The Saturday afternoon triple-header will see the Christy Ring Cup final between Down and Carlow take place at 4pm, while the Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher finals will precede it at 2pm and 12pm respectively. The scheduling of the lower tiered competitions has caused plenty headaches for the GAA in recent times with the weaker hurling counties insistent that they deserve a chance to play in headquarters at Croke Park.
GAA officials were eager to avoid a repeat of the controversy surrounding the staging of last year’s Christy Ring Cup final.
Orginally pencilled in for Friday, August 1st in Croke Park, the game was subsequently moved to the following Sunday in Tullamore after both competing counties Carlow and Westmeath slammed GAA authorities for scheduling the game for a Friday night, citing the difficulty in reaching the venue for players and supporters.
Meanwhile the meeting of Armagh and Monaghan will be the highlight of a busy evening of action in the first round of the All-Ireland football qualifiers on Saturday week, July 4th.
The tie, which will be televised live on RTÉ 2, has been fixed for Clones in one of eight games scheduled for 7pm that evening. The All-Ireland SHC Qualifiers Phase 1 matches between Offaly and Cork, and Laois and Antrim will also take place that Saturday night at 7pm.
Meanwhile Kilkenny have made three changes for their Leinster MHC semi-final tie against Westmeath tomorrow night in Mullingar. Willie Phelan comes in at right corner-back, Pádraig Gahan starts at right half-back while Ollie Walsh is named at left half-forward. Sean Phelan, Luke Harney and Ian Duggan are the three players to make way. Tipperary have drafted Drom-Inch player David Collins into their attack for tomorrow night’s Munster MHC semi-final against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Collins comes into the team at left corner-forward instead of Michael O’Brien, in the only change from the team that comprehensively defeated Limerick in their first round clash.
There is one positional switch in the Tipperary attack with Thomas Butler going to centre-forward and John O’Dwyer moving to full-forward.
Waterford have made two changes for their Munster MHC semi-final against Clare in Cusack Park tomorrow night, from the team that defeated Limerick in their play-off match in May. Finán Murray comes into the side at left corner-forward and Ronan Cahill starts at full-forward with Kenny Murphy and John Prendergast the players to lose out.
July 4th: All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1: (All games at 7:00pm)
Donegal v Carlow, Ballybofey; Monaghan v Armagh, Clones; Meath v Waterford, Páirc Tailteann, Navan; Wicklow v Fermanagh, Aughrim; Wexford v Offaly, Wexford Park; Louth v Tipperary, Drogheda; Down v London, Newry; Leitrim v Longford, Carrick-on-Shannon.
All-Ireland SHC Phase 1: Offaly v Cork, Tullamore, 7pm; Laois v Antrim, Tullamore, 7pm.
July 11th: All-Ireland SHC Phase 2: Wexford v Limerick, Wexford Park; Clare v Galway, Ennis.
Christy Ring Cup Final: Down v Carlow, Croke Park, 4pm.
Nicky Rackard Cup Final: Meath/Armagh v London/Fingal, Croke Park, 2pm.
Lory Meagher Cup Final: Longford/Tyrone v South Down/Donegal, Croke Park, 12pm. TIPPERARY (MH v Cork): Paul Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane); A Ryan (Toomevara), L Butler (Moyne-Templetuohy), Pa Ryan (Clonakenny); W Ryan (Clonakenny), D Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), A Hogan (Shannon Rovers); A Cleere (Ballingarry), B Stapleton (Templederry); S Curran (Mullinahone), T Butler (Clonoulty-Rossmore), R Gleeson (Kildangan); E Murray (Templederry), J O’Dwyer (Killenaule), D Collins (Drom-Inch).
WATERFORD (MH v Clare): S O’Keeffe (Ballygunner); L Egan (Dungarvan), T Costello (Dunhill), M Wyse (Passage); J Dee (Portlaw), Phillip Mahony (Ballygunner), D Fives (Tourin); K Moore (Dungarvan), M O’Neill (Mount Sion); P Prendergast (Lismore), B O’Halloran (Clashmore), Paudric Mahony (Ballygunner); J Dillon (De La Salle), R Cahill (Clonea), F Murray (Cappoquin).
KILKENNY (MH v Westmeath): J Power (Carrickshock); W Phelan (Dunamaggin), D Kenny (Dicksboro), J Lyng (Rower/Inistioge); P Gahan (Mullinavat), R Doyle (Barrow Rangers), J Gannon (St Patricks); C Buckley (Dicksboro), G Brennan (St Patricks); C Kenny (Barrow Rangers), S Kehoe (Young Irelands), O Walsh (Dicksboro); C Maher (St Martins), W Walsh (Tullogher-Rosbercon), G Aylward (Glenmore)
WESTMEATH (MH v Kilkenny): C Scally; D Healy, A Shields, Diarmuid Gavin; C Boyle, A McGrath, J Cassidy; S Boylan, C O’Brien; S Fagan, G Flynn, David Gavin; N Dowdall, B O’Meara, A Price.