TG4 Provincial Championship Match Previews

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The TG4 Provincial Championships continue this weekend with action in Leinster, Connacht, Munster and Ulster

A bunch of footballs on a pitch at a TG4 Provincial championship game.

Compiled by Jackie Cahill, with Leinster previews provided by provincial PRO, Aisling Clery

THE first piece of 2023 provincial silverware will be handed out on Sunday – when old rivals Mayo and Galway battle it out in the TG4 Connacht Senior Championship Final.

That tie at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park is one of five Senior fixtures down for decision across the provinces, with key tussles also happening in Leinster, Munster and Ulster.

Dublin entertain Laois in Leinster at DCU St Clare’s, while in Munster, Cork host Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, as Tipperary make the trip to Dungarvan to take on Waterford.

In Ulster, recently crowned Lidl NFL Division 2 champions travel to Lifford for a clash with Donegal.

Elsewhere on Sunday, there’s Intermediate action in Leinster and Ulster, with Down and Derry meeting in the Ulster Junior Championship.

On Saturday, Sligo take on Roscommon in the Connacht Intermediate championship, as Cork and Kerry’s second teams meet in the Munster Senior B Championship.

All fixtures 2pm unless stated

Saturday May 6

Connacht

TG4 Intermediate Championship

Sligo v Roscommon; Curry GAA, 2.30pm

Sligo will look to bounce back after a heavy defeat to Leitrim last weekend.

Roscommon, meanwhile, enter the provincial series but they’ll play Leitrim in a provincial final in any case, as Sligo are a Junior Championship outfit.

The round-robin series at Intermediate level provides vital game time to Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon ahead of the All-Ireland campaign.

Sligo: E McGuire; C Dunne, A Morrisroe, I Henry; S Curley, N Brennan, J Lyons; S Reynolds, S Regan; A Haran, T Breheny, C O’Connor; L Duffy, S Naughton (capt.), M McCormack.

Roscommon: H Cummins; A McGrath, E Irwin, S Wynne; J McDermott, R Fitzmaurice, R Wynne (capt.); C Cregg, L O’Rourke; M Hagan, A Gavin, N Feeney; A Hanly, E Hagan, N Fitzgerald.

Munster

Senior B

Cork v Kerry; Naomh Abán, 6pm

The Munster Senior B competition continues with the meeting of Cork and Kerry.

Both sides have lost to Clare already in this competition, and will eager to get off the mark.

Cork: L Hughes; A Gould, A O’Sullivan (capt.), S Callanan; A McTaggart, R Shanley, C Heffernan; D Murphy, C O’Brien; A Quirke, A Corcoran, G Murphy; E Daly, T Hickey, L Hallihan.

Kerry: D Cleamer; M Sheehy, K Sugrue, A Sheehy; E O’Connor, F O’Donoghue, B O’Connor; D Dunlea, K Mahony; E Cotter, L Williams, R Griffin; C Hudson, G Musgrave, K O’Connor.

Sunday May 7

Connacht

TG4 Senior Championship Final

Mayo v Galway; Hastings Insurance MacHale Park, 11.30am

Champions Galway take on Mayo in the 2023 TG4 Connacht Senior Final at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park.

Galway are chasing five-in-a-row in the Western province and they’re also looking to bounce back from the disappointment of losing the Lidl National League Division 1 Final against Kerry.

There are three changes in personnel to the starting team that lined out at Croke Park, with Aoife Ní Cheallaigh, Hannah Noone and Tracey Leonard replacing Eimile Gavin, Aoife Molloy and Roisin Leonard.

Mayo’s last competitive outing was in late March, when they defeated Donegal to ensure Lidl NFL Division 1 football again next year.

There are four changes to the starting team that lined out on that occasion, with Roisin Flynn, Sarah Mulvihill, Sinead Walsh and Maria Cannon coming in for Saoirse Lally, Deirdre Doherty, Shauna Howley and Maria Reilly.

Mayo: L Brennan; É Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; C Needham, F McHale, K Sullivan (capt.); A Geraghty, S Cafferky; S Mulvihill, S Walsh, M Cannon; L Cafferky, R Kearns, T Needham.

