SATURDAY 12 JUNE
Allianz FL Division 1 semi-finals
Kerry v Tyrone, Fitzgerald Stadium, 5pm
Donegal v Dublin, Kingspan Breffni, 7.15pm
Allianz FL Division 2 relegation play-off
Cork v Westmeath, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 2pm
Down v Laois, Páirc Esler, 6.15pm
Allianz FL Division 3 semi-finals
Derry v Limerick, Avantcard Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, 4pm
Offaly v Fermanagh, Bord na Móna O'Connor Park, 6pm
Allianz FL Division 3 relegation play-off
Cavan v Wicklow, Páirc Tailteann, 2pm
Allianz FL Division 4 semi-final
Carlow v Louth, Netwatch Dr Cullen Park, 4pm
Live blogs on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app.
Live commentaries on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.
Live coverage of Kerry v Tyrone and Donegal v Dublin on TG4 from 4.30pm. All games are available to watch live on GAAGO.
Highlights on Allianz League Sunday, RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, 9.30pm.
Mostly or completely dry, with the best of the sunshine in the east and south. It will be cloudier in the west and north, with a very slight chance of a few spots of drizzle on north and northwest coasts. Warm in most areas, especially in the east and south, with temperatures of 20 to 23 degrees, but cooler in Atlantic coastal areas, with highs of 15 to 18 degrees. Winds mostly light westerly, but moderate south to southwest winds on Atlantic coasts. For more, go to met.ie.
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Much to get excited about in spite of no proper ending
The championship is looming, but before all that there is a small bit of business for some counties. Business that involves getting promoted and not being relegated. That's what this weekend is essentially all about. Yes, the Division 1 semi-finals on paper are eye-catching, and with the weather set to be fair there is no reason to suggest that both games will have a champion feel off them. Wins for Tyrone and Dublin would see a top-tier decider.
At this remove, there is the likelihood that three of the quartet will contest the All-Ireland semi-finals in August.
Much has been said about the absence of finals across the divisions this year. (Wins for Derry and Fermanagh in Division 3 would see a conclusion there). It's funny that it has garnered so much attention in that it was well publicised in advance that no deciders would take place if teams involved were playing in the championship a week later. Is it an Irish thing, or is it something particular to the GAA, that heckles have to be raised long after the horse has bolted?
In an ideal world, we would have had finals across the divisions in 2021, another game to fine-tune ahead of summer combat. If only the league had started on the Easter weekend! Time does not permit the playing of such games, bonus games you would have to say for making the jump.
Today's action in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 has a lot riding on it; teams daring to look up again, others fearful of unfamiliar territory when things resume in 2022.
With hurling now asking itself questions it never thought it would, football has been free of such self-analysis. Games have been free-flowing, raising the prospect of of something to relish when the cut and thrust of championship begins. More than a few games this weekend to whet the appetite.
Will more fuel be added to a modern-day rivalry?
Another test for Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher as Tyrone head south to take on Kerry. Signs of a new approach with the Red Hand are clearly evident - less hand-passing in trying to execute set plays and more kick passing - will be welcomed. Kerry, on the other hand, remain a joy to watch when in full flow, with David Clifford amassing a whopping 5-16 in three games so far. Still, there are doubts about their defence.
Kerry-Tyrone games have since that August day in 2003 have never lacked for spikiness. In their league meeting in 2020, a player from each side was sent off, and it remains a mystery as to what David Clifford did to see red.
It's the first league semi-final between the counties since 1974.
Donegal battled back well to force a draw against Armagh a fortnight, so preserving their top-flight status. With their Ulster opener against Down a fortnight away, the focus for Declan Bonner's side, not surprisingly, will have switched to championship mode.
Beating Down, Derry, and possibly Tyrone, is a tall enough order to get to a provincial final. Michael Muphy will again be absent, but the return of Stephen McMenamin, following injury, and Odhrán Mac Niallais's being back in the panel is a boost.
Donegal last beat Dublin in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final but haven't beaten them in the league since 2007.
Midland duo under pressure in Div 2 relegation scraps
No wins for Westmeath in Division 2 South, but an average losing margin of 2.5 underlines their competitiveness. A trip to face Cork on Leeside won't be easy, with the Rebels disappointed that they didn't put more on the scorebaord against Clare and so avoid this do-or-die encounter.
Ronan McCarthy's side are trying to avoid a swift return Division 3, while Westmeath were last in the third tier in 2015. This will be the first league meeting between the counties since 2014.
Laois' losing run from their three relegation games averaged over nine points and they were a well beaten docket against Kildare the last day. Gary Walsh's return of 1-05, the only bright spot for the O'Mooremen, who now face an away trip against Down.
Paddy Tally's men held their nerve to get a timely win over Westmeath, and will want to avoid dropping out of the division ahead of a provincial opener against Donegal.
Competitive third tier escape jousts
Derry blazed a hot trail to the semi-finals, winning all three games by a combined total of 35 points. They are bidding to return to Division 2 for the first time since 2017. Limerick were last in the league's top 16 in 2007.
Rory Gallagher seems to have the Oakleafmen stirring again, with more than a few analysts commenting on how fit the side are. The seeds, perhaps, were there last year, with Derry giving Armagh their fill of it in the Ulster quarter-final.
On the side's progress, Oisin McConville recently told the RTÉ GAA Podcast: "I think the biggest thing for a lot of teams as you go down the divisions is first of all, getting the people in the dressing room that you really want in the dressing room.
"For the first time in a while they have that. They have buy-in. The Slaughtneil boys are all in. They've by-passed the hurling.
"I watched them against Armagh in the championship last year and they weren't a million miles away. They have refined a little bit. They have the stingiest defence - which you would expect - but they're putting the scores up.
Relive Derry's five goals from yesterday’s #AllianzLeagues win over Fermanagh in Owenbeg. Ethan Doherty, Gareth McKinless, Niall Toner and Shane McGuigan (twice) on target ?? pic.twitter.com/aWOcydbhBK— Derry GAA (@Doiregaa) May 23, 2021
"We've been talking about trying to marry those things. That is obviously a little bit easier in Division 3 - let's call a spade a spade.
"But the biggest thing is he (Gallagher) has everybody he wants and everyone is buying into what he's selling."
Limerick are chasing a second consecutive promotion after winning Division 4 in 2020.
Elsewhere, Offaly play host to Fermanagh. The Faithful have been in Division 3 since 2016 and haven't been in the top 16 since 2006, the year they got to a Leinster final. Fermanagh were last in Division 2 in 2019.
Offaly boss John Maughan, while acknowledging that his team is having difficulty winning kickouts from primary possession, is feeling good vibes at the moment - well justified on the back of deserved wins over Wicklow, Limerick and Tipperary.
He told RTÉ Sport: "We're on to something in the county. The Shane Lowry news the last few weeks, the hurlers, footballers, ladies’ footballers and camogie players - there is great positivity there. Two minor teams in Leinster finals. The spirit is good in the county."
Fermanagh's draw against Longford last week was enough to secure a semi-final berth, part of a mixed campaign where they edged Cavan by a point but suffered a 19-point reverse to Derry.
Elsewhere in Division 3, Cavan, after last autumn's glory, will be favoured to preserve their status against Wicklow at Páirc Tailteann.
Finally in Division 4, Mickey Harte's Louth, who twice in recent games benefitted from second-half surges to beat Leitrim and Sligo, take on Carlow at Cullen Park, with promotion on the line for both.
Paul Broderick and Sam Mulroy are likely to lead the scoring charge here.