Ladies previews: Semi-final slots up for grabs

August 03, 2018

Breaking new ground: Top inter-county stars took in the breath-taking scenery at Mullaghmeen Forest in county Westmeath, to launch the revamped 2018 TG4 All-Ireland championships. TG4 have announced a four-year extension of their sponsorship of the Ladies Football championships, with the new deal set to last until the conclusion of the 2022 season. 17 Ladies Football championship games will be broadcast this summer exclusively live on TG4, with the senior and intermediate championships to be played on a new, round-robin basis. Pictured are, from left, Rebecca Carr of Louth, Karen Guthrie of Donegal, Neamh Woods of Tyrone, Niamh McEvoy of Dublin, Cathy Mee of Limerick, Áine McDonagh of Galway, Melissa Duggan of Cork, and Laurie Ryan, of Clare at Mullaghmeen Forest, Co. Westmeath. Photo by Seb Daly / Sportsfile.

Compiled by Jackie Cahill

COVETED semi-final slots are up for grabs in the TG4 All-Ireland senior and intermediate championships over the Bank Holiday weekend.

On Saturday, at Healy Park in Omagh (4.0), Ulster rivals Armagh and Donegal clash in the first senior quarter-final.

Also on Saturday, Tyrone and Wexford clash for a place in the intermediate semi-finals, with their quarter-final clash down for decision in Drogheda, at the home of O'Raghallaighs GAC.

Attention switches to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Monday, for a LIVE TG4 double-header.

At 3pm, it's the meeting of Sligo and Wicklow in the intermediate quarter-final, followed by the clash of 11-time senior champions Cork and Westmeath, the Leinster runners-up.

Saturday 4th August 2018

TG4 All Ireland Senior Quarter Final 1 - ET if necessary

Donegal v Armagh, 4.00pm, Healy Park, Omagh, Tyrone 

Armagh and Donegal meet again in the 2018 championship - and this time for a place in the TG4 All-Ireland semi-finals.

Donegal were big winners when the counties clashed in the Ulster final but Armagh will be confident of closing what was a 28-point gap in June.

Donegal scored an incredible tally of 9-21 on that occasion but Armagh got in for four goals and could have had more.

Since then, Donegal have topped Group 1 of the All-Ireland qualifiers, beating Tipperary by three points and Kerry by just one.

Armagh, meanwhile, drew with Monaghan first time out and did enough in defeat against Cork last weekend to go through on scoring difference.

Armagh make two changes to the team that started against the Leesiders last weekend.

Caoimhe Morgan comes in for Rebecca O'Reilly in defence and Clodagh McCambridge drops to the bench to accommodate the inclusion of ace forward Aimee Mackin, who's been struggling with injury.

There's just the one change on the team named by Donegal manager Maxi Curran, with Emer Gallagher coming in to replace Anna Marie McGlynn.

Lethal forward Geraldine McLaughlin is in a rich vein of form, having collected 0-20 in the qualifiers.

Victory for Donegal would send them through to a first-ever All-Ireland senior semi-final, while Armagh's last appearance in the last four was in 2015.

Armagh: C O'Hare; S Marley, C Morgan, S Reel; M Tennyson, T Grimes, M McGuinness; B Mackin, C O'Hanlon; M Moriarty, F McKenna, L McConville; A Mackin, A McCoy, K Mallon.

Donegal: L Gallagher; T Doherty, N McLaughlin, D Foley; T McCafferty, C Hegarty, E Gallagher; K Herron, A McDonnell; K Guthrie, N Hegarty, S.J. McDonald; G McLaughlin, Y Bonner, E Ward.

TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Quarter Final 2 - ET if necessary

Tyrone v Wexford, 2.00pm, O'Raghallaighs, Drogheda, Louth

Tyrone's form en route to the quarter-finals can be firmly placed in the 'ominous' bracket.

The Red Hands enjoyed comfortable victories over Wicklow and Offaly in Group 2 to sail into the quarter-finals.

Last year's runners-up now have their eyes firmly set on Croke Park again and standing in their way next are Wexford.

The Slaneysiders should not be under-estimated, however, as they were one of Tipperary's big challengers in 2017, before the Premier County defeated Tyrone at Croke Park last September.

