This weekend’s All-Ireland Ladies action

Compiled by Jackie Cahill

THE semi-final pairings for the TG4 All-Ireland Junior and Intermediate Championships will be confirmed over the coming weekend.

All four Intermediate quarter-finals are down for decision next Sunday, while the final group fixtures in the Junior Championship will determine the make-up of the semi-final pairings.

In Group A, Fermanagh and Carlow are safely through to the last four of the Junior Championship, with Fermanagh guaranteed a top-placed finish.

In Group B, Louth are well placed to qualify, with Limerick and Longford also in the hunt.

Also in the Intermediate Championship, Antrim, Cavan, Offaly and Wicklow are battling for survival.

In Saturday’s relegation play-off, Antrim will take on Cavan, before Offaly face Wicklow on Sunday.

The winners of these games will preserve Intermediate status for 2025, with the losers to meet each other on Sunday July 7.

The losers of that final relegation match will play in the Junior Championship next year.

 Saturday June 29

TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship – relegation qualifier  

Antrim v Cavan; Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan, 2pm
Ulster sides Antrim and Cavan meet in a huge fixture – with the winners assured of Intermediate Championship football again next year.

Having reached the semi-finals of the All-Ireland Championship last year, 2024 has been a difficult year for Antrim, who have suffered personnel losses and some big defeats.

Confidence in the Saffron camp is at a low ebb and Cavan, who were more competitive in their group despite defeats to Down and Westmeath, will fancy their chances of claiming victory in this one.

Antrim: S Murphy; A Kelly, G McGroarty, D Coleman; G Shannon, C Brown (capt.), H Donaghy; E Ferran, C Finucane; A Montague, C Taggart, T Mellon; C Logan, A Taggart, E Rogers Duffy.

 Cavan: E Baugh; N Briody, Á Brady (capt.), N Smith; K Tuipuloto, R Dolan, C Charters; A Cahill, R Gilsenan; Z Fay, C Brady, A Wharton; E Longair, R McLoughlin, S Levingstone.

 Sunday June 30

 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship – quarter-finals  

Down v Monaghan; Páirc Esler, Newry, 2pm – Live on LGFA Facebook and YouTube
A repeat of the Ulster Final sees Down with home advantage against Monaghan.

That was a game Down won by just a single point, holding firm at the end to withstand a brilliant fightback from Monaghan, who trailed by ten points in the second half.

Now, they meet again, and this time for a place in the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Down beat Westmeath and Cavan to top Group 1, as Monaghan finished second behind Clare in Group 2, edging out Offaly in the process.

The winners of this one will face Clare or Tyrone in the last four.

Down: A McGivern; A Greene, C Byrne, E Sands; C Mulvenna, N McKibbin, O Duffy; M Doherty (capt.), A Laverty; N Scullion, N McClory, L Duffy; S Dougherty, N Ferris, N King.

Monaghan: Ó Kelly; A Bannigan, K Nolan, E Woods; A Garland, E Carolan, M Monaghan (capt.); J Duffy, Á Loughman; L Garland, S Tierney, C Treanor; L Maguire, C McBride, É Sherry.

Wexford v Westmeath; McCauley Park Bellefield, 2pm
Another provincial final repeat – and there are three of them in the quarter-finals – pits Wexford against Westmeath.

Aoife Cullen’s last-gasp point handed Wexford victory in the Leinster Final and now the scene is set for what should be another closely-contested affair.

Wexford have kicked on after that Leinster final win, scoring impressive victories over Roscommon and Antrim in the All-Ireland series.

Westmeath have regrouped and while they lost out to Down, victory over Cavan sealed a spot in the last eight for the Lake County.

The prize for the winners of this one is a crack at Leitrim or Roscommon in the semi-finals.

Wexford: S McCarthy; L Doyle, M Byrne, A Power; C Banville, A Halligan, S Harding Kenny; R Murphy (capt.), C Donnelly; R Hughes, C Foxe, A Cullen; C Roban, K Kearney, T Doyle.

