Weekend previews and predictions: Limerick intent on giving Waterford a taste of Championship fare

John Fogarty previews the weekend's GAA fixtures.
Weekend previews and predictions: Limerick intent on giving Waterford a taste of Championship fare
Aaron Gillane, right, and Graeme Mulcahy of Limerick in action against Waterford's Conor Prunty at Walsh Park last summer. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Aaron Gillane, right, and Graeme Mulcahy of Limerick in action against Waterford's Conor Prunty at Walsh Park last summer. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

John Fogarty previews the weekend’’s GAA fixtures.

SATURDAY

Allianz Football League.

Division 2, Round 5 re-fixture.

Fermanagh v Armagh, Brewster Park 7pm (C. Branagan, Down).

The hopes of each team become that much more desperate now that they face this their first of three games in the space of 22 days. Against Ulster opposition in particular, Brewster Park is an asset and this should be a tense and often testy encounter but Fermanagh can steal a point to keep their survival aspirations alive.

Verdict: Draw.

Allianz Hurling League.

Division 1, Group A, Round 3 re-fixture.

Limerick v Waterford, LIT Gaelic Grounds 5.30pm (P. O’Dwyer, Carlow) Live Eir Sports.

Not much has changed for Limerick since this game was postponed. Their 100% record remains intact and they will be keen to give Waterford a taste of what’s in store for them at this venue on May 17. Waterford shouldn’t be too upset in going down to Tipperary although shooting practice will have been on the menu in training this past week. A semi-final for Limerick and a quarter for the Déise.

Verdict: Limerick.

Eirgrid Ulster U20 FC final.

Donegal v Tyrone, St Tiernach’s Park 3pm (J. Murphy, Fermanagh).

Both sides came through some difficult conditions last weekend to make this stage and neither team had it all their own way in those encounters. On the face of it, Donegal’s two-point win over Down may be considered that more impressive than Tyrone’s similar margin against Antrim but led by Darragh Canavan Tyrone can squeeze a second successive provincial title.

Verdict: Tyrone.

Eirgrid Connacht U20 FC final.

Galway v Roscommon, Tuam Stadium 2pm.

Galway were six-point victors when the counties met in a pre-championship competition final in January. The margin shouldn’t be as significant here but after pulling through against Mayo before seeing off Leitrim with ease Galway should be able to fend off their neighbours. Matthew Tierney and Tony Gill can guide the hosts to the crown.

Verdict: Galway

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues.

Division 1, Group 1 Clare v Waterford, Cratloe GAA 2pm (J. Heffernan, Wexford).

Verdict: Clare.

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SUNDAY

Allianz Hurling League.

Division 1 relegation play-off.

Westmeath v Carlow, TEG Cusack Park 2pm (S. Cleere, Kilkenny) Deferred TG4.

Both knew their fate a couple of weeks back so last weekend’s results (Limerick 1-24 Westmeath 0-18 and Wexford 2-29 Carlow 1-11) can be written off to an extent. Westmeath were in the tougher group and had a better scoring difference than Carlow (11 points less conceded). An intense battle in the making but one which Carlow can win.

Verdict: Carlow.

Division 1, Group A, Round 3 re-fixture.

Galway v Tipperary, Pearse Stadium 2pm (J. Murphy, Limerick) Live TG4.

Johnny Murphy gets the nod for this despite the backlash to his officiating of the recent Dublin-Wexford game. Galway and Tipperary, as keen as they are to make the play-offs, will have to be mindful that the Limerick official picks up on a lot more than other referees. If frees decide this then Tipperary could profit for the second week in a row. Joe Canning should be back for this, which will be a real fillip for the hosts. Salthill is not a daunting place to go but Tipperary will have to look decidedly less slack than last Sunday to win.

Verdict: Galway.

Division 2A, Round 3 re-fixture.

Offaly v Antrim, Bord na Móna O’Connor Park 2pm (D. Hughes, Kilkenny).

With their place in the final already confirmed, Antrim go into this not with indifference but not the same intent with which they travelled to Kerry last weekend. They could dictate who they play in the final, though, and that may be a carrot for them here. Besides, a winning run is not something you want to give up too easily.

Verdict: Antrim.

Division 2B, Round 3 re-fixture.

Derry v Kildare, Celtic Park 2pm (K. Brady, Louth).

A draw will secure Derry a final spot against Down but defeat and because of their score difference it will be the Lilywhites facing the men from the Mourne County. Kildare’s scoring return is so good that it can make this trip worthwhile.

Verdict: Kildare.

Division 2B, relegation play-off.

London v Warwickshire, McGovern Park, Ruislip 1pm (C. Mooney, Dublin).

Verdict: London.

Division 3A final.

Armagh v Donegal, Éire Óg, Carrickmore 2pm (A. Ferguson, Fermanagh).

Verdict: Armagh.

Allianz Hurling League Division 3B, Round 3 re-fixture.

Fermanagh v Sligo, Brewster Park 2pm (C. McDonald, Antrim).

Verdict: Sligo.

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues.

Division 1, Group 1.

Cork v Kilkenny, Páirc Uí Rinn 2pm (J. McDonagh, Galway).

Verdict: Cork.

Division 1, Group 2 Limerick v Dublin, LIT 1pm (O. Elliot, Antrim).

Verdict: Limerick.

Galway v Tipperary, Duggan Park, Ballinasloe 3pm (R. Kelly, Kildare).

Verdict: Galway.

Lidl Ladies National Football League.

Division 1, Round 5 Donegal v Cork, Fr Tierney Park, Ballyshannon 1pm (G. Chapman, Sligo).

For hosts Donegal, the three remaining rounds are all about survival. Defeat against Westmeath in Round 4 has left Maxi Curran’s charges anchored to the foot of the table, and in need of points to avoid the drop. For holders Cork, the picture is much rosier. Four wins from four outings has them sitting pretty at the head of affairs – and a fifth straight victory would see Ephie Fitzgerald’s side through to the Division 1 Final on April 19, should Mayo drop points in their game against Westmeath.

Verdict: Cork.

Galway v Tipperary, Tuam Stadium 2pm (M. Kenny, Mayo).

Galway were the League and Championship bridesmaids last year but they’ve rallied in 2020, and have three wins from four outings in Division 1. The Tribeswomen defeated Dublin last time out and that result has them on course for another final appearance, with Mayo three points back in third. Draws with Dublin and Waterford, and victory over Westmeath, have Tipp in mid-table and on course for top-flight consolidation again.

Verdict: Galway.

Mayo v Westmeath, Swinford Amenity Park 2pm (S. Curley, Galway).

Mayo have a chance to keep their hopes of a final place alive with victory at home to Westmeath. Mayo will also hope that Tipperary can do them a favour against Galway – and the race could yet boil down to the final round of fixtures, when Galway host Mayo. Mayo have won two and lost two of their four fixtures this season, and they’ll look to bounce back from an eight-point loss to Cork last time out.

Verdict: Mayo.

Waterford v Dublin, Fraher Field 2pm (N. McCormack, Laois).

Dublin’s loss to Galway on home soil in Round 4 was a massive dent to their hopes of making the Division 1 final. Dublin will need maximum points from their remaining three group fixtures to stand a chance of reaching the decider – and even that may not be enough. Waterford boast an identical results record to Dublin this season, with one win, two defeats and a draw. Some work to do if they’re to preserve top-flight status.

Verdict: Dublin.

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