It's the final round of regular games in the Joe McDonagh Cup and much remains to be decided.

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SATURDAY

Meath v Laois, Pairc Tailteann, 3pm

It's hard to imagine many Laois fans would have believed a month ago you if you told them the prize on the line for their fifth game would be avoiding automatic relegation.

But that's their fate after a miserably disappointing campaign.

The loser of this one goes straight down to the Christy Ring next year and the winner will most likely play the victors of that tournament as the Joe McDonagh slims down to five teams in 2019.

Laois could avoid the play-off and finish fourth if Antrim were to lose to Kerry, however, as they have head-to-head advantage over the Ulstermen. 

Laois have named an unchanged side despite a heavy defeat to Carlow last time out.

Laois: Enda Rowland; Joe Phelan, Leigh Bergin, Podge Lawlor; Colm Stapleton, Matthew Whelan, Ryan Mullaney; Patrick Purcell, James Ryan; Ciaran Comerford, Ben Conroy, Willie Dunphy; Stephen Maher, Neil Foyle, Cian Taylor.



Carlow v Westmeath, Netwatch Cullen Park, 3pm

Westmeath are already guaranteed a place in the final after winning their first four games.

They travel to Carlow, who will join them in the decider with a draw or a win.

Speaking to RTÉ earlier this week, Westmeath boss Michael Ryan suggested changes with one eye on the final might be in store, saying: "To play four games in a row is absolutely savage and bordering on ridiculous. If you get an injury now, you could miss the entire Championship. That can't be right.

"A week or two would make a big difference. Players should never have to play three weeks in a row."

Antrim v Kerry, Cushendall, 3pm

Antrim host Kerry while hoping that Westmeath do them a favour further south.

A win for the Lake County and victory for the Saffrons would put Antrim into the final ahead of Carlow on the head to head.

Kerry don't have a lot to play for except pride. They lost to Carlow on the opening weekend so can't catch them and are safe from the relegation spots thanks to their victory over Laois.

The Saffrons bring in Keelan Molloy for James McNaughton at midfield and Donal McKinley for Eddie McCloskey up front.

Antrim: Ryan Elliott; Arron Graffin, John Dillon, Conor McKinley (capt); Paddy Burke, Simon McCrory,David Kearney; Keelan Molloy, Eoghan Campbell; Donal McKinley, Neil McManus, Nigel Elliott; Conor Johnston, Conor McCann, Ciaran Clarke.

Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups

Saturday 9 June
Christy Ring Cup semi-final

London v Wicklow, Netwatch Cullen Park, 12.30pm

Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals
Warwickshire v Tyrone, Dowdallshill, Dundalk, 1pm
Donegal v Monaghan, Owenbeg, 1pm

Nicky Rackard Cup relegation play-off
Louth v Leitrim, Cusack Park, Mullingar, 4.30pm

Lory Meagher Cup round 3
Fermanagh v Lancashire, Brewster Park, 1pm
Sligo v Cavan, Markievicz Park, 1pm

Sunday 10 June
Christy Ring Cup semi-final

Kildare v Derry, Inniskeen, 4pm

Follow the Championship action this weekend with dedicated hurling and football live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, exclusive national commentary on RTÉ Radio 1. Watch Tipperary v Clare in Munster SHC and Dublin v Longford in Leinster SFC live on RTÉ2 from 1.30pm Sunday.