National Championship previews
Kilkenny SHC quarter-final replays Ballyhale Shamrocks v Clara, Thomastown (R Dowling), 12.30pm. Verdict: Ballyhale Shamrocks.
Mullinavat v Dicksboro, John Locke Park (C Everard), 2.30pm. Verdict: Dicksboro.
James Stephens v Carrickshock, John Locke Park (O Kenny), 4.15pm. Verdict: James Stephens.
Waterford SHC quarter-finals. Ballygunner v Mount Sion, Walsh Park (T O’sullivan), 4pm.
Austin Gleeson carried an injury into Mount Sion’s fixture with Lismore last weekend. He didn’t last the full hour but will feature here. Ballygunner’s four-in-a-row bid won’t be halted this afternoon.
Abbeyside v Lismore, Fraher Field (A Fitzgerald), 7.30pm.
The Shanahan brothers, Maurice and Dan, clipped 1-13 between them last weekend for high-flying Lismore. Maurice is the championship’s top-scorer with 4-41. Difficult to see Abbeyside containing last year’s intermediate winners.
Mayo SFC quarter-finals. Knockmore v Castlebar Mitchels, Ballina (K Connelly), 5pm.
Verdict: Castlebar Mitchels. Breaffy v Claremorris, Machale Park, Castlebar (R Gurren), 6pm. Verdict: Breaffy.
Ballintubber v Hollymount-carramore, Machale Park, Castlebar (J Glavey), 7.30pm.
All-ireland Ladies JFC final replay: Derry v Fermanagh, Clones (K Corcoran), 1.30pm.
Derry were huge underdogs heading into the drawn game and given they squandered a 2-9 to 1-3 second-half lead, they may have missed their shot at silverware.
Mayo SFC quarter-final Ballina Stephenites v Garrymore, Charlestown (J Henry), 2pm.
Verdict: Ballina Stephenites.
Waterford SHC quarter-finals.
De La Salle v Fourmilewater, Fraher Field (A Kissane), 1.45pm.
De La Salle will know the performance churned out against Ballygunner last weekend - they were beaten by 0-23 to 0-15 won’t cut it here. Curbing the influence of Conor Gleeson and Jamie Barron must be among their chief priorities.
Verdict: De La Salle.
Dungarvan v Passage, Fraher Field (M O’brien), 3.30pm.
Passage have won their last four championship outings. They emerged victorious when these two sides met in the 2016 semi-final.
Dublin SHC quarter-finals.
Lucan Sarsfields v Ballyboden St Enda’s, O’toole Park (A Keating), 2.15pm.
St Enda’s Cuala v St Brigid’s, O’toole Park (D Ryan), 4pm.
Kilmacud Crokes v Na Fianna, Parnell Park (D Aston), 2.15pm.
Verdict: Kilmacud Crokes.
Craobh Chiarain v St Vincent’s, Parnell Park (C Mooney), 4pm.
Verdict: St Vincent’s.
Ulster club SHC semi-finals. Slaughtneil (Derry) v Cuchullains-dunloy (Antrim), Owenbeg (J Clarke), 2.30pm.
It has been a busy couple of weeks for Slaughtneil with the club successfully defending their county hurling and football crowns. Chrissy Mckaigue, Cormac O’doherty and Brendan Rogers were their main forwards en-route to the All-ireland club semi-final last season and this trio will again be looked upon to ensure a successful Ulster title defence. Their opponents are in buoyant form after landing a first Antrim title in eight years.
Ballygalget (Down) v Lisbellaw (Fermanagh), Corrigan Park (B Winters), 2.30pm.
Gareth Johnston and Cormac Coulter hit 2-9 between them in the Down final. Hard to see Lisbellaw keeping them under wraps.
Roscommon SHC final: Padraig Pearses v Four Road, Athleague, 3pm.
Young Daniel Glynn has been in outstanding form for a Padraig Pearses side attempting to end the club’s 30-year title famine. Either Michéal or Padraig Kelly will be tasked with shadowing him. Having secured an eight-in-a-row between 2008 and ‘15, Four Roads are aiming for a quick return to the throne having lost last year’s final.
Verdict: Four Roads.
Cavan SFC final: Castlerahan v Cavan Gaels, Kingspan Breffni Park, 3.30pm. Castlerahan, having lost the 2015 and ’16 finals, the latter after a replay, again stand one hour from a historic first Cavan title. As ever, Cian Mackey will be expected to conduct their attack.
Tipperary SHC final: Borris-ileigh v Thurles Sarsfields, Semple Stadium (F Horgan), 3.30pm.
Borris-ileigh can’t allow themselves be weighed down by the expectations of a club which hasn’t tasted success in 31years. In Johnny Kelly, at the helm in Portumna when the Galway club were in their pomp, they have a manager who knows what is required to get across the line on county final day. Thurles regularly surpassed the 20-point mark en-route to tomorrow’s decider. The task for the underdogs is to keep dangermen Pa Bourke and Aidan Mccormack quite while, at the other end, find a way to bypass Michael Cahill and the two Mahers, Padraic and Ronan. Quite the task.
Verdict: Thurles Sarsfields.
Leitrim SFC final: Glencar-manorhamilton v Mohill, Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada (B Sammon), 3.30pm.
A repeat of the 2015 decider which Mohill won. Their opponents have been the bridesmaids in three of the last five finals.
Wicklow SFC semi-final: Baltinglass v Rathnew, Joule Park, Aughrim (D Peppard), 3.30pm.
It finished all square (3-10 to 4-7) when these two teams clashed in the group stages back in early August.
Carlow SFC final: Rathvilly v Éire Óg, Netwatch Cullen Park (D Hughes), 3.45pm.
You can’t mention Rathvilly without referring to Brendan Murphy. It is expected that Murphy’s Carlow team-mate Sean Gannon will be asked to marshal the Rathvilly midfielder. Éire Óg were last crowned champions in 2012, Rathvilly in 2014.
Verdict: Éire Óg.
Sligo SFC semi-final: Tubbercurry v Tourlestrane, Markievicz Park (M Duffy), 4pm.
Tourlestrane, led by Cathal Henry and Brian Egan, are chasing back-to-back county titles and a third in five years.
Antrim SFC semi-final replay: St John’s v Erin’s Own, Cargin, Glenavy (S Laverty), 4pm.
St John’s must put the brakes on Tomas Mccann and Ryan Mckernan if they’re to stop Erin’s Own reaching a fifth consecutive decider.
Verdict: Erin’s Own, Cargin.
Longford SFC final: Mullinalaghta St Columba’s v Abbeylara, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park (A Dowler), 4pm. A repeat of the 2016 decider which Mullinalaghta won by 1-8 to 0-8. Abbeylara, for whom Robbie Smyth has kicked 1-33 this year, have lost the last two finals. Third time lucky?
Words: Eoghan Cormican.