This upcoming weekend the GAA actions turns it’s attention back to the big ball. This Football Championship hasn’t been set alight just yet, can this weekend’s stacked football fixtures be a turning point?
With the Munster and Leinster Hurling finals set in just a weeks time, who will advance to the next round in the football qualifiers?
Another question on everyone lips is focusing on the Ulster, Munster and Leinster Football finals. Who will lift the provincial titles for 2019 and progress to the All-Ireland series?
Donegal v Cavan-Ulster Football Final
This Sunday at 2pm the show-piece for Ulster Football takes place in Clones. In this years final, reigning champions Donegal will hope to fend off the challenge from a Cavan side who have very much gone under the radar this year.
In last years final Declan Bonner’s team beat Fermanagh on a scoreline of 2-18 to 0-12 which was rather convincing to say the least. This years final wont be as easy this time around and will be a tough one to call for sure.
Donegal have the excellent talents of Michael Murphy, Paddy Mc Brearty, Ryan Mc Hugh and Jamie Brennan at their disposal who have been stars for their sides. Beating Tyrone in the semi-final was a major coup, and one many see a turning point for this team.
While Cavan don’t have many household names to the casual, but the likes of Killian Clarke, Gearoid McKiernan, Dara McVeety and Martin Reilly have been very impressive for the Lake County who have every chance to cause an upset on Sunday.
Football Qualifiers-Round 2
This Saturday lunchtime, the qualifiers get back underway in the round two stages of the competition. We are in the knockout stages of the championship, nothing more than a victory will do otherwise your eliminated from the championship.
Antrim v Kildare
The first game of round two commences at Corrigan Park in Belfast, where Antrim will welcome Kildare with a 2pm throw-in on Saturday.
Antrim progressed to the next round of the qualifiers with a 2-16 to 1-11 victory over Louth last Saturday night. An excellent two-goal performance from key man Matthew Fitzpatrick inspired Lenny Harbinson’s team to get their first championship victory in five years.
Kildare went out of the Leinster championship to reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin, on a scoreline of 0-26 to 0-11 and will look to continue their journey to the Sam Maguire via the back-door route.
Derry v Laois
The Oakleafers in Derry have a home tie against Laois at Owenbeg on Saturday at 5pm.
Derry who won division four in the league this season, which was their first year in the bottom tier, have looked very promising and seem to be a team on the rise. Damien McErlain has got the mix between youth and experience nailed on and deserves huge credit.
Derry went out of the championship to Tyrone but put up an excellent display, and then defeated Wexford 4-16 to 0-10 away from home in the first stage of the qualifiers booking their place in the next round.
Laois got put out of the Leinster championship to finalists Meath on a scoreline of 3-13 to 0-11 and avoided the first round of the qualifiers.
Tyrone v Longford
Former Ulster Champions Tyrone led by Micky Harte surprisingly got beat by Donegal in the Ulster semi-final, in a hugely disappointing performance. They will travel to Pearse Park to face Longford.
This is a potential banana skin for the Red Hands, who will need to be at their best and prove why their one of this years top teams.
Monaghan v Armagh
The shock draw of round two was when two of the six Ulster sides drew eachother, with both Monaghan and Armagh being dumped out of the Ulster championship early stages.
The Orchard County will travel to Clones at 7pm on Saturday night. This is a huge game for both Monaghan and Armagh, who have been disappointing and lacked the clinical quality we are so used to seeing. This is a huge game for both Kieran McGeeney and Malachy O’Rourke with their potential jobs on the line.
Down v Mayo
In what looks an impossible task for Down, they will have home advantage when they welcome former All-Ireland Finalists Mayo to Pairc Esler in Newry at 7pm tonight.
It will be no easy task but one thing they have shown in this years championship is a never say die attitude, especially in their game against Armagh that went into extra time. It’s the championship, anything can happen…..
Fancy a bet on the GAA? Check out our markets via Toalsbet.com