Previewing another huge weekend in the ladies football championship
By Jackie Cahill
Two coveted slots at Croke Park on August 25 are on offer for Armagh, Mayo, Galway and Waterford on Saturday, as the counties battle it out for the remaining semi-final places in the 2019 TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship.
There’s a quarter-final double-header at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park down for decision, as Armagh take on Mayo before Connacht champions Galway lock horns with Waterford.
Also on Saturday, there’s a winner-takes-all clash in Ruislip in the TG4 Junior Championship, where hosts London take on Carlow for the right to join table-toppers Louth in the semi-finals.
On Sunday, attention switches to the battle for survival, as Cavan take on Westmeath in a Senior Championship relegation play-off.
The winners are safe for 2020, while the losers will have a second chance against Monaghan a week later.
In the Intermediate grade, Limerick play Laois and Wicklow tackle Leitrim, with the losers of both games relegated to the Junior Championship for 2020.
And it’s all to play for in Group B of the Junior Championship on Sunday, where table-toppers Fermanagh take on Ulster rivals Derry.
Fermanagh top this group currently on three points, but only on scoring difference (+3) ahead of Antrim (-1).
Pointless Derry (-2) have to win this game to stand a chance of making the last four, as the semi-final pairings will be confirmed.
Saturday 10th August 2019
TG4 All Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Finals
Armagh v Mayo; Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford, 1pm – LIVE on TG4.
Both counties will be hoping to go one step further than last year, when they bowed out of the competition at the quarter-final stage.
Armagh lost out to Ulster rivals Donegal, while Mayo also fell at the hands of provincial opponents, when Galway had their measure.
Armagh are looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2015, and they’re riding high on confidence after seeing off Cork to make the last eight.
Mayo, beaten finalists two years ago, also have their eye on a Croke Park berth after seeing off Tyrone and Donegal in both of their group games.
With the semi-finals at Croke Park on August 25, this is a massive opportunity for Armagh and Mayo.
Pundits are struggling to split the counties but Armagh star Aimee Mackin’s injury is a concern, and she’s only named on the bench for this one.
Mayo boss Peter Leahy has handed starts to Kathryn Sullivan, Emma Needham and Maria Reilly for this one, with Róisín Flynn, Dayna Finn and Fiona Doherty dropping out of the team that started against Donegal.
Armagh (v Mayo): A Carr; S Marley, C McCambridge, C Morgan; M Sheridan, N Marley, C McKenna; T Grimes, C O’Hanlon; M Moriarty, K Mallon, C Marley; A Donaldson, B Mackin, A McCoy.
Mayo (v Armagh): A Tarpey; N O’Malley, D Caldwell, É Roynane, K Sullivan, Ciara McManamon, C Whyte; Clodagh McManamon, E Needham; S Cafferky, M Reilly, N Kelly; S Rowe, R Kearns, G Kelly.
Galway v Waterford; Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford, 2.45pm – LIVE on Spórt TG4 YouTube.
Galway made it all the way to the semi-finals last year, but lost out to Dublin.
And the Tribeswomen contested the Lidl NFL Division 1 Final against Cork in May, finishing as runners-up to the Rebelettes.
Galway are anxious to make a major breakthrough in the latter stages of the big competitions but they’ll have their hands full with Waterford.
The Déise’s big victory over Monaghan in Group 2 was enough to see them advance in second place alongside Dublin.
After surviving relegation last year, progress to the last eight of the All-Ireland series is a big step forward for Waterford, who last contested a quarter-final in 2017.
Galway will start as favourites to advance to the Croke Park semi-finals on August 25, and a clash with Armagh or Mayo.
But Waterford can attack this contest with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude, and it could be a lot tighter than many people anticipate.
Galway (v Waterford): L Murphy; N Ward, S Burke, F Cooney; O Murphy, B Hannon, C Cooney; L Ward, Á McDonagh; O Divilly, M Glynn, M Seoighe; T Leonard, S Conneally, R Leonard.
Waterford (v Galway): R Landers; C Murray, C McGrath, Kate McGrath; R Tobin, Karen McGrath, E Murray; K Murray, C Fennell; A Wall, K Hogan, B Valuntaite; E Fennell, M Ryan, M Delahunty.
TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship
Group A – Round 3
London v Carlow; McGovern Park, Ruislip, 12pm
It’s a winner-takes-all clash in Ruislip on Saturday as London welcome visitors Carlow.
Both sides have lost out to table-toppers and Junior Championship favourites Louth, but London ran the Wee County to a point and they’ll expect to have the edge over Carlow.
The winners of this tie will progress to the semi-finals in second place behind Louth.
London (v Carlow): C O’Reilly; N Walsh, R Hunt, N Mulholland; C Twohig, N Lister, S Roche; N Daly, K Canavan; C O’Sullivan, H Noonan, C McCarthy; C McGahan, A Kilkelly, C O’Brien.
