June 28th, 2019

GAA Preview-Football Qualifiers, Leinster and Munster Hurling Finals

With the Championship hotting up, the action continues this weekend as we get ever closer to seeing who wull lift the Liam McCarthy and Sam Maguire trophies!

We will see round three of the All Ireland Football playoffs, which has been narrowed down to only eight teams with four in the hunt to keep their season alive via the back-door route.

A huge Sunday of Hurling action is also in store, with two trophies and a stake in the championship up for grabs for the Joe McDonagh Cup champions.

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Kildare v Tyrone

The action in the Football playoffs round three continues with Tyrone hoping to keep their season alive with an away trip to Kildare this Saturday at Newbridge.

In the last round the Red Hands overcame a tricky away contest to a potential Banana skin in Longford, beat them 2-15 to 1-14 in a competitive contest. Longford have been a team to put out big names in the past…

While Kildare overcame Antrim, a team who their opponents Tyrone dumped out earlier in the Ulster Championship. A spirited performance by the Saffrons at Corrigan Park wasn’t enough as the Lilywhites handily won the game by 14 points.

Comfortable wins where registered from potentially tricky situations last weekend by Kildare and Tyrone. Mickey Harte’s excellent record in the qualifiers has enabled Tyrone to clear any hurdles previously in front of them, but the Red Hands will treat Kildare as their next tough task.

Mayo v Armagh

At 7pm in MacHale Park in Castlebar, Mayo manager James Horan has home field advantage when Ulster side Armagh come to town.

In what is potentially the mouth-water tie of the football qualifiers, we should expect a Mayo outfit prove why they are potential All-Ireland contenders. And a young Armagh team to continue to prove the doubters wrong!

This will be the second Ulster side that Mayo have faced in the championship, after a 1-16 to 1-11 victory over Down at Pairc Estler with a stand-out performance from Conor Loftus.

While Armagh led by former player Kieran McGeeney overcame Down and then Monaghan in the last round by eight points, which was a huge statement win at St Tiernach’s Park.

Jareth Og Burns and Rian O’Neill continue to supply moments of quality for Kieran McGeeney’s exciting team and will hope to continue their run.

Mayo did what was needed against Down last time out, with Aiden O’Shea and Lee Keegan powering through the heart of the Down defense on numerous occasions.

Other games:

Westmeath v Clare

Laois v Offaly

Kilkenny v Wexford-Leinster Hurling Final

On Sunday Kilkenny and Wexford will face off in a tight and tense Leinster Final at Croke Park on Sunday.

Brian Cody and Davy Fitzgerald will meet for the second conscutive years to crown who is top of the tree in Leinster. In the league this season the teams shared the spoils with a draw.

Amazingly it was Wexford’s third draw in four matches who still qualified for the final, with Kilkenny showing their mantle and ever-rich experience with Brian Cody at the helm for his 21st season.

Kilkenny’s TJ Reid and Adrian Mullan will be an effective duo for their side, with Davy Fitz’ ever-energeic team looking to add another physical battle to the cards. Conor McDonald and Diarmuid O’Keeffe have the scoring to stick with the Black Cats.

Limerick v Tipperary-Munster Hurling Final

The current All Ireland and Allianz Hurling League champions Limerick will play against the team that has impressed the most in the summer so far. What a game we have in store at 2pm on Sunday.

Tipperary All-Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy stepped back into the Tipp dugout for a second term, and what experience and a sense of rejuvenation to The Premier County.

Tipp have four wins on the bounce and go into the final in really good form and a team to be feared once again. John Kiely’s Limerick looked like they had an All-Ireland hangover at the start of the league, but picked up two wins to gain some momentum.

Limerick want to claim a first provincial crown since 2013, with the help of Aaron Gillane, Cian Lynch as their talismen can they make do of the absence of Cathal Barrett at the back?

Limerick will need to restrict Padraic Maher’s influence, while also ensuring Noel McGrath and Seamus Callanan don’t have an easy outing with their ability to score from all over the field.

Other games:

Joe McDonagh Cup Final-Laois v Westmeath

Former Kilkenny hurler and now Laois manager Eddie Brennan has been a revelation for the Laois hurlers this season.

In an unbeaten season can Laois take on Joe Quaid’s Westmeath at 1.45pm on Sunday, and book their place in the Leinster championship.

Westmeath will have reached the final for the second consecutive season running, as the curtain-raiser before the Leinster Final.

Laois disappointed in the 2018 competition, but Brennan has put together a talented panel. The past decade has featured some very encouraging days for Westmeath, can they take one step further?