FOOTBALL Weekend previews: Quarter-final pairings & relegation play-off fixtures to be confirmed in TG4 Senior & Intermediate Championships
Compiled by Jackie Cahill
QUARTER-final pairings and relegation play-off fixtures will be confirmed after the final rounds of group games in the 2021 TG4 All-Ireland Senior and Intermediate Championships.
There’s a mouth-watering schedule of matches down for decision – including two live TG4 clashes with everything on the line.
Tipperary and Meath will do battle at MW Hire O’Moore Park this (FRI) evening (Live, TG4 – 7.30pm), with the winners moving on to the quarter-finals, while the losers will have to scrap for survival in the senior ranks.
A similar scenario awaits for Kerry and Donegal on Saturday at Tuam Stadium (Live, TG4 – 5pm), and Tyrone and Waterford, who play at St Loman’s in Mullingar on Saturday (3.30pm).
In the four-team Group 1, Armagh and Mayo meet for top spot in the group, while Cavan and Monaghan aim to avoid a relegation battle, with the winners there assured of Senior Championship football in 2022.
There’s also a full round of fixtures in the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate and Junior Championships over the weekend, with a total of ten games (non TV fixtures) available to view at the LGFA and TG4’s dedicated Championship portal https://page.inplayer.com/peilnamban/
TG4 All Ireland Ladies Football Championship 2021 – 2pm unless stated
Friday 23rd July 2021
TG4 All Ireland Senior Championship – Group 2 – Round 3 – Live on TG4
Tipperary v Meath, MW Hire O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 7.30pm
IT all boils down to this for Tipperary and Meath. It’s a winner-takes-all clash for a place in the quarter-finals – and a meeting with Armagh or Mayo.
This fixture will revive memories of the 2019 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Final between the counties.
Tipp won then to gain promotion to the Senior ranks but the Premier County suffered relegation to Division 2 of the Lidl NFL recently, with Meath promoted to the top flight.
The fortunes of the respective counties now seem to be headed in opposite directions but while Meath will start as favourites, a spirited Tipperary gave Cork plenty to think about last weekend before the Leesiders pulled away. Following a line of form, however, Meath lost out to Cork by two points, while Tipp suffered a 19-point defeat.
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.
Saturday 24th July 2021
TG4 All Ireland Senior Championship – Group 1 – Round 3
Cavan v Monaghan, Kingspan Breffni, 6pm
Ulster rivals Monaghan and Cavan and Monaghan go head to head for survival in the TG4 Senior Championship.
Neither side can make the quarter-finals but a victory here would see the winners assure themselves of Senior fare in 2022.
The losers won’t be doomed just yet, but they’ll have to successfully navigate the relegation play-offs to stay in the Senior Championship.
Cavan won when the sides met in the Lidl National League – and the Breffni girls will hope that’s a good omen as they prepare for the visit of Monaghan.
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, Sean O’Heslins Ballinamore, Leitrim
Both counties are safely through to the quarter-finals but there’s still some business to attend to.
The winners of this tie will secure top spot for themselves, and a quarter-final showdown with Meath or Tipperary.
The losers, meanwhile, will have to go head to head with Group 4 winners Galway in the last eight.
Armagh and Mayo met in the All-Ireland Championship in 2020 – and it was Armagh who ran out winners at Parnell Park to book a semi-final place.
Mayo will be out for revenge – and avoiding Connacht rivals Galway in the quarter-finals would be an added bonus.
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.
TG4 All Ireland Senior Championship – Group 3 – Round 3
Tyrone v Waterford, St. Lomans, Mullingar, 3.30pm
AN All-Ireland quarter-final is the prize on offer for Tyrone and Waterford in Mullingar, with the losers pitched into a relegation scrap.
For the winners, it’s Cork in the last eight and while that might be a dubious prize, progression from the group stages, and possibly beyond, would be viewed as a positive outcome from the 2021 Championship. In terms of results, it was Tyrone who gave Dublin the better game in the group stages, with the Red Hands suffering a ten-point reversal compared to the 17-point loss Waterford suffered at the hands of the Sky Blues.
But with everything on the line here, that form-line will be deemed pretty much irrelevant, with potential match-winners on both sides.
