SATURDAY

Christy Ring Cup final
Down v Meath, Croke Park, 2pm

Lory Meagher Cup final
Lancashire v Leitrim, Croke Park, 12pm

Nicky Rackard Cup final
Armagh v Sligo, Croke Park, 4pm

TV
Highlights on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2, and the RTÉ Player, at 9.30pm on Sunday night.

ONLINE
The finals are all being streamed live on TG4
Match reports on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App. 

RADIO
Updates on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.

WEATHER
Dry with spells of sunshine. Highest temperatures 16 to 19 degrees Celsius. Breezes will be from a southeast direction and moderate in strength. For more, head to met.ie.

There's a feast of hurling in store at Croke Park on Saturday as the tier three (Christy Ring), four (Nicky Rackard) and five (Lory Meagher) trophies are all up for grabs.

Promotion is also on the line in all three finals. Last year's Ring winners Kildare had to contest a play-off, which they lost against Antrim, but this year's champions will be automatically promoted to the Joe McDonagh Cup to replace double relegated Offaly.

Donegal drop down to the Rackard Cup next year after their play-off defeat to London and Armagh or Sligo will take their place in the Christy Ring in 2020.

Lancashire or Leitrim are vying to replace Louth in the Rackard. There is no relegation from the four-team Meagher Cup competition.

The Christy Ring Cup is the main event of the day and would therefore traditionally be the last game on the programme, but the GAA have arranged the throw-in times to try and allow fans to also attend their counties respective All-Ireland football qualifiers.

That hasn't gone down well with Mayo football fans who face a late drive home from Newry but should at least allow Down fans to cheer on their heroes in both codes. Likewise, Leitrim supporters could get to Carrick on Shannon after their midday throw-in at Croker, but Armagh followers might need a helicopter to make it Clones by 6pm.

Give me a Ring

Meath are back in the Christy Ring final for the first time since their dramatic victory over Antrim in 2016.

You might recall that Meath collected the cup the first day before it emerged that the score had been miscalculated and the match had actually ended a draw.

The Royals put that disappointment behind them to win the refixture in an extra-time thriller and claim the trophy for what was technically the first time.

Meath contested the Leinster SHC qualifiers in 2017, beating Kerry and losing to Westmeath and Laois, and were relegated from the Joe McDonagh Cup last year after losing all five games.

They have earned the chance to bounce straight back up however, winning all three of their Group 2 games - against London, last year's winners Kildare, and Roscommon, before beating Derry by nine in the semi-finals.

Manager Nicky Fitzgerald has named the same starting XV that got the better of Derry. Down make one change, Danny Toner coming in for Conor O'Prey at right half-forward.

Down won their only Ring tile 2013 but were denied a chance at promotion as the GAA were among a reorganisation that reduced the number of teams competing for Liam MacCarthy.

They started the campaign with a nine-point defeat to Derry but have won every game since. Victories over Wicklow and Donegal helped them to top Group 1 on points difference and they were 3-18 to 1-15 victors over Roscommon in the last four.

Meath are many people's favourites but they will have to be a wary of Down's goal threat - the Mourne have found the net 13 times in four games compared to just seven for Meath. The Sands siblings Daithi and Eoghan haved raised 11 of those green flags between them from the full-forward line.

"We know in our camp that we can do it," defender Caolan Taggart told GAA.ie this week.

"We're flying fit at the minute and we have forwards who can do damage. They're young, fit, quick. All we need to do is get the ball to them and they'll do the rest."

Meath: Shane McGann; Ger Murphy, Darragh Kelly, Shane Whitty; Shane Brennan, Keith Keoghan, James Kelly; Sean Geraghty, Cathal McCabe; Damien Healy, Barry Slevin, Jack Regan; Gavin McGowan, Alan Douglas, Adam Gannon.

Armagh aim to end losing streak

Armagh's Dean Gaffney (L) with James Weir of Sligo

The Rackard decider is an intriguing proposition. Sligo have come through the group stage and semi-finals to make the big day in their first year back at this level.

They beat Lancashire with a last-gasp goal from hat-trick hero Kevin Gilmartin in last year's Lory Meagher final and will hope he can produce something similar on the big stage again to secure back to promotions.

Gilmartin has 2-1 in the bank so far with dual-star Gerard O'Kelly-Lynch (3-8) and freetaker Keith Raymond (1-13) leading the way with scores from play.

Sligo beat Louth, Tyrone and Mayo in the group stage and were four points better than last year's runners-up Warwickshire in the semis.

The Yeats County have won the Rackard Cup just once, back in 2008. Standing in their way are two-time winners and frequent finalists Armagh.

The Orchard County lost three finals in a row, from 2015-2017, but have battled their way back for another shot at redemption.

Armagh qualified for the last four through wins over Monaghan and Longford, either side of a draw with Warwickshire. A comfortable 12-point victory over neighbours Tyrone booked their place in the final.

Danny Magee (2-7) and Eoin McGuinness (1-7) are among their chief scoring threats.

Lancashire's Edmond Kenny with Declan Molloy of Leitrim

Second chance Saturday

Twelve months on from the heartbreak of that final defeat to Sligo, Lancashire are ready to go again. Not bad for a team that only joined the Championship in 2015.

Manager Stan Murray-Hession, a Dublin native told RTÉ Sport this week: "We try to punch above our weight and being back in the final is phenomenal.

"We've had a good few players go out, we probably lose six or seven players each year, it’s a transient situation. Players come in and players go out.

"It’s an opportunity to showcase the county and maybe bring in one or two players. Maybe one day we’ll get to the point where we will win this.

"To be in an All-Ireland final in Croke Park is a huge privilege for us. It’s a great day out and what happens after that doesn’t really matter."

Having also lost a Meagher final to Warwickshire in 2017, Leitrim boss Martin Cunniffe is more focused on silverware than the experience of playing at HQ however.

"The main thing about this game is winning it. It is grand going to Croke Park but if you don't win, it is a very sad place," he told the Leitrim Observer.

"It was a sad place for me the last time because that evening, the phone started ringing and didn’t stop ringing for a few days, telling me I should have done this and I should have done that."

"It will stand to us, the majority of the lads will have played there except the seven or eight lads who have come on but we’re not playing any of them. They have been there and they are pushing the older lads."

The Exiles got the better of Leitrim by two points (0-20 to 1-15) when the sides met in Manchester in the group stages, a result that Leitrim threatened to appeal due to the match referee being the only independent official sent by the GAA.

The sides met in the Division 3B final in 2018 when Lancashire were 1-25 to 1-18 winners after extra-time.