GAA Championship Preview: No shocks this time

Apr 19, 2024 14:54 By Dave Hooper
GAA Championship Preview: No shocks this time
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Semi-final time in Connacht and Munster

Galway v Sligo

The business end of the Connacht championship gets underway on Saturday afternoon.

Galway are red hot favourites. However, Sligo are a developing side. Under-20 success should start building further into this team. Thus, they are by no means the wipping boys.


Indeed, Padraig Joyce’s side were far from convincing in the Allianz league. Division status survived but Roscommon and Monaghan never really challenged.

Still and all, Joyce will be leading Galway out to another Connacht final.

Sligo: Aidan Devaney, Evan Lyons, Eddie McGuinness, Paul McNamara, Peter Laffey, Nathan Mullen, Darragh Cummins, Sean Carrabine, Canice Mulligan, Cian Lally, Alan McLaughlin, Eoghan Smith, Paul Kilcoyne, Niall Murphy, Lee Deignan.


Galway: Connor Gleeson, Johnny McGrath, Seán Fitzgerald, Jack Glynn, Dylan McHugh, John Daly, Liam Silke, Paul Conroy, Seán Kelly, Johnny Heaney, Shane Walsh, Cein Darcy, Jack McCabe, Robert Finnerty, Liam Ó Conghaile.

Saturday April 20

Markievicz Park, Sligo


Referee: Barry Tiernan (Dublin), Throw-in: 3:30pm

Verdict: Galway

Mayo v Roscommon


This should be a clash of the titans. Their last two meetings a very mixed. Mayo league champions in 2023 were stung by the Rossies a week later in the Connacht quarter-final.

The league meeting earlier this year saw Mayo hit fifth gear in the second-half and Davy Burke’s side had no answer.

Davy Burke has had a good stretch of training he wished for. Kevin McStay’s Mayo have been hot and cold thus far. Indeed, A grudge match awaits in the up graded Hyde.


Roscommon: Conor Carroll, David Murray, Brian Stack, Niall Higgins, Niall Daly, Ruaidhri Fallon, Eoin McCormack, Enda Smith, Tadhg O'Rourke, Dylan Ruane, Ultan Harney, Ronan Daly, Donie Smith, Daire Cregg, Diarmuid Murtagh.

Mayo: Colm Reape, Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Sam Callinan, Paddy Durcan, David McBrien, Enda Hession, Stephen Coen, Matthew Ruane, Bob Tuohy, Fergal Boland, Jack Carney, Aidan O'Shea, Tommy Conroy, Ryan O'Donoghue.

Sunday April 21

Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon

Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone) Throw-in: 4pm

Verdict: Mayo

Clare v Waterford

Waterford produced the shock of the year beating Tipperary in the quarter-final. Indeed, The worst team in the county, complementing stepped out of the Allianz League are 70 minutes away from the Munster final.

Indeed, Clare are a division three side heading for the All-Ireland championship for the second year in-a-row. That’s if lighting doesn’t strike twice!

It won’t! As a result, Clare will make the Munster final and a All-Ireland competition.

Clare: Stephen Ryan, Manus Doherty, Cillian Brennan, Ronan Lanigan, Alan Sweeney, Cillian Rouine, Daniel Walsh, Brian McNamara, Darragh Bohannon, Gavin Murray, Dermot Coughlan, Ciaran Downes, Emmet McMahon, Aaron Griffin, Mark McInerney.

Waterford: Paudie Hunt, Ross Browne, Caoimhín Walsh, Liam Fennell, Billy O'Keeffe, Dermot Ryan, Robbie McGrath, Michael Curry, Jason Curry, Caolan MacCraith, Donie Fitzgerald, William Beresford, Stephen Curry, Tom O'Connell, James Power.

Saturday April 20

Fraher Field, Dungarvan

Referee: David Murnane (Cork) Throw-in: 6pm

Verdict: Clare

Kerry v Cork

Clifford mania v the weak rebels. While Leinster gets criticised for its non-competitiveness, Kerry are heading for their 85th Munster title.

Whereas, Cork have 37 Munster championship titles to their name. Indeed, Kerry and Cork have won 121 out of 135 Munster titles.

Whereas, Cork took fourth place in a mediocre division two. The question in reality is what are Kerry like without Clifford mania? That won’t be answered this weekend.

Kerry: Shane Ryan, Paul Murphy, Tadhg Morley, Tom O'Sullivan, Graham O'Sullivan, Gavin White, Sean O'Brien, Diarmuid O'Connor, Joe O'Connor, Adrian Spillane, Paudie Clifford, Cillian Burke, David Clifford, Sean O'Shea, Dara Moynihan.

Cork: Christopher Kelly, Kevin Flahive, Daniel O' Mahony, Maurice Shanley, Luke Fahy, Tommy Walsh, Matty Taylor, Ian Maguire, Colm O'Callaghan, Paul Walsh, Seán Powter, Brian O' Driscoll, Chris Óg Jones, Conor Corbett, Brian Hurley.

Saturday April 20

Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney

Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan) Throw-in: 4pm

Verdict: Kerry

Derry v Donegal

The league champions against the Ulster championship return of Jim McGuinness.

This should be the game of the weekend. Indeed, Donegal were awesome in winning division two. Whereas, Derry were very good in winning division one. In a previous era that could have been a league final.

Many would see this game as the first real test of the new McGuinness era. Whereas, Mickey Harte will want to keep the winning run going and setup a semi-final with Tyrone or Cavan.

This should be a Derry win, but will it be by pure force or defensive masterclass?

Derry: Odhran Lynch, Conor McCluskey, Christopher McKaigue, Diarmuid Baker, Conor Doherty, Eoin McEvoy, Padraig McGrogan, Conor Glass, Brendan Rogers, Ethan Doherty, Ciaran McFaul, Paul Cassidy, Niall Loughlin, Shane McGuigan, Lachlan Murray.

Donegal: Shaun Patton, Mark Curran, Ciaran Moore, Peadar Mogan, Ryan McHugh, Caolan McGonagle, Shane O’Donnell, Ciaran Thompson, Michael Langan, Odhran Doherty, Niall O’Donnell, Daire O’Baoill, Patrick McBrearty, Oisin Gallen, Aaron Doherty.

Saturday April 20

Celtic Park, Derry

Referee: David Gough Throw-in: 6:15pm

Verdict: Derry

Cavan v Tyrone

Two weeks ago, I was quick to write off Cavan. The Breffni men stunned Monaghan 3-12 to 1-12 in their first round game.

Whereas, Tyrone are at the end of their second golden era. For Cavan to spring a second surprise of the championship isn’t off the table.

While, Tyrone are coming down the hill, they certainly aren’t a busted flush. In fact, there’s still a couple of miles left to run in their legs.

With Niall Morgan in goal and the offensive offerings on show, Tyrone will always have a chance.

Cavan: Gary O' Rourke, Cian Reilly, Killian Brady, Brían O'Connell, Padraig Faulkner, Niall Carolan, Conor Brady, James Smith, Oisin Kiernan, Ciarán Brady, Gerard Smith, Oisin Kiernan, Cian Madden, Paddy Lynch, Oisin Brady.

Tyrone: Niall Morgan, Conal Devlin, Padraig Hampsey, Michael McKernan, Sean O’Donnell, Matthew Donnelly, Niall Devlin, Brian Kennedy, Aodhan Donaghy, Ciaran Daly, Kieran McGeary, Joe Oguz, Darren McCurry, Darragh Canavan, Ruari Canavan.

Sunday April 21

Kingspan Breffni, Cavan

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath) Throw-in: 4pm

Verdict: Tyrone

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