Galway: A Griffin; K Geraghty, S Ní Loingsigh (capt.), A Ní Cheallaigh; C Cooney, N Ward, H Noone; A Davoren, S Divilly; E Noone, O Divilly, L Coen; T Leonard, L Ward, K Slevin.

Leinster

TG4 Senior Championship

Dublin v Laois; DCU St Clare’s

After his side’s narrow victory against Meath last weekend, Mick Bohan has made four changes to the team that defeated the Royals.

Lauren Magee, Jennifer Dunne, Kate Sullivan and Ellen Gribben make way for Faye O’Connell Bell, Emma Strappe, Orla Martin and Sinéad Wylde.

Dublin took charge of last weekend’s fixture and dominated the early exchanges, but they allowed Meath to grow into the game and this will be something they won’t entertain this weekend against visitors Laois.

This is a first outing for Laois since their Lidl NFL Division 2 Final disappointment against Armagh, but they will have taken huge positives from that contest in Croke Park.

Laois conceded heavily early on but settled into the game and held their own for spells.

Donie Brennan has named the same starting 15 and he will be hoping for a good start to life in the Senior Championship for the 2022 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate winners.

Dublin: A Shiels; N Crowley, L Caffrey, F O’Connell Bell; A Kane, M Byrne, E Strappe; E O’Dowd, C Coffey; O Martin, O Nolan, C O’Connor; H Tyrell, S Wylde, C Rowe (C).

Laois: E Barry; S Farrelly, C Dunne, A Kelly; S Havill, E Healy (C), L Nerney; A Healy, A Moran; E Galvin, O Hennessy, E Fitzpatrick; M Nerney, SA Fitzgerald, LM Maher.

TG4 Intermediate Championship

Group A:

Kildare v Longford; Manguard Plus Hawkfield COE

Kildare opened the defence of their TG4 Leinster IFC title last weekend with a straightforward win over Carlow.

Although Longford slumped to a 1-6 to 0-2 defeat, they were resolute and to their credit kept a free-scoring Wexford to a minimum.

Kildare boss Diane O’Hora makes four changes to the side that defeated Carlow last time out, with Anna Dunlea, Fiona Troute, Róisín Byrne and Mia Doherty making way for Niamh Barnes, Claire Sullivan, Róisín Forde and Lara Curran.

Longford go with an unchanged team as they look to get points on the board this weekend. If they are to make the knockout stages, they will need to get a win against the in-form Lilywhites, who were recently crowned Lidl NFL Division 3 champions.

Kildare: N Barnes; L Gilbert, L Lenehan, A Clifford; T Duggan, R Sargeant, S Munnelly; G Clifford (C), A Rattigan; C Sullivan, N Dooley, R Forde; E Dowling, C Price, L Curran.

Longford: R McGrath; S McCormack, L Keegan (C), E Doris; C McCormack, M Kelleher, G Kenny; G Shannon, E O’Brien; H Glennon, Caoimhe Lohan, K. Crawford; K. McKeon, Clodagh Lohan, E. Sheehy.

Wexford v Carlow; Chadwicks Wexford Park

Wexford joint-bosses Lizzy Kent and John Nolan will have been pleased to come away from Drumlish last weekend with a first round win against a defiant Longford team.

Ciara Banville got the only goal of the game as Wexford ground out the win.

They face a Carlow side in Round 2 that had some lovely passages of play against Kildare, but Wexford will fancy their chances.

Both sides have named unchanged teams from last week’s fixtures as the hunt for a semi-final berth intensifies.

Wexford: L Moore; A Halligan, K English, K Tomkins; B Breen, R Murphy (C), S Harding Kenny; A Walsh, C Banville; A Cullen, C Murray, C Donnelly; C Roban, A Murphy, E Tomkins.

Carlow: N Hanley; A Carroll, A Roche, M Doyle; R Bermingham (C), N Murphy, S McCullagh; E Hayden, R Bailey; A Hanley, R Sawyer, S Hayden; J Sawyer, C Ní Shé, S Doyle.

Group B:

Westmeath v Wicklow; TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar

Westmeath breathed a sigh of relief as six unanswered scores at the end of their battle with Offaly last weekend ensured a two-point win (0-15 to 0-13).

