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Calling the Shots

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Roisin McCormick. Credit: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Roisin McCormick. Credit: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Roisin McCormick. Credit: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

ULSTER SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP 

Tyrone v Cavan

4.30pm, Saturday, Healy Park

Both teams have a huge amount to prove — to themselves as well as their respective following. After winning the Ulster title last year, Cavan fell into Division Four when nobody could have imagined it happening. And after 18 seasons of Mickey Harte, Tyrone underwent a management change and tried to implement a change of style into the bargain. Cue six goals from Kerry in Killarney and a few dark nights of the soul. There is a sense Tyrone can dog this one out, but it will not be an all-singing, all-dancing affair.

VERDICT: Tyrone

Donegal v Derry

4.00pm, Tomorrow, Ballybofey

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The Ulster Championship badly needs some sparks to fly and with Rory Gallagher on the line in a Derry polo shirt, up against some of the players he blooded with Donegal and even one or two All-Ireland winners, this could be it. Derry will be well prepared physically having used lockdown well and will not be lacking strategy. If they can nab a goal or two it will help them greatly, but Donegal’s greater experience might count in the closing stages.

VERDICT: Donegal

ALL-IRELAND SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP 

Antrim v Laois

2.30pm, Saturday, Parnell Park

After all the good work of the early summer when Antrim beat Clare and drew with Wexford in Corrigan Park, their win over Laois almost went unnoticed. They will need to repeat the trick here to convince themselves their work is bearing fruit. Last week’s win for Dublin over Galway might also strengthen their resolve.

VERDICT: Antrim

ALL-IRELAND MFC SEMI-FINAL

Derry v Meath

3.00pm, Saturday, Newry

This young Derry team have come through tough tests recently against Tyrone and – last Friday night – Monaghan. With a host of recognisable names like Downeys and McGurks, the wheel is turning once again for Derry football

VERDICT: Derry

ALL-IRELAND LADIES’ SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP 

Armagh v Monaghan

2.00pm, Saturday, Athletic Grounds, Armagh

Armagh took care of Monaghan in the Ulster Championship a few weeks ago, but onto the group stages of the All-Ireland competition the Monaghan ladies have all the motivation. However, the return of Kelly Mallon to strengthen the attack, with Aoife McCoy bagging 1-2 against Tyrone at the weekend, shows that it is not just Aimee Mackin on the scoreboard. Armagh just have too much in all departments.

VERDICT: Armagh

Dublin v Tyrone

2.00pm, Saturday, Breffni

After losing to Armagh in the Ulster semi-final last week, Tyrone welcome back Neamh Woods and Grainne Rafferty from injury. But they will still struggle against the all-conquering Dubs.

VERDICT: Dublin

ULSTER SENIOR CAMOGIE CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL 

Down v Antrim

3.00pm, Saturday, Pearse Og Park

Star Antrim forward Roisin McCormick is unavailable to play here after being identified as a close contact to someone with Covid. It might be enough to tip the balance towards Down.

VERDICT: Down

ALL-IRELAND LADIES’ JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP 

Antrim v Derry

2.00pm, Saturday, Corrigan Park

In the Junior Championship Round One, Derry get a chance to atone for their heavy defeat to Antrim in the Ulster Junior Championship a fortnight ago. Really, this game is about closing the gap rather than going in with an expectation to win.

VERDICT: Antrim

CHRISTY RING CUP 

Derry v Wicklow

2.00pm, Saturday, Owenbeg

Both teams are already through to the semi-finals so this might be played at a leisurely pace, although recent meetings between the two have verged on the ‘tasty’.

VERDICT: Derry

NICKY RACKARD CUP

Limerick v Donegal

2.00pm, Saturday, Carrick-on-Shannon

Only for a late goal from former Mayo football star Keith Higgins, Donegal would already be well on their way in this competition. With a host of players set to return, they will have far too much for their neighbours

VERDICT: Donegal


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