Championship 2024 Blog

A busy schedule in both codes this weekend on GAAGO

Mike Finnerty | 24 April 2024

It's a huge day for Cork and Clare this Sunday, with both badly needing a win to get back on track.

Antrim v Wexford

There's a lot on the line for both teams in this Leinster hurling championship clash at Corrigan Park in Belfast on Saturday afternoon.

Antrim will have been chastened by their 32-points defeat away to Kilkenny last weekend, with the concession of 5-30 raising a plethora of questions about their approach.

There will be plenty of soul-searching done in Wexford too this week after they shipped two injury-time goals to miss out on a first championship win over Dublin for six years.

Lee Chin’s form (he hit 1-12 last Sunday) is a cause for optimism though and Keith Rossiter’s team are expected to win at the second attempt..

Down v Armagh

All roads lead to St Tiernach’s Park in Clones on Saturday evening for the supporters of these two sleeping giants of Ulster football.

This summer marks 30 years since Down won the last of their All-Irelands, and the Mourne Men are now looking to reach a first provincial final since 2017.

Standing in their way are Kieran McGeeney’s Armagh, who are hot favourites to advance to a second successive final and try to end a 16-year wait for the Anglo Celt Cup

It’s expected to be a tactical and cagey affair with so much at stake, so a moment of magic from the likes of Rian O’Neill or Liam Kerr could make all the difference.

Cork v Clare

The Munster hurling championship is always box-office but last Sunday’s results have really raised the stakes ahead of this blockbuster at SuperValu Pairc Uí Chaoimh.

After losing their opening round games, this is essentially an old-school ‘knock-out’ contest as two of the pretenders to Limerick’s throne fight for survival.

Clare are the marginal favourites to bounce back from their late collapse against Limerick but Cork have questions to answer too after being ambushed in Waterford.

The team that can put last weekend’s bitter disappointment behind them, and recover quickest from their exertions, will be back in the Munster title race on Sunday evening.

Louth v Kildare

There is a huge amount at stake in the first of the Leinster semi-finals at Croke Park.

As well as a golden ticket to the provincial final, these teams are also battling it out for a place in the All-Ireland series next month.

A Louth victory would see them qualify for a second successive Leinster Final and guarantee their place in the Sam Maguire Cup. It would also send Kildare into the Tailteann Cup.

However, a win for the Lilywhites would see them into the final and the All-Ireland series.

It would leave Louth needing wins for Armagh and Dublin to avoid missing out on the Sam Maguire Cup themselves.

Victories for Kildare and Down will send the Wee County into the Tailteann Cup.

Dublin v Offaly

Sunday will be the first time for 18 years that these two teams have crossed paths in the Leinster championship.

That novelty factor will add a certain amount of interest to this semi-final but, realistically, how Offaly go about their business will frame how the game plays out.

Dublin’s 16-points victory over Meath showed what the All-Ireland champions are capable of when they cut loose, so their Division 3 opponents will have to be prepared for that sort of onslaught.

Declan Kelly’s team is built around a cluster of the Faithful County’s All-Ireland winning Under-20 team from 2021, and they will learn a lot from this experience.