All-Ireland Hurling Preliminary quarter-final


Westmeath v Cork, TEG Cusack Park, 3pm.

Laois v Dublin, O'Moore Park, 4:15pm.


Highlights of both games on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2, and the RTÉ player, at 9.30 on Sunday night.


Live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App from 2.30pm on Sunday.


Listen to live national commentary on RTÉ Radio 1, nó as gaeilge ar RnaG.


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Can Laois build on their Joe McDonagh success?

So Laois' reward for winning the Joe McDonagh Cup is a clash with Dublin this weekend at O'Moore Park.

They looked impressive last week as they brushed Westmeath aside at Croke Park. Mark Kavanagh did well for them from open play, and from placed balls, and he was awarded the man of the match.

Stephen Bergin came off the bench to hit a goal, while Aaron Dunphy looked sharp notching 1-3, all from play.

Manager Eddie Brennan will need these players to find that form once more if they're to spring a surprise on Sunday afternoon.

Niall Corcoran, who hurled to Leinster and National League success with Dublin earlier this decade, is part of Brennan's backroom team, and he'll know the senior Dublin players inside and out.

Brennan will be looking for insight from former Dubs hurler Niall Corcoran (left)

The Dubs come into the game off the back of arguably their most significant championship win since Corcoran helped them to lift the Bob O'Keefe Cup back in 2013. After coming so close against Wexford (twice), Kilkenny, and Galway over the last two summers, they finally got one over on the Tribesmen at Parnell Park.

"These Dublin players would say they're tired of them moral victories," said Blues manager Mattie Kenny on the night. "They want to start getting real victories, and in fairness to them, they're after delivering that tonight."

Question marks remain over the fitness of Eoghan O'Donnell, who came off in the first-half of that win at Donnycarney, while Liam Rushe was also substituted before the end having missed the win over Carlow through injury. Neither has been named in the starting XV by Mattie Kenny.

In better news for Kenny, David Treacy declared himself fit this week, although Oisín O'Rorke looked very impressive the last day, hitting nine points, of which three were from play. He would rightly feel very hard done by if he wasn't retained on free-taking duties this weekend.

O'Donnell hasn't been named to start

"Laois played some great hurling in the competition (Joe McDonagh) this year," according to RTÉ GAA analyst Michael Duignan. "They will give Dublin a thing or two to think about on their own patch by way of a very adept forward division.

"However, I have been impressed by Dublin's power and pace this year, in truth I underestimated them at the start of the year. They have had solid form right through the Leinster championship.

"With 15, 20 minutes to go, you'll see Dublin stretching away after a fair fight from Laois."

Cork trying a different path to All-Ireland success

The other game sees Cork, Munster champions for in 2017 and 2018, head to Mullingar to take on Westmeath.

The midlanders come into the preliminary quarter-final as Joe McDonagh runners-up for the second year in a row. They were beaten by Wexford by 11 points at this stage last year, and turning things around will be a big challenge for Joe Quaid and his management team.

The front door didn't suit the Rebels in their last two campaigns, as they fell at the semi-final stage to Waterford and Limerick respectively. So the more low-profile backdoor route is their lot for 2019.

John Meyler during last year's All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Limerick

Which Cork will see for the remainder of the summer: the one which beat All-Ireland champions Limerick the first day, or the one that was subsequently beaten by Tipperary and Clare?

Whatever happens to them later in the month, Michael Duignan is not expecting an upset in this game.

"Cork's attack is very strong, and while there are still doubts about them at the back, they will have enough to comfortably see off Westmeath."

Where's the fairness for the Joe McDonagh winners?

The elephant in the room in regards to these two matches is the break. Dublin and Cork come in off three week gaps, while the Joe McDonagh finalists played only last Sunday.

And Eddie Brennan wasn't shying away from the issue when he spoke to RTÉ Sport this week.

"It's not easy in a six-day turnaround to face into that," said the Laois boss. "Ideally, you’d want longer than that to get focused and get zoned in.

A deflated Darragh Egerton of Westmeath after last Sunday's Joe McDonagh final defeat

"A lot of people have said that it is far from ideal and maybe there is an element of tokenism in it too. Dublin have been sitting there now for two or three weeks knowing that it was us or Westmeath so they’re going to be coming into the match very fresh and very hungry."

Michael Duignan says that the second tier final shouldn't clash with two provincial finals.

"I would be pushing the GAA to have the Joe McDonagh final before the Leinster and Munster finals, live on TV."

Whatever happens in that regard won't help Laois or Westmeath this weekend, but it's a discussion that should take place if we're to have any chance of a McDonagh county breakthrough.


Laois: Enda Rowland; Lee Cleere, Matthew Whelan, Joe Phelan; Jack Kelly, Ryan Mullaney, Padraig Delaney; John Lennon, Paddy Purcell; Aaron Dunphy, Mark Kavanagh, Stephen Maher; Willie Dunphy, Charles Dwyer, Ross King.

Dublin: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Shane Barrett, Cian Hendricken; Chris Crummey, Seán Moran, James Madden; Seán Treacy, Tom Connolly; Conal Keaney, Danny Sutcliffe, Cian Boland; Oisín O'Rorke, Ronan Hayes, Eamonn Dillon.

Cork: Anthony Nash; Stephen McDonnell, Eoin Cadogan, Niall O' Leary, Christopher Joyce; Mark Ellis, Mark Coleman; Bill Cooper, Tim O' Mahony; Conor Lehane, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Kingston; Alan Cadogan, Patrick Horgan, Seamus Harnedy.

Westmeath: Conor Lynch; Darragh Egerton, Tommy Doyle, Gary Greville; Liam Varley, Aonghus Clarke, Conor Shaw; Shane Clavin, John Gilligan; Joey Boyle, Killian Doyle, Cormac Boyle; Jack Galvin, Eoin Price, Robbie Greville.

Follow the All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-finals via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app or listen to live national commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 or RnaG. Highlights of both games on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player from 9.30pm.