With a host of action in this weekend’s round of GAA championship fixtures, the 2019 championship journey continues.
With the Football qualifiers, final games in the Joe McDonagh Cup, Ulster Football semi-finals and continuation of the Munster and Leinster Hurling championships. Who have you been impressed with so far?
Antrim v Westmeath-Leinster Hurling place in their hands
The Antrim hurlers welcome Westmeath to Dunloy on Saturday at 2pm. Neil Peden’s men currently sit joint second with four points in the Joe McDonagh Cup. After an excellent two point winning performance last weekend over Offaly, their fate to qualify for a Leinster Hurling championship place is now in their own hands.
Two excellent goals from Keelan Molloy in the first half, and expertly taken points slotted over by Neil McManus had the Saffrons leading 2-20 to 1-11 at half time.
Further scores from McManus, James McNaughton and their third goal via Nigel Elliot had the Saffs leading by eight with five minutes remaining in the game. In a huge two-point victory, and one many Saffron supporters believe was the best performance seen in recent years by this new youth-infused side, who are the top scorers in the tournament.
Tyrone v Donegal-Ulster Football semi-final
The huge game of the weekend is a mammoth clash between rivals Donegal and Tyrone, for a place in the Ulster Final which is at stake!
There should be individual battles right across the pitch from both sides and Tyrone will look to reach another Ulster final for a third time in four years. Donegal’s Michael Murphy, Paddy McBrearty and Ryan McHugh will all look to stop Tyrone’s surge and retain their Ulster title.
Cathal McShane has been an excellent ball winner at number 14 for the Red Hands, with Mattie Donnelly, Peter Harte and Tiernan McCann all adding to the Tyrone cause.
Tyrone have had to defeat Derry and Antrim on their way to the semi-finals, while Donegal have only played one game, overcoming Fermanagh two weekends ago in the quarter-finals.
Armagh v Cavan-Ulster Football semi-final replay
In the other semi-final, Armagh will travel back to St Tiarnichs Park Clones in a replay game to see who will clinch the other Ulster final place.
In a nip and tuck game, nothing could separate the sides who drew level on two occasions in the game. The match ended in a 17 point draw in a thrilling contest that can only help put Ulster football on the map!
The replay will be played this Sunday, and honestly I can’t call who will be favorites for this one….
Other games include:
Football Qualifiers-Can Antrim and Derry survive?
The Antrim footballers will want to resurrect their championship season, travelling to face Louth in the qualifiers in Drogheda on Saturday at 7pm. With some positive signs to take from their Ulster football defeat Tyrone, it is still all to play for.
Former Ulster champions Monaghan take on familiar foe in Fermanagh in their back-door qualifier at 1.45 on Sunday. Can Conor McManus come to the rescue for his team?
Wexford welcome Derry to Innovative Park on Saturday in their football qualifier on Saturday. Derry who where also beat by Tyrone like fellow Ulster team Antrim, want to continue their own championship campaign in the knock-out stages.
Kilkenny v Galway
Former All-Ireland champions in both Kilkenny and the Galway hurlers come toe to toe with each-other on Sunday lunchtime, with Brian Cody’s black cats the favorites to defeat Michael Donoghue’s troops at Nowlan Park.
Kilkenny hold victories over Dublin and Carlow, with The Tribesmen Galway looking for their second victory of the Leinster championship after drawing with Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford last time out and destroying Carlow in their first game.
Limerick v Clare
Limerick and Clare should provided another mouth-watering clash at the Gaelic Grounds at 4pm, who both have been steady in this seasons’ road to the All-Ireland. While Cork look to hammer the nails in the coffin of a Waterford on Saturday, who have had three defeats in a row and seem to be rumblings of a very unhappy camp.