ALL-IRELAND SFC SEMI-FINALS
SATURDAY 5 DECEMBER
Dublin v Cavan, Croke Park, 5.30pm
SUNDAY 6 December
Mayo v Tipperary, Croke Park, 3.30pm
Live blogs on RTE.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, video highlights on social media.
RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player will have live coverage of both of this weekend's semi-finals, as will Sky Sports. Viewers outside Ireland can access the games on GAAGO.
There will be full highlights of both games on The Sunday Game, RTÉ2, at 9.30.
Live commentary of both games on Saturday Sport and Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.
Saturday: The hope is that showers will have cleared the Dublin area by throw-in. Otherwise, a dry evening is forecast, with moderate north to northeast winds continuing to slacken. It will be cold as evidenced by temperatures just a few degrees above zero.
Sunday: Mainly dry with sunny spells but there is a chance that frost and fog may linger in some areas for much of the day. Maximum temperatures 3 to 6 degrees, light variable winds or calm conditions. For more go to met.ie
Upended year throws up intriguing last-four pairings
We expected Dublin to get this far. Mayo, along with Galway and Roscommon were the contenders in Connacht, with the Green and Red getting past their rivals to end a five-year wait for a title.
In Ulster, all eyes in advance were fixed on the meeting of Donegal-Tyrone at the quarter-final stage. The winner of that, we assumed would go on to claim the Anglo Celt Cup. Donegal survived a tight contest in the rain. On the other side of the draw, Cavan were jumping their hurdles, producing storming finishes after slow starts to reach the decider.
Not many gave the Breffni a chance. Okay, it may not be as one-sided as the 2019 final, but Donegal's class would surely see them over the line. Not to be. Cavan came out if the traps well and crucially finished strongly to leave Donegal not quite in a crumbled heap, but out-thought and so deflated come the final whistle.
And so to Munster. Kerry people are still wondering how they let things slip against the Rebels on Leeside. It wasn't supposed to end this way for a squad with designs on scuppering the Dubs' quest for a sixth All-Ireland on the trot.
Limerick will feel that they should have ended Tipperary's interest at the semi-final stage. Conor Sweeney's late leveller past the 70th minute a thing of beauty amid the November gloom. Tipp has their noses in front when it mattered most after extra-time.
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On the weekend to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, perhaps it was fitting that the Premier kitted out in replica jerseys from that day in 1920, should emerge victorious. Cork, we thought were a bit more progressive in their line-up, but in truth they played second fiddle for the most part. Tipperary, the deserving winners.
As was the case 100 years ago, the semi-final pairings are identical. Because of the War of Independence, the 1920 All-Ireland final did not place until June 1922. Tipperary and Dublin would contest the decider, their first meeting since the events of Bloody Sunday. The Premier prevailed on a 1-06 to 1-02 scoreline.
A tall order
Their march to winning Ulster should see Cavan battle-hardened to some degree as they look to unsettle the Dubs. The prevailing view is that the Breffni will bring an intensity that Westmeath, Laois or Meath could not offer up when they faced the Blue and Navy. Let's hope they do. Not conceding an early goal would also help their cause.
Against Donegal, the Breffni expertly cut down the space when their opponents approached the scoring zone. In truth, they frustrated the life out Donegal the longer the game went on, with Killian Brady nullifying the threat of Michael Murphy.
The attacking surge led by Gearoid McKiernan, James Smith and Thomas Galligan eventually reaped a scoring dividend. Boss Mickey Graham must decide whether to start Conor Madden, who contributed 1-02 the last day as a sub. In defence Padraig Faulkener and Killian Brady offer stout resistance and may be tasked with keeping tabs on Con O'Callaghan and Ciarán Kilkenny.
The cold facts are that Cavan, while trying to impose their own game, now face an opponent where Dessie Farrell has added more potency to the mix. Seán Bugler and Robbie McDaid are new names who haver integrated seamlessly, while there is an array of star quality that could be sprung from the bench.
A testing evening in store for the Cavan boys and one where a decent start is vital.
The sides meet in the championship for the first time since 1942 when Dublin won an All-Ireland semi-final by three points. That was the counties' fourth championship clash, with the Dubs victorious in the previous encounters.
Their last competitive clash was in the 2019 Allianz League when Dublin won by 1-16 to 1-10 in Kingspan Breffni Park.
A lot to enthuse about in the second semi
Just like 2016, Mayo are favourites to get the job done against Tipperary at the semi-final stage. The Green and Red weren't overly impressive in getting the victory some four years ago, just as they were against Galway in the Connacht final.
It was a bit of a dogfight in Salthill three weeks ago. Galway did their homework in ensuring that Aidan O'Shea, Cillian O'Connor and Tommy Conroy did not find the room to cause havoc, as was the caser in the league. As a result Mayo benefitted from the runs of Lee Keegan and Eoghan McLaughlin. More space at Croke Park will suit them.
The Green and Red will have to improve on their accuracy in front of the posts. A number of chances werer spurned against both Roscommon and Galway.
A view prior to this game is that Tipperary can get success in the midfield area and in winning the breaking ball. Mayo will be ravenous than Cork were the last day in fighting for the scraps but Colin O'Riordan and Liam Casey will be up for the fight.
Tipp scored 0-17 to win the Munster final, a combined total of 0-12 came from Michael Quinlivan and Conor Sweeney. Prodigious talents both, but others chipping in with more scores would lessen the load.
Mayo have introduced new faces to compliment the old guard, while Tipperary are again delivering on a promise to yield tangible returns from underage success.
The ingredients are right for a rip-roaring contest.
Mayo and Tipperary last met in a competitive game in 2018 when the Connacht side prevailed in a Round 2 All-Ireland qualifier. This will be the sixth championship clash between them, with Mayo enjoying three victories. .