TG4 ALL-IRELAND SFC SEMI-FINALS
SATURDAY 14 AUGUST
Dublin v Mayo, Croke Park, 3.45pm
SUNDAY 15 AUGUST
Cork v Meath, Croke Park, 3.30pm
Live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News app.
Live coverage on TG4 from 3.45pm on Saturday and from 1pm on Sunday. Highlights on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 9.30pm.
Live commentary on Saurday Sport and Sunday Sport from 2pm.
Saturday: Overcast skies will extend to most areas through the day, bringing outbreaks of rain and drizzle, heaviest later; hill and coastal fog in parts too. Parts of north Ulster may though remain fully dry. Highest temperatures of 15 to 18 or 19 degrees, in light to moderate southeasterly winds.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy to begin on Sunday with patchy outbreaks of rain and drizzle. It will brighten up as the day goes on with sunny spells and scattered showers, becoming isolated by evening. Highest temperatures of 17 to 21 degrees. Light variable breezes becoming light to moderate northwesterly. For more go to met.ie.
**TEAM SHEETS**@TG4TV All-Ireland SFC semi-finals— Ladies Football (@LadiesFootball) August 13, 2021
Both games at @CrokePark and live on TG4 https://t.co/Q8PsqK8a6y
Saturday@dublinladiesg v @Mayo_LGFA - 3.45pm
Sunday @CorkLGFA v @meathladiesMLGF - 3.30pm #ProperFan pic.twitter.com/gZv8XACDl4
Mayo eye an upset to derail Dublin's drive for five
It all started for Dublin against Mayo and the Sky Blues will hope that the journey continues against their opponents from the West.
In what was then a record 46,286 attendance for an All-Ireland decider in 2017, Dublin got the better of the Connacht side to record just their second senior title win, and first since 2010.
It was a victory that helped to erase the memories and hurt of three successive final defeat to Cork from 2014-2016 – and it was the launchpad for a period of sustained dominance.
The Dubs have been untouchable in senior championship football since then and victory would propel them into an eighth successive final.
Under the guidance of Mick Bohan, they are chasing a fifth successive title but they’ll receive a stern examination from a Mayo side under the stewardship of former county star Michael Moyles.
It’s the first championship meeting between Dublin and Mayo since 2018, a game won by the Metropolitans, and their most recent clash was the 2021 National League Division 1 semi-final, when Bohan's side prevailed by 4-15 to 0-10.
Dublin went on to win the competition and have shown good form to date in this summer campaign. Comfortable victories over Tyrone and Waterford in the group stages saw them through to the knockout phase, and they recovered from a slow start to defeat Donegal by five points.
Carla Rowe, who has emerged as a totemic leader up front for Dublin, was superb in that game, while Hannah Tyrrell’s return from rugby has provided Bohan with another brilliant option in attack.
Tyrrell made a sensational impact in the league and has carried that form into the championship – as she’s Dublin’s current leading scorer with 0-14.
It’ll take something special from Mayo to derail this Dublin juggernaut, one would have to say, but confidence is high in their camp following a four-point quarter-final victory over Connacht rivals Galway.
That win followed victories over Cavan and Monaghan in the group stages, the latter in a dramatic free-taking shoot-out.
Mayo slipped up against Armagh in Round 3 but had already secured a safe passage to the quarters by then.
Moyles will look to the scoring power of Shauna Howley (0-20 to date), Rachel Kearns (1-11) and Grace Kelly (0-12) if Mayo are to cause what would be a big upset.
Siobhan Killeen gets the nod in the Dublin attack ahead of Caoimhe O'Connor. Mayo captain Clodagh McManamon regains her place in the full-back line, with Roisin Durkin dropping to the bench
Dublin: C Trant; M Byrne, N Collins, L Caffrey; O Carey, S McGrath, O Nolan; J Dunne, L Magee; H Tyrrell, L Davey, C Rowe; S Killeen, N McEvoy, S Aherne (capt.).
Mayo: L Brennan; S Lally, D Finn, C McManamon (capt.); T O’Connor, C Whyte, K Sullivan; F McHale, S Cafferky; N Kelly, R Kearns, L Cafferky; G Kelly, S Howley, S Rowe.
Royal rising will look to silence Rebel roar
When you consider where both counties are now, it's remarkable to think that Cork demolished Meath by 40 points in the 2015 Championship.
Monica McGuirk was in goal for Meath in Thurles six years ago, current captain Shauna Ennis played at corner back and Vikki Wall was in the full-forward line.
Kate Byrne, Megan Thynne and Sarah Powderly are other panel members involved with the Royals this year who also started on that fateful day.
Fast forward to 2021 and Meath have already shown that they present a real threat to Cork.
It’s just over five weeks since the counties met previously in this year's championship. On that occasion, Meath ran Cork all the way, losing out by just two points in a Group 2 opener in Birr.
If the old saying that forewarned is forearmed rings true, Cork will be very much on their guard for the expected stern challenge.
The Meath story in 2021 is quite remarkable. Having won the 2020 TG4 All-Ireland intermediate title, following two previous final defeats, the Royal County’s progress since then has been meteoric.
They captured the Lidl National League Division 2 title in June with a blistering performance against Kerry at GAA HQ, to gain promotion to the top flight for 2022.
Not content with that, Meath bounced back from that Cork loss to comfortably beat Tipperary and book a slot in the knockout stages of the championship.
Against Armagh in the quarter-finals, the Royals were brilliant, ending the hopes of a side that had contested a semi-final in 2020, and looked arguably better this year.
But Meath possess genuine matchwinners in the likes of Vikki Wall, the 2020 Intermediate Players’ Player of the Year, Emma Duggan, Stacey Grimes and Niamh O’Sullivan.
Cork may start as favourites but they’ll have their work cut out. Orla Finn is a huge loss through injury but the Leesiders still possess power, pace, style and experience in abundance.
The Munster outfit have been far from their best to date but perhaps they’re building up a head of steam at just the right time.
Eimear Scally’s return to the fold this year was a fillip for Cork and she’s their leading championship scorer with 2-11.
As mentioned, Orla Finn will be absent; Katie Quirke comes in. Meath are unchanged.
Cork: M O’Brien (capt.); M Ambrose, R Phelan, E Meaney; E O’Shea, M Cahalane, M Duggan; A Hutchings, H Looney; L O’Mahony, C O’Sullivan, Á O’Sullivan; S O’Leary, K Quirke, M Scally.
Meath: M McGuirk; E Troy, M.K. Lynch, K Newe; A Leahy, A Cleary, S Ennis (capt.); O Lally, M O’Shaughnessy; O Byrne, S Grimes, N O’Sullivan; V Wall, E Duggan, B Lynch.