Michael Finneran’s troops were pushed all the way by the Faithful and they will undoubtedly have learned from the experience.

They face Wicklow team who were beaten well by Louth last week and the Garden County will want to avoid a similar fate in Round 2.

Finneran has made just one change to last week’s winning team, with Ayesha Roche replacing Melek Fagan at corner back.

Wicklow boss Gavin Wynne also makes just one change, with Helena Dowling replacing Elizabeth Bourke at corner forward.

Westmeath: L McCormack; M Dunne, L Power, A Roche; K Boyce Jordan, T Dillon, C Kelly; V Carr, A Ruane; N Nolan, C Blundell (C), R Dillon; M Monaghan, A Jones, A Connolly.

Wicklow: E Griffin; S Evans, S.J. Winders (C), R Byrne; N Kenny, L Dunne, J Byrne; A Maher, A Gorman; E O’Sullivan, N Cullen, Y Dagge; S Delahunt, M Kealy, H Dowling.

Offaly v Louth; Bretland Park, Clara

Louth will travel to Bretland Park in jubilant mood after their convincing opening round win against Wicklow.

Laura Collins grabbed a hat trick of goals while Lauren Boyle finished with 2-4 on the scoresheet as Kit Henry’s first Championship campaign with the Wee County got off to an incredibly positive start.

Unsurprisingly, Louth have named an unchanged team this weekend.

They face an Offaly team that will be in good spirits, despite last week’s loss to Westmeath.

Róisin Cockram finished top scorer last weekend for Offaly (0-4, 3f), and they will be confident they can improve on that performance and get a result that will leave them in contention for a semi-final slot, with Wicklow waiting in the wings in Round 3.

Offaly: K Cunningham; K Flynn, A Dolan, A Grehan; N Farrelly, E Nally, M Mann; E Maher, A Gavin Mangan; R Ennis (C), E Hand, S McGuinness; E Bailey, R Mealiff, R Cockram.

Louth: R. Lambe Fagan; E Murray, D O’Connor, E Hand; S Matthews, S McLaughlin, M Duffy; Á Breen (C), A Halligan; L Collins, N Rice, L Boyle; A Russell, K Flood, C Nolan.

Munster

TG4 Senior Championship

Cork v Kerry; Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Cork and Kerry will harbour hopes of provincial and national silverware this year at championship level.

Kerry have already signalled their intent by lifting the Lidl NFL Division 1 title and they began the TG4 Munster championship with victory over Waterford last weekend.

Cork, meanwhile, were busy digging out a hard-fought win against Tipperary in Cahir, as the Munster favourites both began the round-robin phase with victories.

The Cork team submitted for match programme purposes is listed in alphabetical order and unlikely to line out like that from the start.

Kerry, for their part, have made three changes to the team that won at Fraher Field.

Cáit Lynch, Mary O’Connell and captain Síofra O’Shea all earns starts in place of Ciara Murphy, Caoimhe Evans and Hannah O’Donoghue for what should be a keenly-contested affair, and potentially a provincial Final dress rehearsal.

Cork: S Murphy; O Cahalane, E Cleary, L Coppinger; R Corkery, M Duggan, L Fitzgerald; A Healy, S Kelly; D Kiely, E Kiely, D Kiniry; S Healy (capt.), H Looney, A McDonagh.

Kerry: M.E. Bolger; E Lynch, K Cronin, A Dillane; A O’Connell, E Costello, C Lynch; L Scanlon, M O’Connell; N Carmody, N Ni Chonchúir, A Galvin; F Tangney, S O’Shea (capt.), L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

Waterford v Tipperary; Dungarvan GAA

With Cork and Kerry meeting at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, this is a chance for Waterford and Tipperary to make up ground and ignite a drive for a semi-final slot.

Tipperary had a 1-12 haul from Aishling Moloney but that still wasn’t enough to get past Cork in Cahir last Saturday.

Cork won by three points, as Waterford slipped to a six-point defeat against Kerry, with the concession of goals in stoppage time at the end of both halves hurting the Déise.