Westmeath: L McCormack (capt.); L McCartan, L Power, K Boyce-Jordan; C Kelly, F Coyle, R Dillon; T Dillon, V Carr; A Ruane, A Jones, C Kilmurray; S Dillon, L Slevin, K Hegarty.

Clare v Tyrone; Cusack Park, Ennis, 2pm
Clare were beaten finalists last year but bounced back from that disappointment to show excellent form in 2024.

Having captured the Lidl National League Division 3 title, Clare opted out of competing in the Munster B championship and they attacked the All-Ireland Intermediate series with gusto.

The Banner County secured victories over Monaghan and Offaly to top Group 3 but they now face stiff opposition in the form of Tyrone, who contested the Lidl NFL Division 2 final and are now looking ahead to top-flight fare in 2025.

In Group 4, Tyrone suffered defeat to Leitrim but victory over Wicklow was good enough for a place in the knockout stages.

Clare: A Lenihan; A Keane, S Ní Chonaill, G Harvey; R Considine, J Doohan, L Griffin; L Ryan, S Considine; T Collins, C Harvey (capt.), A Sexton; A Considine, F Marrinan, C Moloney.

Tyrone: A Coyle; J Lyons, J Barrett, E Quinn; M Mallon, M Corrigan, C Daly; A Grimes, A McHugh (capt.); E.J. Gervin, A Horisk, E McNamee; M Canavan, Z Loughran, C McCaffrey.

Leitrim v Roscommon; Ballinamore, 2pm
A Connacht final rematch pits Leitrim against Roscommon in what should be an intriguing game.

Not much has separated the sides in recent times and when they met in the provincial decider, Leitrim edged a high-scoring encounter by 3-12 to 0-19.

That win has fuelled them with confidence and helped to erase the disappointment of their Lidl NFL Division 4 campaign, when they fell at the semi-final hurdle against Limerick.

Roscommon are looking ahead to Division 2 football again next year after gaining promotion and they’ll be anxious to atone for that Connacht final loss.

Roscommon finished second behind Wexford in Group 3 of the All-Ireland series, as Leitrim, impressively, beat Tyrone and Wicklow to top Group 4.

Leitrim: M Monaghan; E Quigley, C Tyrrell, C Owens; S Reynolds, K Bruen, E Bruen; N Tighe, M Guckian (capt.); O Flynn, L O’Dowd, M Devaney; A Clancy, S Quinn, Á Redican.

Roscommon: H Cummins; A McGrath, E Irwin, S Fleming; R Fitzmaurice, S Wynne, J McDermott; C Cregg, L O’Rourke; L Fleming, K Nolan, E Thompson; A Hanly, A O’Connor, N Feeney (capt.).

TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship – relegation qualifier  

Offaly v Wicklow; Crettyard GAA, Laois – 2.30pm
These sides met in the TG4 Leinster championship and it was Offaly who came out on top by 12 points.

Wicklow will have to improve massively to put it up to the Faithful County, who narrowly missed out on a place in the knockout stages.

A draw against Monaghan saw Offaly pipped to a quarter-final slot by their opponents, as Wicklow lost both of their group fixtures against Leitrim and Tyrone.

The winners will preserve Intermediate championship status again for 2025, while the losers will play-off against the losers of the Antrim-Cavan clash in a ‘last chance saloon’ showdown.

Offaly: C Sheridan; A Grehan, M Mann, N Buckley; N Farrelly, E Maher, R Ennis; E McEvoy (capt.), M Rouse; K Farrelly, C Lynam, A Gavin Mangan; M Byrne, E Hand, R Cockram.

Wicklow: E Griffin; E Parke, L Dunne, S Goetelen; N Caffrey, C Murphy, M Healy; A Gorman, S.J. Winders (capt.); S Evans, A Cullen, A Harmon; E O’Brien, N Cullen, A Carroll.

TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship

Group A

Fermanagh v London; Killeeshil, 2pm
Fermanagh have already secured top spot in Group A, with the two games in this pool on Sunday very much dead rubber fixtures.

London will want to finish with something to show for their efforts, however, having lost all three games to date, while Fermanagh will look to maintain their 100 per cent record in the All-Ireland series.

The Erne County can also call upon the attacking prowess of Eimear Smyth, who is now the leading scorer across all three grades of the All-Ireland series, with 1-21 to date, including 0-14 against Derry in midweek.

Fermanagh: M Maguire; C Clarke, M McGloin, E Keenan; S McQuade (capt.), C Murphy, L Maguire; B Bannon, C.C. Bogue; D Maguire, J Doonan, A McCabe; B Bogue, E Smyth, B Smyth.

London: S Farrell; L Harrold, N Cunningham, M Jordan (capt.); J Garrett, A Spain, R McKegney; C Finnerty, E Clarke; L Sheehy, M Adegbamiye, A Sexton; O Reilly, A McLoughlin, S Masterson.

Sligo v Derry; Curry, 2pm
There’s nothing but pride to play as Sligo and Derry go head to head in Curry.

Derry’s loss to Fermanagh during the week ended their chances of contesting a semi-final, while Sligo’s remote hopes were also dashed.

Both Sligo and Derry achieved victories over London in the group phase and a second win for either side here would end their season on a positive note.

Sligo: E McGuire; C King, C Dunne (capt.), S Curley; A Molloy, A Morrisroe, J Creegan; S Cunney, T Breheny; E Lavin, C Gilligan, L Duffy; A Haran, S Regan, M McCormack.

Derry: E Conway; H Mullan, A McGough, J Corr (capt.); B Donnelly, C McGurk, S Hargan; C O’Kane, L Casey; Erin Doherty, D McKeever, A Martin; Emma Doherty, C Donnelly, L McGonagle.

Group B

Limerick v Kilkenny; Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale, 2pm
Last year’s beaten finalists Limerick have home advantage against Kilkenny – knowing that victory is a must.

The Shannonsiders could yet top the Group B standings but only if they win big and Longford get the better of Louth.

Before play gets underway on Sunday, Louth lead the way on six points and with a +26 scoring difference.

The Wee County are three points clear of both Limerick (+1 scoring difference) and Longford (+4).

Limerick: S Hennessy; J McGuire, Y Lee, R Browne; G Lee, L Coughlan, G Mullane; R Ambrose (capt.), M MacNamara; K O’Leary, D Murphy, C Mee; E Woulfe, I Kennelly, C McGrath.

Kilkenny: E Moran; A Ryan, R Crowley, S Dunne; H Brennan, A Galwey, A Ring; K Comerford, R Roche; K Purcell, S Corcoran, J O’Keeffe; R Phelan, E Lawlor (capt.), R Roche.

Longford v Louth; Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 2pm
With two teams set to emerge from Group B, Longford must make home advantage count against Louth.

Even then, victory for the Midlanders might not be enough, as Limerick have home advantage against Kilkenny and will aim to make that count on the scoreboard.

Should Longford and Limerick both win, they’ll join Louth on six points, leading to a three-team tie at the top.

Then, scoring difference will come into play, with Louth currently best-placed in this regard.

In another permutation, a draw would be enough for Longford to advance but only if Kilkenny get the better of Limerick.

If Limerick and Longford both draw, and are finished tied together on four points each, Limerick will advance having won the head to head game between the counties.

Longford: R McGrath; E Farrell, E O’Brien, G Kenny; L Shannon, O Nevin, C McCormack (capt.); S Gallagher, F Talabi; C Lohan, G Shannon, K McKeon; K Burke, N Brady, E O’Reilly.

Louth: R Lambe Fagan; L Byrne, E Murray, E Hand; H Lambe-Sally, Á Breen (capt.), C Nolan; A Halligan, E Byrne; M Duffy, A Russell, S Mathews; N Rice, K Flood, C McDonald.  

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