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.
TG4 All Ireland Senior Championship – Group 4 – Round 3 – Live on TG4
Kerry v Donegal, Tuam Stadium, 5pm
With Galway assured of top spot, the winners here will also progress to the quarter-finals.
Will it be Kerry, who lost by just a point to Galway, or Donegal, who conceded three goals in the space of two minutes against the Westerners, and lost out by five points?
Bar that disastrous period for Donegal, they were competitive against Galway and will feel they’re good enough to get the better of Kerry.
But the Kingdom showed significant improvement following their Lidl NFL Division 2 loss against Meath when they gave a fine account of themselves against Galway.
A nervy TV battle is in store here – with Dublin awaiting the winners – while the losers will face into the relegation play-offs.
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.
TG4 All Ireland Junior Championship – Round 3
Antrim v Limerick, Tang GAA, Coolvin, Westmeath.
The race for TG4 All-Ireland Junior semi-final slots hots up this weekend.
Four teams will emerge from a five-team group – and the top four are all locked together on three points.
Antrim came good after extra-time to win well against Carlow last weekend, as Limerick scored a one-point victory over Derry.
A win for either side here would leave them in a really good position, with the losers still very much alive.
Antrim (v Limerick): J Curran; N McIntosh, O Corr, N Webb; A McFarland (capt.), M Hanna, Á Tubridy; M Blaney, C Brown; E Ferran, C Carey, G McLaughlin; A Taggart, T Mellon, C Taggart.
Limerick (v Antrim): S Hennessy; Y Lee, M McCarthy, C Walsh; M Buckley, N McCarthy (capt.), M MacNamara; R Ambrose, L Coughlan; A Cunningham, A O’Sullivan, K Heelan; L Ryan, A Ryan, N Bennett.
Sunday 25th July 2021
TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Championship – Group 1 – Round 3
Longford v Sligo, Boyle, Roscommon
Group 1 of the Intermediate Championship will come to a dramatic conclusion on Sunday – with all four teams still in the hunt for a quarter-final slot.
Wins for Longford against Sligo and Westmeath over Wexford would see three teams (Wexford, Westmeath and Longford) locked together on six points – and scoring difference will then decide who goes through to the last eight.
Sligo are rock-bottom of the table following two defeats – but they’re not mathematically out of the picture for a knock-out place either.
It’s a slim chance for the Yeats County, however, as they have the worst scoring difference in the pool, and they would need a big win over Longford, and Wexford to overcome Westmeath.
Longford (v Sligo): R McGrath; K Crawford, L Keegan, A Cosgrove; O Nevin, E O’Brien, C Farrell; N Darcy, K Shannon; L Monaghan, S Shannon, M Farrell (capt.); A Darcy, E Heaney, C Healy.
Sligo (v Longford): L Gaughan; A Morrisroe, M McNamara, J Mulligan; C Dunne, L Boles, J Lyons; S Reynolds, N Brennan (capt.); S Cunnie, L Kelly, S Regan; M McCormack, E Kevany, D McGrath.
Westmeath v Wexford, Baltinglass, 4pm
Westmeath started the Intermediate campaign as favourites to lift the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup but they’re not even guaranteed a knock-out place yet.
The Lake County were stunned by Longford in Round 1 – and needed late heroics to beat Sligo last weekend.
Westmeath could beat Wexford on Sunday and still not qualify – as there is the prospect of three teams (Wexford, Longford and Westmeath) finishing locked together on six points, which would see scoring difference come into play.
It promises to be an intriguing final set of fixtures in Group 1.
Westmeath (v Wexford): L McCormack; L Spellman, L Duncan, T Fagan; F Coyle, L Power, R Dillon; V Carr, T Dillon; F Claffey (capt.), L Archibold, A Jones; C Blundell, L McCartan, S Dillon.
Wexford (v Westmeath): S Merrigan; L Doyle, A Halligan, K White; C Donnelly, S Murphy, S Harding-Kenny; C Banville, R Murphy; S Hamilton, C Murray, A Neville; D Doyle, A Murphy (capt.), A Wilson.
TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Championship – Group 2 – Round 3
Clare v Fermanagh, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford
With Leitrim topping this group, Clare and Fermanagh will now battle it out for the runners-up spot in Group 2.
The winners here will keep their season alive and book a place in the quarter-finals, with the losers heading for the relegation play-offs.
Clare or Fermanagh will be pitted against the Group 1 winners in the knock-out phase of the competition.
Clare (v Fermanagh): M Glynn; E O’Gorman, S Ní Chonaill, R Doohan; O Devitt, T Kelly, R Considine; C Moloney, R Looney; C McCarthy, A Reidy, F Marrinan; E Keane, C Callinan, C Harvey (capt.).
Fermanagh (v Clare): S Murphy; E Murphy, M McGloin, E Keenan; S McQuade, C Murphy (capt.), S McCarville; R O’Reilly, A Flanagan; S Britton, J Doonan, A Maguire; N McManus, E Smyth, A O’Brien.
TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Championship – Group 3 – Round 3
Roscommon v Laois, Kinnegad
This group is delicately poised. Kildare are already through but the meeting of Laois and Roscommon will decide who joins them, and whether Kildare finish top of the group or second.
A Laois victory over Roscommon would see them progress as group winners, along with Kildare, to the last eight of the All-Ireland series – and the eventual table-toppers will play Offaly or Louth in the quarter-finals.
A Roscommon win might not be enough to see them through – with Laois boasting a +2 scoring difference, compared to -4 for the Rossies.
A Roscommon win would the Connacht outfit, Laois and Kildare all finish level on three points – and it will be either Laois or Roscommon who progress on scoring difference.
Roscommon (v Laois): H Cummins; R Brady, S Kenny (capt.), M Kelly; J Cregg, S McVeigh, R Wynne; E Irwin, C Conway; N McHugh, L Fleming, M McHugh; R Finan, A Gavin, J Higgins.
Laois (v Roscommon): E Barry; A Healy, A Potts, A Kelly; R Williams, E Healy, L Nerney (capt.); F Dooley, J Moore; J Dunne, A Havill, E Fitzpatrick; M Nerney, S.A. Fitzgerald, O Hennessy.
TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Championship – Group 4 – Round 3
Louth v Offaly, Clane, Co. Kildare, 5.30pm
It’s pretty straightforward in Group 4, as Down have already topped the pool with two victories.
Now, it’s a straight shoot-out for second place – and a quarter-final against the Group 3 winners.
This one promises to be a close contest – as Louth lost by two points against Down, with Offaly suffering a three-point loss.
The losers of this game will have to battle it out for survival in the Intermediate grade, via the relegation play-offs.
Louth (v Offaly): U Pearson; E Hand, S Quinn, E Murray; M McMahon, S McLaughlin (capt.), C Nolan; A Breen, D McKenna; A Russell, K Flood, R Carr; L Collins, L Boyle, N Rice.
Offaly (v Louth): L Dunne; A Kehoe (capt.), O Whelan, E Corcoran; T Dunne, D Hannon, R Ennis; R Egan, A Gavin Mangan; E Maher, M Byrne, C Walsh; M Daly, A Carey, G Egan.
TG4 All Ireland Junior Championship – Round 3
Carlow v Wicklow, Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow
Carlow were level with Antrim after normal time last weekend – but wilted in the heat and suffered a heavy extra-time loss.
Now, they face Wicklow, many people’s favourites for the Junior crown who are chasing a second victory after winning by seven points against Limerick in Round 1.
A second successive loss wouldn’t be fatal to Carlow’s chances of making the semi-finals – but it would leave them still anchored to the bottom of the table, and playing catch-up with two games remaining.
Carlow (v Wicklow): N Hanley; C Fitzpatrick, A Dooley, R Bermingham; G Lawler, E Atkinson, N Murphy; C O’Neill, N Forde; N Kelly, S Doyle, M Kinsella; D O’Brien, C Ní Shé, A Gilmartin (capt.).
Wicklow (v Carlow): L Dempsey; A Gillen, S.J. Winders (capt.), L Dunne; L Fusciardi, A Conroy, P Faulkner; N McGettigan, S Delahunt; L Ahern, C Dempsey, R McGettigan; C Fox, M Deeney, M Kealy.