a pity that the Dublin fans aren't heading to Cullen Park for this encounter. Decision is made, so there's no point arguing the toss!

  • This quarter-final encounter will be the 11th championship game between the counties, with Dublin winning nine to Carlow’s one of the previous ten.
  • Carlow’s sole victory came in the 1944 Leinster final when they won by 2-06 to 1-6 in Athy for what was the county's only provincial success.
  • The Barrowsiders provided the opposition for Jim Gavin’s first game in charge of the Dubs on 6 January 2013. a Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup game in Dr Cullen Park which the visitors won by 3-13 to 1-12.   
  • Dublin have not lost a game in Leinster since going down to Meath in the 2010 semi-final. Prior to that, they hadn’t lost since 2004 when Westmeath beat them in the quarter-final.

Ulster duo who could do with a victory

Páirc Esler is the venue as Down play host to Armagh in the Ulster football quarter-final.

It's hard to believe that Down haven't won an ulster title since 1994 - a year in which they also brought home Sam Maguire.

After a 2016 where Mourne County did not win a competitive game, the recent league campaign brought about something of a revival when they managed to retain their Division 2 status.

Armagh will be disappointed that they won't be in the same section next season after Tipperary's last-gasp win against Kieran McGeeney's men in the final round saw them claim the second promotion spot from Division 3.

  • Down are seeking their first championship win over Armagh since 1992. They have lost five times since then.
  • Down are seeking their first win in the Ulster championship since beating Derry in the quarter-final in 2013. Their last win in the championship was in 2014 when they beat Leitrim in the All-Ireland qualifiers.
  • Armagh’s last win was in the Ulster championship was in 2014 when they beat Cavan in the quarter-final.

Can Laois turn on the style again against the Lilies?

It has been a season of great contrast so far for this pair, with Kildare winning promotion to Division 1 and Laois dropping into Division 4.

Cian O'Neill has certainly got more of a tune out of the Lilywhites in his second year in charge and collectively they will have their sights set on reaching a provincial decider. Peter Creedon's Laois, however, rebounded well after their spring slip up when easily accounting for Longford the last day.

  • Laois have scored only one goal against Kildare (Donie Kingston 2015 replay) in their last five championship meetings.
  • It’s 12 years since Laois, then managed by Mick O’Dwyer, last beat Kildare in the championship - winning 0-21 to 0-9 in the Leinster semi.
  • The victors on Sunday afternoon will play Meath or Louth in the last four on Saturday 17 June.
  • Laois have not reached a semi-final since 2009. The last year Kildare failed to reach that juncture was 2010.

Louth looking to end barren spell against their neighbours

They meet for a second successive year in the Leinster championship. Meath won last year’s quarter-final (0-20 to 1-13) in Parnell Park in front of an 8,380 crowd.

  • Louth are having their second outing in this year’s championship after beating Wicklow (1-19 to 1-14) in the first round. Meath are having their first game of this year’s campaign.
  • Colin Kelly is in his third season as Wee County manager while Andy McEntee is in his first season with the Royals.
  • Louth are seeking their first championship win over their since 1975. They have lost to their neighbours nine times since then

Shannonside battle in Thurles

For a third consecutive year, Limerick and Clare do battle in the hurling championship.

The Banner won an All-Ireland qualifier tie last year, while their neighbours triumphed in a Munster quarter-final clash in 2015. *This will be the 55th championship game between the counties. Limerick won 35 to Clare’s 18, with one draw.

  • Both teams are under new management this year. John Kiely leads the Treatymen into the championship for the first time while Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor take charge of the Banner.
  • The only draw between Clare and Limerick in 54 championship games was in 1970. A Munster quarter tie in Thurles ended on a Limerick 3-9 Clare 2-12 scoreline. Limerick won the replay by 1-10 to 0-4 in Limerick.  
  • Clare have reached only one Munster final (2008 when they lost to Tipperary) since the start of the new Millennium.