FOOTBALL: 2 changes for Meath ahead of make-or-break TV clash – TG4 All-Ireland weekend team news
Compiled by Jackie Cahill
MEATH boss Eamonn Murray has opted for two changes in personnel as the Royal County prepare for this evening’s (FRI) make-or-break clash with Tipperary in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship (Live, TG4 – 7.30pm).
Meath and Tipp will battle it out for a quarter-final slot against Armagh or Mayo – and second place behind table-toppers Cork in Group 2.
The losers of this evening’s crunch tussle at MW Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, meanwhile, will be plunged into a relegation battle over the weekend of August 21/22.
Tipperary are unchanged from the side that lost out to Cork last weekend, while Murray has opted for Megan Thynne and Shelly Melia in his starting line-up, as Aoibheann Leahy and Orlagh Lally drop to the bench.
On the weekend when quarter-final line-ups and relegation placings will be confirmed, there’s still plenty to play for in Group 1, the four-team group in the competition.
On Saturday, at Sean O’Heslins in Ballinamore, Leitrim, confirmed quarter-finalists Armagh and Mayo will battle it out for top spot in Group 1 (2pm).
The winners will play Meath or Tipp, with the losers of this game pitted against Galway in the last eight.
There’s plenty at stake and while Armagh are unchanged following their impressive victory over Cavan last weekend, Mayo have opted for four changes after getting past the challenge of Monaghan following a dramatic free-kick shoot-out.
Éilis Ronayne, Kathryn Sullivan, Fiona Doherty and Fiona McHale have all been handed starts for the green and red, with Ella Brennan, Sadhbh Larkin, Ciara Needham and Mary McHale dropping out of the starting line-up.
Mayo won’t need reminding, either, that it was Armagh who dumped them out of the 2020 Championship in the group stages.
Also in Group 1, Cavan and Monaghan will go head to head for survival in the Senior Championship.
Following a coin toss, Cavan will have home advantage at Kingspan Breffni for a 6pm start, and the hosts have drafted in Muireann Smith for Lauren McVeety, in the only change to the side that lined out against Armagh.
Monaghan have opted for four changes, with Maeve Monaghan, Shauna Coyle, Abbie McCarey and Amy Garland replacing Rachel McGuigan, Rosemary Courtney, Jane Duffy and Lauren Jones.
The losers of this one will face into a relegation play-off, while the winners are assured of Senior Championship fare again in 2022.
In Group 3, there’s another massive clash as Tyrone and Waterford battle aim for a place in the quarter-finals.
After both sides lost out to holders Dublin, it’s all on the line for the Red Hands and the Déise at St Loman’s in Mullingar on Saturday (3.30pm).
Tyrone have altered one-third of their starting line-up following the Dublin defeat, with goalkeeper Laura Kane, Caitlin Kelly, Emma Jane Gervin, Nicola Rafferty and Niamh McGirr coming in for Maeve Maxwell, Emma Hegarty, Jane Lyons, Joanne Barrett and Regan Fay.
Waterford, meanwhile, bring in Karen McGrath and Aoife Murray for Maria Delahunty and Bríd McMaugh.
The winners of this game will play Cork in the quarter-finals, with the losers heading for a relegation play-off.
TG4’s live Saturday game promises to be another belter – with Donegal and Kerry preparing for a pivotal Group 4 clash (Tuam Stadium, 5pm).
With Galway through as group winners, Donegal or Kerry will join the Tribeswomen in the last eight.
Kerry are unchanged after suffering a narrow one-point loss to Galway in Round 1, while Donegal have brought in Treasa Jenkins for Amy Boyle Carr after losing out to the Westerners in Round 2.
The winners of this one will face champions Dublin in the last knockout phase, with the losers facing a battle for survival in the senior ranks.
TG4 All-Ireland SFC quarter-final line-up:
Armagh/Mayo v Tipperary/Meath
Cork v Tyrone/Waterford
Dublin v Kerry/Donegal
Galway v Armagh/Mayo
Tipperary (v Meath): L Fitzpatrick; L Nagle, M Curley, C Cronin; L Spillane, C Kennedy, E Kelly; A.R. Kennedy (capt.), O O’Dwyer; C O’Dwyer, A Fennessy, L Dillon; R Howard, N Hayes, A McGuigan.
Meath (v Tipperary): M McGuirk; E Troy, M.K. Lynch, K Newe; S Ennis (capt.), S Melia, M Thynne; A Cleary, M O’Shaughnessy; V Wall, O Byrne, N O’Sullivan; S Grimes, E Duggan, B Lynch.
Cavan (v Monaghan): E Walsh; R Doonan, S Lynch, M Smith; S Greene, L Fitzpatrick (capt.), M Sheridan; C Dolan, N Byrd; A Kiernan, A Sheridan, C Finnegan; N Keenaghan, G Sheridan, A Gilsenan.
Monaghan (v Cavan): E Corrigan; M Monaghan, N Fahy, A McAnespie; S Coyle, A McCarey, E Traynor; C Courtney, M Atkinson; L McEnaney, E McCarron (capt.), L Garland; C Treanor, C McAnespie, A Garland.
Armagh (v Mayo): A Carr; S Marley, C McCambridge, G Ferguson; E Lavery, L McConville, T Grimes; K Mallon (capt.), N Coleman; B Mackin, C O’Hanlon, F McKenna; A Mackin, A McCoy, A Clarke.
Mayo (v Armagh): A Tarpey; S Lally, C McManamon (capt.), É Ronayne; T O’Connor, C Whyte, K Sullivan; F Doherty, S Cafferky; F McHale, R Kearns, S Rowe; G Kelly, S Howley, T Needham.
Tyrone (v Waterford): L Kane; M Kerr, T McLaughlin (capt.), E Mulgrew; E Brennan, C Kelly, D Gallagher; A McHugh, E.J. Gervin; N Hughes, N Rafferty, N McGirr; N O’Neill, G Rafferty, C McCaffrey.
Waterford (v Tyrone): R Landers; M Dunford, L Mulcahy, R Casey; M Wall (capt.), Karen McGrath, A Mullaney; C Fennell, E Murray; R Tobin, Kate McGrath, A Murray; E Fennell, K Murray, A Wall.
Kerry (v Donegal): C Butler; C O’Brien, A Desmond (capt.), C Murphy; A O’Connell, K Cronin, C Lynch; L Scanlon, N Carmody; M O’Connell, C Evans, L Galvin; D O’Leary, E Dineen, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.
Donegal (v Kerry): A McColgan; N Carr, E McGinley, E Gallagher; T Jenkins, Nicole McLaughlin, R Rodgers; K Herron, S Twohig; B McLaughlin, Niamh McLaughlin, N Boyle; N Hegarty, K Guthrie, G McLaughlin.