Antrim v Tyrone, Athletic Grounds, 6pm

Fermanagh v Donegal, Brewster Park, 2pm  

Live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App from 5.30pm on Saturday and 1.30pm on Sunday .

Live updates on Antrim v Tyrone, Saturday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1 from Sean Perry. Live commentary on Fermanagh v Donegal from Brian Carthy and Dessie Dolan on Sunday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1.  

BBC2 Northern Ireland will have live coverage of both quarter-finals. Also live overseas on GAAGO

Highlights of all the weekend’s action on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2 Television and the RTÉ Player form 9.30pm.

Saturday will be mild and humid with good deal of cloud and a little patchy light rain or drizzle at times. There'll be some bright or sunny intervals also. Highest temperatures of 16 to 19 or 20 degrees with light to moderate westerly breezes.

On Sunday morning, rain will clear eastwards. The rest of the day will be fresh and bright with sunny spells. Some showers will develop in Connacht and Ulster in the afternoon and evening. Highest temperatures of 14 to 18 degrees with moderate to fresh west to northwest breezes.

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Saffrons hindered by absenteeism

Lenny Harbinson

It was a case of Antrim being the best of the rest behind Derry and Leitrim in Division 4 of this year's league. Three wins out of seven was as good as it got for Lenny Harbinson's side.

And now they face Tyrone. It's a big ask, made more difficult by the fact that up to 16 players, who would normally be on the panel, are absent.

The manager has made no secret of the fact that Antrim's stock won't rise until they escape from Division 4. 

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "You need to be up around Division 2 and you need to be there for a number of years because you are playing against a better calibre of footballer and stronger counties and that challenges both the individual and collective of the team.

"Until we get there, in my view, it's going to be very difficult to compete in Ulster."

It's not that long ago since Antrim football was cutting a dash. In 2009, the county got to an Ulster final, while the following year saw Harbinson guide St Gall's to an All-Ireland club title. And then in 2012, the Saffrons surprised Galway in the qualifiers.

Tyrone in good shape despite recent scare

Tyrone were forced to put on a bit of a spurt to get past Derry a fortnight ago. 

A late Darren McCurry goal and seven Cathal McShane points helped the Red Hands over the line, but at one stage they found themselves in a dangerous place, after a brilliant Shane McGuigan goal had helped the Oakleafers take a shock lead.

After Ronan O'Neill, Lee Brennan this week decided that fighting for a place on the Red Hand side was not for him. 

The league saw Mickey Harte's get much joy out of the long ball in and the manager, it would seem, feels Cathal McShane and Mattie Donnelly are best equipped to cause the most damage in there.

The duo were to the fore as Tyrone finished the league strongly and were close to getting to a top-tier final.

RTÉ analyst Kevin McStay was impressed with what Tyrone have been serving up of late.

He said: "I think there's a lot of football in them. There is no doubt they are beginning to develop a serious offensive edge.

"It's buttressed by the fact that they have an awful lot of good footballers, lads that are very comfortable on the ball who can move it at pace.

"There is massive athleticism throughout the team and that eventually will come to the fore.

"Once they have got the balance of their defence and transition game and are able to attack faster and longer, they'll be a serious outfit.

"We saw the long, early ball used to good effect against Dublin and Tyrone will look to develop that even more."


2010: Tyrone 2-14 Antrim 1-13 (Ulster quarter-final)
2009: Tyrone 1-18 Antrim 0-15 (Ulster final)
1993: Tyrone 1-17 Antrim 1-09 (Ulster semi-final)
1988: Tyrone 3-13 Antrim 2-04 (Ulster quater-final)
1987: Tyrone 2-06 Antrim 2-05 (Ulster quarter-final replay)

Antrim or Tyrone will play the winners of the other quarter-final, which is a repeat of the final last year which Donegal won in a canter. Fermanagh, after getting that far, failed to fire and they didn't offer much subsequently against Kildare in the qualifiers.

A new season dawned and many expected Rory Gallagher's side to struggle in Division 2. Far from it. They were still in the promotion hunt on the final day and defeated Sunday's opponents by three points in Round 4.

Fermanagh, by virtue of playing better opposition heading into the championship than was the case this time last year, should be well primed for this battle.

Once the draw was made last October, minds were fixed on Donegal and the sense that they did not do themselves justice in Clones last June.

Donegal in a good place

Declan Bonner's side ultimately went on to win the Division 2 title at the end of March, coming from eight points down early on to defeat Meath.

They were very good once they got going, with Michael Murphy leading the fightback.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Ulster SFC quarter-final, Ryan McHugh summed up Murphy's worth to the reigning provincial champions' cause.

He told RTÉ GAA correspondent Brian Carthy: "Michael really stepped up to the plate that day against Meath, as he has done numerous, numerous times.

"Michael is a phenomenal person, a phenomenal leader and a phenomenal footballer. Donegal are extremely lucky to have him."

With Patrick McBrearty back from injury and newcomers Stephen McMenamin, Brendan McCole, Caolan McGonagle and Oisin Gallen making their mark in the league, the 2012 All-Ireland winners can look forward to the weeks ahead with some relish.   

They want a crack at Tyrone - a third successive championship defeat at the hands of Mickey Harte's would hurt.

Fermanagh will present a tough challenge - but a challenge that this side should embrace.

Like Tyrone, Donegal can win Ulster. Both of them also have their sights reaching an All-Ireland final. 


2018: Donegal 2-18 Fermanagh 0-12
2016: Donegal 2-12 Fermanagh 0-11
2006: Donegal 0-11 Fermanagh 0-08
2004: Fermanagh 1-10 donegal 0-12 (AI qualifier - round 4)
2003: Fermanagh 0-10 Donegal (Ulster quarter-final)