SATURDAY 10 JULY
MUNSTER SFC SEMI-FINALS
Cork v Limerick, LIT Gaelic Grounds, 3pm
Tipperary v Kerry, Semple Stadium, 7pm
Live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app.
Limerick v Cork live on GAAGO. Tipperary v Kerry live on Sky Sports. Viewers outside of Ireland can watch on GAAGO.
Highlights of all the weekend's championship action on The Sunday Game, RTE One and RTÉ Player from 9.30pm.
Live coverage on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.
Saturday will start off mostly cloudy, but will brighten up with sunny spells and scattered showers, some of them possibly heavy in the late afternoon and evening. Warm with highest temperatures of 18 to 21 degrees and light breezes. For more go to met.ie.
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From November to now - Tipp's contrasting fortunes
With no qualifiers this summer in the football championship, it's all on a given day. Tipperary will just have to give it a real lash this evening against the Kingdom. Sunday, 22 November last was a day to rejoice for the blue and gold as they ended an 85-year wait for a Munster title. Their success over Cork was well deserved on a weekend where the centenary of Bloody Sunday was marked.
And then the new season dawned. Could Tipp escape from Division 3? Build on the momentum. A scrappy win over Wicklow at home was the best they could serve up during the month of May. A defeat to Longford on 13 June saw them drop down to the bottom tier.
Yes, it really happened. Already, some focus has to be on an immediate promotion next spring. Before that, David Power's side will look to show some of the grit and character that propelled them to glory some 32 weeks ago.
Reports are that training has gone well, with recent challange matches against Laois and Cork resulting in narrow defeats. Those games saw Bill Maher and Robbie Kiely get valuable game time. Former U21 hurling star Conor Bowe has thrown his hat in with the footballers this season, while recruiting former Dublin footballer Philly Ryan was another notable move by Power earlier in the year.
Tipperary are better than the form they showed throughout the league. Too many turnovers undermined their ambition and any continuation will be punished severly by the Kingdom.
Power only knows too well the magnitude of the task facing his side against oppostion who have real intent to win two titles this summer. That said, he is confident his troops can give Kerry a genuine test.
He told tipperarylive.ie: "It looks like Kerry are on a mission and want to beat everyone in Munster, they can't beat them by enough it seems. But at the same time they have yet to be tested. And during the course of any championship, every team will have a game where it does not all go their way for them, and that’s what I am saying to you.
"If we can get a performance who knows, we’re in Thurles, there will be some bit of a crowd there, 500 or whatever it’s going to be. At the end of the day we are defending Munster champions and we have to make sure that we put in that performance. We have something to prove now, the league hasn’t gone our way so this is a game that we need to perform to show the people of Tipperary that this is a good team."
Another stepping stone towards August
Clare, as you would expect, were gutsy against Kerry in the quarter-final. A 17-point defeat, perhaps a little hard on Colm Collins' troops.
Goals had been Kerry's open secret through the recent League campaign – they scored 13 in four games – and they kept the green flags flying in Fitzgerald Stadium as they inflicted three on the Banner.
Conceding 1-11 was another indicator that defensively Kerry are standing firm in that regard. They kept faith with Kieran Fitzgibbon in goal and Mike Breen in the half back line, and both players performed very well on their championship debuts.
We all know about Kerry's attacking threat. Between them Sean O'Shea and David Clifford racked up 2-13 against Clare. Micheál Burns and Killian Spillane came off the bench and chipped in with fine scores. Former Kingdom centre-forward and now Kingdom U-20 manager, Declan O'Sulivan, likes what he's seeing so far.
He told RTÉ Sport: "The side are going quite well at the moment and the management have to be happy.
Big challenges lie ahead, though last year taught them a valuable lesson in that you can't look too far ahead.
"They came back this year with a renewed purpose to concentrate on each game. The Dublin game in the league was key and while they struggled for ten to 15 minutes, they did perform at a high level. They should be relatively happy.
"The overall strength and depth of the squad has developed. You had a really strong subs bench against Clare which adds energy. I think they have definitely developed since last year. You can also see great conditioning from some of the younger guys that have come through from minor. They are developing into men now. The break from last year allowed them to concentrate on all the development and conditioning work."
The big pitch at Semple Stadium will suit Kerry's game. They will look to chalk up a big score. Another step on the way to atoning for last year's provincial mishap. Another step closer to gracing an even bigger pitch come August.
Improving Treaty won't fear Rebel yell
On paper, the Limerick-Cork clash should be competitive for the most part. We thought the same two years ago at this stage only for the Rebels to blow the Treaty away by 22 points. That was the start of a Cork renaissance that saw them push Kerry hard in the Munster final and then sticking the Dubs in the Super 8s.
Last winter they were favourites to beat Tipperary in the provincial decider after clearing the decks with that last-gasp win over Kerry. However, they didn't raise their game enough to deny the blue and gold. An opportunity lost to win silverware - and that door could be shut for some time.
Promotion to the league's top flight did not happen in May. Failure to put more on the board against Clare in the concluding round left Cork short. They did, however, chalk up a high score against Westmeath in the relegation paly-off in what was a rip-roaring contest on Leeside.
Manager Ronan McCarthy hands championship debuts to Daniel O'Mahony at full-back and to Brian Hartnett of Dan Dineen in attack. Nine of the team that started against Tipperary last November will feature at the Gaelic Grounds.
Limerick had a decent league campaign and found Derry just too good in their quest to reach Division 2.
They head into this game on the back of a thumping win over Waterford. Coach Billy Lee sees no reason to change the side. The Bourke brothers, Robbie and Hugh, contributed 2-08 of the 4-18 total against the Déise, with Iain Corbett and Cillian Fahy also among the goals.
Things have improved for Limerick since that mauling by Cork in 2019. Last year Conor Sweeney's wonder- strike denied them a place in the final. They certainly won't fear Cork. In his weekend preview on these pages, Tomás O Sé said: "It's a free shot for Limerick; the pressure is all on Cork". Not sure whether it's a free shot for the Treaty. They will feel this game is much more than that.