HomeFootballAll-Ireland quarter-finals: throw-in times, TV details and team news

All-Ireland quarter-finals: throw-in times, TV details and team news

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Saturday
All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals

Armagh v Roscommon, Croke Park, 4pm [Live, GAAGo] – Kieran McGeeney was right to point out that losing leads can’t be his fault if reeling them in isn’t to his credit. As he said, you can’t have it both ways. The same applies to losing quarter-finals narrowly – on penalties in the past two years – and surviving them.

On the face of it, this should be Armagh’s to lose. But Roscommon may confound the conventional wisdom about going into action a week after a big match, such was the bounce they must have taken from beating Tyrone in Omagh.

Playing to their forward-oriented strengths, manager Davy Burke said once his team had kept out goals, he was confident they’d “clip a score,” which they did with their Four Horsemen, Daire Cregg, Conor Cox, Diarmuid Murtagh and Donie Smith sharing the total.

Tyrone, however, have been inconsistent this year whereas Armagh are one of the most consistent teams around with just one defeat on the scoreboard in 14 matches to date during past two championships.

They have a tendency to make hard work of score-getting but they made Galway work hard for theirs and in Conor Turbitt, Andrew Murnin and Rian O’Neill have their own quality shooters. Verdict: Armagh

Dublin v Galway, Croke Park, 6.15 [Live, GAAGo] – Viewed through a form line with Mayo, there should be little in this match in that both of these teams managed to catch the Connacht finalists in injury-time. Yet, the odds are heavily against Galway, probably for two reasons: their terrible record in the fixture not having beaten Dublin in 90 years and the expectation that, restored to Croke Park, the champions will go up a gear as they did last year.

The belief here is that this is likely to be more a cliffhanger. On the injury front, Galway have high hopes that both Damien Comer and Shane Walsh will feature. Their displays have been impressive with a solid defence, a physical middle third and Comer, Walsh and Rob Finnerty playing well up front.

Apart from an all-conquering phase in the league, Dublin haven’t been hitting high notes this year. Yes, they did well to respond as calmly as they did to find the equaliser against Mayo but Dessie Farrell will be hoping for more this weekend.

Mayo showed the value in detailing attentive man markers to the key Dublin operatives, blunting both Brian Fenton and Con O’Callaghan in the process. Others stood up, though and Ciarán Kilkenny’s role in that equaliser was remarkable – the leap for the ball and the way he smuggled it out to Jack McCaffrey.

As a defensive collective, Galway are strong – the gift-wrapped goal for Armagh the only one they have conceded this summer. They have the potential to make this very awkward. Dublin though have the know-how and the bench to find a way out. Verdict: Dublin

All-Ireland MHC final

Kilkenny v Tipperary, UPMC Nowlan Park, 5.30 [Live, TG4] – Two teams that had to recover from defeats along the way but have deservedly staked a place in the final. In the semi-final, Kilkenny eventually saw off the Clare side that beat Tipp in Munster, a defeat avenged in the provincial final. Kilkenny senior Adrian’s brother, Jake Mullen, fired the bullets, 0-13, 0-4 from play that helped Kilkenny home. Tipp have an industrious core down the middle and inside finishers in Cillian Minogue and Stefan Tobin. It should be a great contest with perhaps home venue to help Kilkenny get there. Verdict: Kilkenny

Sunday
All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals

Donegal v Louth, Croke Park, 1.15 [Live, RTÉ One] – This promises to be a great weekend for Louth, as they become the 24th county to contest the quarter-finals. Ger Brennan’s team have the added reassurance of having reached this stage with a win over Cork, the only side to defeat Sunday’s opponents, Donegal.

That was the only match in which the Ulster champions conceded goals, albeit three with both Cork wing backs scoring – relevant because of the prolific goal scoring of Louth wing back Craig Lennon.

Jim McGuinness’s team never really evinced any panic after losing in Páirc Uí Rinn and appeared almost academically interested in the consequences of defeat.

They topped the table anyway with a powerful display against Clare and have a significant record of achievement this year. They also proved in that last match that they can take scores ruthlessly when required. Verdict: Donegal

Kerry v Derry, Croke Park, 3.15 [Live, RTÉ One] – Derry rediscovered themselves in the nick of time and now have a big target to hit in the shape of 2022 champions Kerry, the only team in this year’s championship with a 100 per cent record. The danger for Jack O’Connor’s team is that they have encountered no adversity to date whereas their opponents have known little else.

Mickey Harte will recognise the opportunity with a settled team who also have a lot of room for improvement on this summer’s form. Restored to near-enough full strength, Derry will be buoyant for this. They were though fortunate that Mayo didn’t finish them but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

What won’t strengthen them is having had to go to extra time and penalties last weekend. They were good enough to beat Kerry a year ago but aren’t as collectively forceful as 12 months ago.

The Munster champions have found more than enough scores when needed and, on the basis that they have plenty left in the tank after a comfortable championship so far, it can be taken that the Cliffords and Seán O’Shea have abundant energy for the task in hand. Verdict: Kerry

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