The provincial championships are back, with hurling and football both on the menu across the four provinces.
The first weekend of action throws up a few old acquaintances from the leagues, but with a more direct route to the All-Irelands on offer, the incentive to get a win is all the greater.
Dublin v Antrim (Leinster Hurling Championship)
It’s not long since these two sides met in Division 1B of the National Hurling League, with Dublin putting in a heavy shift to put a dampener on Darren Gleeson’s side’s otherwise impressive campaign.
Their encounter in the third round ended 1-26 to 1-18 in the Dubs’ favour, but Antrim ultimately got the last laugh, finishing one point ahead in the league table, securing fourth place for the northern county.
Both sides will feel this game is theirs for the taking, with the winner facing Galway in the Leinster semi-final on July 3rd.
Time: Saturday, 3pm.
Venue: Páirc Tailteann.
Coverage: Live on GAAGO.
— Dublin GAA (@DubGAAOfficial) June 24, 2021
Wexford v Laois (Leinster Hurling Championship)
The second of Saturday’s Leinster hurling fixtures sees Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford head to Kilkenny to take on Laois. Again, the sides met in the league earlier this year, so there’s little mystery surrounding the clash.
Wexford’s league performances were largely positive, bar a big defeat to Kilkenny, and most importantly, when they came up against Laois in the first round they made very easy work of it, winning 4-17 to 0-10.
Never counting their chickens before they hatch, but Wexford will likely have kept their calendar free for the semi-final date, where Kilkenny await.
Time: Saturday, 6pm
Venue: Nowlan Park.
Coverage: Live on GAAGO.
— Wexford GAA (@OfficialWexGAA) June 24, 2021
Down v Donegal (Ulster Football Championship)
If the football league taught us anything, it’s that the competition among the Ulster counties is as fierce as ever.
Unfortunately for Down, they missed out on the provincial dramatics by nature of their Division 2 status, where they ultimately claimed second position in the northern group. Donegal on the other hand took the top spot in Division 1N, with just a point to spare in the league table over both Tyrone and Armagh.
Two losses to Mayo and Meath earlier this year will not fill Down with confidence, but a quarter-final showdown with Derry is a good motivator.
Time: Sunday, 1pm
Venue: Páirc Esler.
Coverage: Live on RTÉ One from 12.55pm.
Clare v Waterford (Munster Hurling Championship)
The first Munster match-up is a big one, with Waterford and Clare each vying for a spot in the semi-finals against Tipperary.
Both counties managed three wins and two losses in the respective Division 1 groups, but the A/B divide means Sunday’s game will be their first meeting of 2021.
In fact, their most recent meeting was in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final, the winning of which went to the Déise and ultimately saw them contest the title against Limerick.
The Munster championship is always hotly contested, and this weekend’s opener should be no exception.
Time: Sunday, 3.30pm
Venue: Semple Stadium.
Coverage: Live on RTÉ One from 3pm.
- Kerry v Down (Joe McDonagh Cup, Group B) 12.30pm, Austin Stack Park.
- Donegal v Mayo (Nickey Rackard Cup, Group A) 2.30pm, Letterkenny.
- Limerick v Waterford (Munster Football Championship) 3pm, Gaelic Grounds.
- Longford v Louth (Lory Meagher Cup, Group A) 4pm, Pearse Park.
- Kildare v Carlow (Joe McDonagh Cup, Group A) 4pm, Newbridge.
- Wicklow v Roscommon (Christy Ring Cup, Group A) 4pm, Aughrim.
- Sligo v Mayo (Connacht Football Championship) 4.30pm, Markievicz Park.
- Kerry v Clare (Munster Football Championship) 7pm, Fitzgerald Stadium.
- Offaly v Louth (Leinster Football Championship) 1.30pm, Páirc Tailteann. Live on GAAGO.
- Wicklow v Wexford (Leinster Football Championship) 3pm, Aughrim. Live on GAAGO.
- Carlow v Longford (Leinster Football Championship) 4.30pm, O’Connor Park. Live on GAAGO.