Carlow (v London): N Hanley; A Dowling, F O’Sullivan, L Mullins; E Atkinson, A Roche, K Clarke; C Mullins, E Hayden; M Kinsella, R Byrne, N Forde; R Sawyer, C Ní Shé.
Sunday 11th August 2019
TG4 All Ireland Senior Championship Relegation Play-off
Cavan v Westmeath; Kinnegad, 3.45pm
The sceptre of relegation looms large over both counties as they prepare for a crunch battle in Kinnegad.
Cavan lost out by just a single point against Armagh in the group stages, a result that ultimately sent them into a relegation play-off, as they were also well beaten by Cork.
Westmeath, meanwhile, lost out to Galway and Kerry but they were competitive against the Kingdom last time out, going down by just two points in Killarney.
Westmeath also gave Dublin plenty to think about in the Leinster Final, particularly in the first half, and the Lake County are no strangers to a scrap.
When the chips were down in Division 1 of the Lidl National League last year, Westmeath beat Kerry to preserve their top-flight status.
The winners of this Cavan-Westmeath tie will remain in the Senior Championship grade in 2020, with the losers handed a second chance against Monaghan a week later.
But Cavan are familiar with a battle themselves, and they beat Tipperary last year to remain a senior force in 2019.
Cavan (v Westmeath): R O’Reilly; J Moore, R Doonan, S Reilly; S Greene, M Sheridan, S Lynch; N Byrd, S O’Sullivan; L McVeety, D English, C Finnegan; A Maguire, A Sheridan, L Fitzpatrick.
Westmeath (v Cavan): L McCormack; R Dillon, J Rogers, L Power; K Boyce-Jordan, K McDermott, F Coyle; J Maher, M.A. Foley; S Dolan, A Jones, N Feery; L Slevin, F Claffey, V Carr.
TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Championship Relegation Play-offs
Limerick v Laois; Cahir, 2pm
Junior All-Ireland Champions last year, Limerick are in danger of returning to that grade.
It’s a fate that could also befall Laois, the 2001 All-Ireland senior champions, and the side who
It’s a straight shoot-out in Cahir for the right to play Intermediate Championship football again next year, with the losers of this game relegated to the Junior Grade.
Limerick (v Laois): R McGuinness; R Daly, A Hartigan, K Reidy; C Sheehy, N Ryan, C Mee; L Hanley, C Ní Cheallaigh; K Heelan, R Ambrose, I Kenneally; O Giltenane, M Kavanagh, E Ryan.
Laois (v Limerick): A Hyland Conlon; M Young, J Moore, A Kelly; L Nerney, C Dunne, M Cotter; A Halberlin, E Healy; C Simms, A Keogh, E Fitzpatrick; E Lawlor, S Costello, M Nerney.
Wicklow v Leitrim; Kinnegad, 2pm
Make or break too for Wicklow and Leitrim as they fight for survival in in the Intermediate grade.
Wicklow are here as they scored fewer points (scores over the bar) in their draw with Longford in the group stages, while Leitrim finished bottom of their group, losing out to Roscommon and Offaly.
It’s all on the line for both of these sides as they aim to avoid the drop to the Junior Championship, with the losers to be relegated.
Leitrim (v Wicklow): M Monahan; E Shanley, L Maguire, K Connolly; S O’Rourke, A Heslin, A Quinn; E O’Dowd, L O’Dowd; E Kelly, M Heslin, C LaGuen; C Owens, V Egan, C McGovern.
Wicklow (v Leitrim): K Connors; A Byrne, S.J. Winders, A Gillen; L Fusciardi, A Maher, T Dowling Costello; A Gorman, J Kinch; J Nolan Byrne, S Delahunt, M Deeney; M Kealy, L Hogan, A Murphy.
TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship
Group B – Round 3
Fermanagh v Derry; Devenish GAC, Garrison, Co. Fermanagh, 2pm
This all-Ulster group is still beautifully poised, with Fermanagh leading the way but level on three points with Antrim.
Should Derry beat Fermanagh in the final group fixture, the top two will be decided on scoring difference.
Fermanagh have the edge (+3) ahead of Antrim (-1), with pointless Derry on a -2 scoring difference.
When the counties met in Division 4 of the Lidl National League, Fermanagh ran out comfortable 2-13 to 1-5 winners.
Fermanagh (v Derry): R Gleeson; A Maguire, A Murphy, Á McGovern; M McGloin, C Murphy, S McQuaid; R O’Reilly, A Flanagan; J Doonan, L Maguire, D Maguire; A O’Brien, E Smyth, B Bogue.
Derry (v Fermanagh): K Connery; N Browne, A McGough, A Frizelle; G Conway, N Nugent, D Kivlehan; A Laverty, C McGurk; Emma Doherty, C Moore, C Holly; Erin Doherty, D Connelly, D McNicholl.