Wexford emerged second from Group 3, coined the 'Group of Death' as it was the only four-team pool in the intermediate qualifiers.

Wexford are reigning Lidl Division 3 champions also and Anthony Masterson's side will prove a tough nut for Tyrone to crack.

Tyrone: S Lynch; N McGirr, J Barrett, C Hunter; S McCarroll, E Mulgrew, E Brennan; N Woods, E.J. Gervin; N Hughes, M Canavan, A Canavan; N O'Neill, G Begley, C McCaffrey.

Wexford: M.R. Kelly; G Hearne, M Byrne, S Harding Kenny; C Donnelly, N Mernagh, N Moore; R Murphy, B Breen; E O'Brien, F Rochford, K Kearney; C Foxe, A Murphy, C Murray.

Monday 6th August 2018

TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Quarter Final 1 - ET if necessary

Sligo v Wicklow, 3.00pm, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick - LIVE ON TG4

Wicklow, the reigning Lidl Division 4 National League champions, finished second in Group 2 behind a formidable Tyrone outfit, to book a spot in the quarter-finals.

Victory over Offaly assured Mick O'Rourke's side of progress and now they'll face off against Sligo for a place in the last four.

Sligo were beaten Connacht finalists against Roscommon but hit back to top Group 1, defeating Leinster sides Longford and Laois in impressive fashion.

Sligo went to a semi-final last year, when they lost out to Tyrone, and will aim to at least reach that stage again.

Wicklow's team boasts a nice blend of youth and experience but the same can be said of Sligo.

The teams have the added bonus of pitting their wits against each other in front of the TG4 cameras at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

Sligo: N Gormley; A Morrisroe, C Dodd, C Dunne; G O'Loughlin, L Boles, S Naughton; S Regan, S Reynolds; L.A. Laffey, S O'Reilly, N Brennan; E O'Reilly, K Walsh, D McGrath.

Wicklow: K Connors; E Mulhall, S.J. Winder, A Gillen; A Conroy, S Hogan, L Fusciardi; N McGettigan, S Miley; M Deeney, J Kinch, L Ahern; R Fagan, C Walsh, S O'Reilly.

TG4 All Ireland Senior Quarter Final 2 - ET if necessary

Cork v Westmeath, 4.45pm, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick - LIVE ON TG4

CORK, the 11-time champions, have their sights set on glory once again and are motoring along quite nicely under the radar.

They regained the Munster title with minimum fuss before seeing off Monaghan and Armagh in Group 2 of the qualifiers to top the pool.

Now they're eyeing up the challenge of Westmeath, with a semi-final against Donegal or Armagh on offer for the winners.

Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald has opted for just one change to the starting team that accounted for Armagh last weekend.

Chloe Collins replaced Aisling Kelleher at half-time and Collins is handed a start ahead of Kelleher on this occasion.

Westmeath suffered a big defeat to Galway last time out but a victory over Waterford in round 1 ensured that the Midlanders would contest a quarter-final.

Stephen Maxwell's charges will need a huge improvement to compete with Cork, as they've suffered big losses to provincial winners Galway and Dublin in this championship, while they're now facing up to the Munster standard-bearers.

Maxwell has made two changes in personnel for this fixtures with Cork, as Laura Brennan and Karen McDermott come into the side to replace Caoimhe Clarke McMahon and Aoife Connolly.

Cork will be anxious to flex their muscles ahead of an expected slot in the semi-finals but this is very much a 'free shot' for Westmeath, who have been free from the threat of relegation since beating Waterford.

Maxwell will encourage his players to have a go and with the shackles off, Cork will need to deliver a performance to advance.

Cork: M O'Brien; C Collins, R Phelan, M Duggan; M O'Callaghan, S Kelly, E Spillane; A Hutchings, H Looney; C O'Sullivan, L Coppinger, E Scally; Á O'Sullivan, D O'Sullivan, O Finn.

Westmeath: K Walsh; L Power, J Rogers, R Dillon; F Coyle, L Brennan, N Feery; M.A. Foley, K McDermott; F Claffey, L Slevin, J Maher; L McCartan, L Walsh, A Dolan.

Stay up-to-date with all this weekend's football and hurling championship action on the live match tracker.

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