Football takes centre stage this weekend with Leinster and Ulster final places up for grabs and the last four spots in the second round of the qualifiers set to be filled.


Ulster SFC semi-final
1900 Down v Monaghan, Athletic Grounds

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1B
1500 Limerick v Wexford, Gaelic Grounds

SUNDAY June 25

Leinster SFC semi-final
1600 Dublin v Westmeath, Croke Park

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1B
1830 Offaly v Cavan, Tullamore
1830 Armagh v Fermanagh, Athletic Grounds
1300 London v Carlow, Ruislip, 1pm

All-Ireland SHC preliminary round
1530 Carlow v Laois, O'Moore Park

Live blog on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App from 1500 on Saturday and 1300 on Sunday. 

Saturday: Down v Monaghan live on RTÉ One from 1830 and on BBC Two NI from 1850
Sunday: Dublin v Westmeath live on RTÉ2 from 1540
Highlights of all the weekend's action on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2 from 2130

Live games also available on GAAGO

Saturday: Live commentary on Limerick v Wexford and Monaghan v Fermanagh on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.

Sunday: Live commentary on Dublin v Westmeath on Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1, with updates on the day's other games. 

Monday: Draw for round 2A of the football qualifiers and round 1 of the hurling qualifiers on RTÉ Radio 1 Morning Ireland at 8.35am

Saturday will be a bright, breezy day with sunny spells. It will be dry apart from a few showers in northern areas. Highest temperatures of 14 to 18 degrees with mostly moderate westerly breezes, but fresher in the north. 

On Sunday, a dry bright start with sunny spells. But rain will develop in the southwest by lunchtime and will spread up over Munster and Leinster later in the afternoon and evening and to all areas overnight. Highest temperatures of 14 to 18 degrees with light southerly breezes.

Unstoppable Dubs?

All-Ireland champions Dublin and Westmeath meet for the third successive year in the Leinster championship on Sunday.

The last two encounters have been one-sided final victories for the Dubs (15 points in 2016 and 13 in 2015) as Jim Gavin's side racked up their fifth and sixth provincial titles in a row.

Westmeath have proven to be somewhat of a championship team in recent times, reaching those finals while sliding from Division 1 to Division 4 of the Allianz Football League.

They won promotion from the bottom tier in the spring and manager Tom Cribbin insists that his side will "give it a go" at Croke Park but Dublin have lost only one game in Leinster since 2005.

Anything other than a win for the All-Ireland champions to set up a final date with Kildare on July 16 would be among the all-time Championship shocks.

  • Westmeath are bidding to reach the Leinster final for a third successive season, something they have never previously achieved.
  • Dublin beat Carlow (0-19 to 0-7) in the quarter-final. Westmeath drew with Offaly (0-10 each) and won the replay 3-17 to 0-15.

Down on the up

What a difference a few months can make. 

There was much hand-wringing in February after Down were well beaten in their opening Division 2 games against Fermanagh and Clare, stretching a winless streak in League and Championship to 14 games and almost two years.

Amid talk of internal tensions in the county, hopes were scant that the Mourne Men would retain their League status but victory over Meath next time out kickstarted their season and a draw with Cork on the final day kept them up. 

They followed that up with a first Championship victory over Armagh in 25 years earlier this month so spirits must be high as they aim to secure a first Ulster final spot since 2012.

Division 1 Monaghan are a different proposition however, and have calmly, if unspectacularly, dismantled Fermanagh and Cavan on their way to the semi-final.

They will fancy their chances against Tyrone if they make it to their fourth provincial decider in five years on July 16.

Monaghan beat Down by 2-22 to 0-09 in last year's Ulster quarter-final and though Saturday evening should be a much closer affair, it's hard to imagine a different result.

  • Monaghan are bidding to reach the Ulster final for the fourth time in five seasons, having won in 2013 and 2015 and lost in 2014.
  • Six counties - Armagh, Cavan, Derry, Donegal, Tyrone, Monaghan – have won the Ulster titles since Down were last successful in 1994


The final four games of round 1B of the qualifiers take place over the weekend. The winners will go into the pot to play Leitrim, Dublin/Westmeath, Tipperary or Down/Monaghan.

Limerick and Wexford are first up on Saturday afternoon.

Wexford won by 0-14 to 1-08 when the sides met in Division 4 in February but the wheels have fallen off since they secured promotion.

The Yellowbellies have lost their last four games, two heavy league defeats to Westmeath and a league and Championship loss to Carlow.

Limerick pushed Division 2 Clare to within a point in the Munster quarter-final and will fancy their chances at the Gaelic Grounds.

Carlow travel to London after exiting the Leinster championship with a 0-19 to 0-07 defeat to the all-conquering Dubs.

They'll be confident of extending their summer run, despite losing by five points at home to the same opposition in Division 4.

London pushed Leitrim close (3-10 to 0-16) in Connacht and will be aiming to secure a first Championship win at the newly rechristened McGovern Park in Ruislip.

Offaly and Cavan meet in the Championship for the first time since the 1969 All-Ireland semi-final, which the Faithful County won after a replay.

Offaly had less luck with replays against Westmeath last week, losing by 11 points after a gritty display first day out.

Cavan were relegated from Division 1 but gave Monaghan a good rattle, only losing by a goal, and will expect to account for their Division 3 opposition in Tullamore.

Armagh and Fermanagh face each other for the first time in the Championship since the 2010 qualifiers.

The Ernesiders finished bottom of Division 2 and nine points adrift of Monaghan in the Ulster preliminary round.

They look to be struggling to regain the form that took them to the All-Ireland quarter-finals two summers ago but won't fear an Armagh team who failed to shine against Down and have won just one Championship game in the last three seasons.

Orchard county manager Kieran McGeeney remains suspended as he serves the end of a 12-week ban for a verbal altercation with linesman Joe McQuillan during the Allianz Football League.

Lovely hurlin

There's just the one game in the hurling Championship this weekend as Laois face Christy Ring Cup winners Carlow on Sunday for a place in the first round of the All-Ireland SHC qualifiers.

That draw on Monday is already looking very tasty, with Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford and Dublin all involved and whoever wins this will have a tough task next day out against a beaten team from the Leinster championship.

Carlow racked up a huge score in beating Antrim in the Christy Ring (5-23 to 4-15) but Laois were competitive for long periods against Wexford before eventually losing by 14 and home advantage could tip the scales.