Tipperary have named an unchanged team for the trip to Dungarvan, as Waterford call up Caragh McCarthy and captain Karen McGrath for Catherine Hynes and Katie Murray.

Megan Dunford is named to start at corner back, despite going off injured early against Kerry.

Kellyann Hogan was brilliant for Waterford against Kerry, scoring five points, and the hosts will look for more from the midfield ace.

Waterford: E O’Brien; C Murray, M Dunford, A Murray; E Power, E Murray, Kate McGrath; K Hogan, A Waring; A O’Neill, A Fitzgerald, C McCarthy; Karen McGrath (capt.), B McMaugh, L McGregor.

Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; C O’Dwyer, M Curley (capt.), E Cronin; S English, L Spillane, N Towey; A.R. Kennedy, L Morrissey; E Morrissey, M Creedon, A Delaney; A Fennessy, A Moloney, A McGuigan.

Ulster

TG4 Senior Championship

Donegal v Armagh; Lifford

Donegal bounced back from the pain of relegation from Division 1 of the Lidl National League to register a crucial victory over Cavan in the round-robin phase of the Ulster Senior Championship last weekend.

Donegal would seal an Ulster Final slot if they can defeat Armagh but that’s a tough task, given the Orchard County’s recent form.

Armagh stormed to Lidl NFL Division 2 glory and will quietly fancy their chances of a big summer at Senior Championship level.

Karen Guthrie’s experience and a 1-4 haul helped Donegal over the line against Cavan but she’s named on the bench for this one.

Susanne White also drops out of the starting line-up named by manager Maxi Curran, with Emer Gallagher and Ciara McGarvey listed for the Armagh tussle in the inside line.

The reigning Ulster champions, meanwhile, have made two changes to the team that beat Laois at Croke Park, with Emily Druse and Niamh Marley replacing Catherine Marley and Caitriona O’Hagan.

Donegal: C Friel; N Carr, A Temple Asoko, Nicole McLaughlin; A Boyle Carr, S McGroddy, T Hegarty; S Twohig, Niamh McLaughlin; R Rodgers, K Long, K Dowds; E Gallagher, K Herron, C McGarvey.

Armagh: A Carr; S Grey, C McCambridge, L Kenny; G Ferguson, L McConville, C Towe; N Coleman, E Lavery; B Mackin, A Mackin, E Druse; N Marley, K Mallon, A McCoy.

TG4 Intermediate Championship

Monaghan v Antrim; Aghabog

This is a must-win game for Monaghan following defeat to Tyrone last weekend.

Antrim, meanwhile, will make their bow at Intermediate championship level in 2023, having claimed the 2022 TG4 All-Ireland Junior title.

Antrim’s tails are up after they beat Leitrim recently to land the Lidl National League Division 4 title, and this one has the makings of a very interesting tie.

Monaghan: O Kelly; M Monaghan, J Duffy, E Clerkin; S Brady, A Loughman, B McNally; M Atkinson (capt.), R Courtney; A Garland, S Coyle, L Garland; L Maguire, C McBride, H McQuaid.

Antrim: A McCann; D Coleman, E Ferran, N McIntosh; O Corr, C Brown, S O’Neill; A Mulholland, Á Tubridy; T Mellon, C Carey (capt.), L Dahunsi; B Devlin, O Prenter, M O’Neill.

TG4 Junior Championship

Down v Derry; Páirc Esler

Down began their round-robin phase with a creditable draw against Fermanagh last weekend.

The Mourne County have home advantage in Round 2 against Derry, who struggled in Division 4 of the Lidl NFL, winning just one game, against Kilkenny.

Down will start as favourites and while a line of form would point to the hosts, Derry can’t be discounted in a championship tie.

Down: A McGivern; P Smyth, C Byrne, O Boyle; N McKibbin, M Doherty, A Greene; A Laverty, O Duffy; N Scullion, V McCormack, A Keown; L Duffy, E Fitzpatrick, N King.

Derry: T Cassidy, H Mullan, J Corr (capt.), E McCloskey; O McCloskey, B Donnelly, L Casey; A Frizelle, K Higgins; A McGlone, E Doherty, K Hargan; A Martin, E Diamond, A Crozier.