SFC previews: Mayo v Donegal the headline act as Super 8s draw to a close

August 02, 2019

A full house is expected for the eagerly-awaited Super 8s meeting between Mayo and Donegal at MacHale Park, Castlebar.

It's the third and final round of the Super 8s this Bank Holiday weekend with two semi-final spots still up for grabs. Here are our previews:


Saturday, August 3rd

All-Ireland SFC quarter-final phase 3

Mayo v Donegal, MacHale Park, 6pm – Sky

Castlebar hosts the clash of the weekend as Mayo and Donegal get set to battle it out for a place in the All-Ireland SFC semi-finals on Saturday evening.

The Ulster champions have a handful of injury worries heading into this crunch contest, with ace attacker Paddy McBrearty thought to be the latest concern for the trip to MacHale Park.

Manager Declan Bonner has said he hopes to have experienced defenders Neil McGee and Paddy McGrath back for tomorrow and he’ll need all hands on deck for this high stakes encounter.

Mayo have been getting bodies back since before the Super 8s’ commencement and, despite a heavy loss to Kerry in Phase 1, still managed to get the job done against Meath the last day despite a largely below par showing at headquarters.

Inspiration from Andy Moran off the bench proved crucial for James Horan’s charges on that occasion, but they’ll require a whole lot more from one to 15 on the pitch to topple what is a truly formidable Tir Chonaill outfit if they are to advance to the last four.

Verdict: Donegal

Meath v Kerry, Pairc Tailteann, 6pm – Sky

While Meath will be playing for pride on home turf this Saturday evening, Peter Keane’s Kerry side are still in need of a result to ensure themselves a berth in the semi-finals.

David Moran is back in the engine room for the Munster champions in what is Keane’s only change to the line-up which drew with Donegal in a cracking encounter at Croker last time out.

As for the Royals, they’ll be playing their last competitive outing of 2019 in front of their own home crowd and you can be sure Andy McEntee and his players will be targeting a performance worthy of what has been a largely positive season.  

It’ll be a first championship meeting in an even decade between these two, with Kerry winning an All-Ireland semi-final by four points back in ‘09 before going on to crush Cork in the final.

A draw gets the job done for the Kingdom while a defeat would also advance them should Donegal win in Castlebar.

Verdict: Kerry


Sunday, August 4th

All-Ireland SFC quarter-final phase 3

Cork v Roscommon, Pairc Ui Rinn, 4pm - RTE Player

There’ll be nothing to play for but pride at Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday as Cork and Roscommon look to end their season on a winning note.

Defeats to Tyrone and Dublin in the opening two rounds means an All-Ireland semi-final place is out reach for both teams, leaving it as the one genuine dead rubber of the weekend.

Cork boss Ronan McCarthy has made four changes in personnel with goalkeeper Micheal Martin, defender James Loughrey and forwards Eoghan McSweeney and Paul Kerrigan coming in.

Out go Mark White, Liam O’Donovan, Tomas Clancy and Brian Hurley for a Rebels side which will have taken some pride from their two showings to date in the Super 8s and how they’d like to cap it off with a win over the Connacht champions before setting their sights on league promotion from Division 3 in 2020.

The Rossies themselves were trounced by Dublin in Phase 2, leading one to believe that there’ll surely be a response from Anthony Cunningham’s men at Pairc Ui Rinn.

Verdict: Cork

Tyrone v Dublin, Healy Park, 4pm – RTE

Top spot in Group 2 will be up for grabs at Healy Park as Dublin visit Tyrone for the second time in the Super 8s.

Last year’s All-Ireland finalists have been the only two sides to book their semi-final berth a round in advance and, all going according to plan for both camps, could well be set to meet again on September 1st.

With that in mind, many feel that shadowboxing will be the theme in Omagh come Sunday afternoon with ex-Tyrone All-Ireland winner Sean Cavanagh going as far as saying that he expects Mickey Harte’s men to “almost accept defeat” against the champions.

Even if that’s the case, Healy Park will be buzzing nonetheless on Sunday as the Dubs comes to town and there could even be long-awaited returns to action for stars Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly.

It’ll be the 21st time that Harte has managed against Dublin, with the score standing at 10-7 in favour of the capital men and three games ending in draws.

Verdict: Dublin

Join the hoganstand.com match tracker this weekend for live coverage of the last round of Super 8s fixtures, the All-Ireland U20 football final and both All-Ireland U20 hurling semi-finals.

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