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Aaron Gillane of Limerick during the Munster SHC semi-final match against Cork at Semple Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile

Aaron Gillane of Limerick during the Munster SHC semi-final match against Cork at Semple Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile

Aaron Gillane of Limerick during the Munster SHC semi-final match against Cork at Semple Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile

Your compete guide to the weekend’s GAA action.

SATURDAY

All-Ireland SHC semi-final

(Extra-time and winner on the day if necessary)

Limerick v Waterford

Croke Park, 5.0, J Keenan (Wicklow), RTÉ2/Sky Sports

Talking Point: It was only four weeks ago, on a sweltering Saturday afternoon in Nowlan Park, that Liam Cahill outlined the difficulties associated with a back door run to the All-Ireland final.

“The only route in championship is the direct route really,” Cahill acknowledged. “Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to have the back door. We’re pure thrilled to still have matches and still have an opportunity to get to the latter stages of the championship.

“But it does really test you as a player and as a management team, to do what’s necessary to get to the business end of it.”

Waterford had just contrived to put Laois away and had yet to lose Iarlaith Daly and if you’d said they’d be required to take out – in order – Galway, Tipperary and Limerick to get back to an All-Ireland final, there wouldn’t have been many takers for a wager.

Now, powered by adrenaline and the confidence gleaned from those wins, they meet Limerick again.

The returns of Aaron Gillane (below) and Dan Morrissey make Limerick look even stronger. And the question is whether Waterford can make much headway trying to run the ball against a middle third crowded with hulking green figures.

If they don’t, Limerick – as they did in last year’s final will feast on their turnovers.

Odds: Limerick 2/7, Draw 11/1, Waterford 10/3

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Verdict: Limerick


EirGrid All-Ireland U-20FC semi-final

(Extra-time and winner on the day if necessary)

Roscommon v Down

Breffni Park, 7.0, D Murnane (Cork), TG4

Talking Point: With Offaly awaiting the winners, it will be a novel All-Ireland final pairing, regardless of which team comes through here.

Roscommon should be better rested, having had almost three weeks to mend and prepare since they went to Castlebar and beat Mayo by seven points – with Adam McDermott’s goal key in the Connacht final.

Down have had to shake off the effects of extra-time against Monaghan in the delayed Ulster final. Both are worthy finalists but Roscommon’s fresher minds and torsos should edge it.

Odds: Roscommon 15/8, Draw 15/2, Down 8/15

Verdict: Roscommon


Ulster MFC semi-final

(Extra-time and winner on the day if necessary)

Tyrone v Fermanagh

Healy Park, 7.0, M Moore (Down)

Verdict: Derry


Ladies Intermediate SFC quarter-final

Down v Wexford

Ashbourne, 3.0, J Murphy (Limerick)


SUNDAY

All-Ireland SHC semi-final

(Extra-time and winner on the day if necessary)

Kilkenny v Cork

Croke Park, 3.30, F Horgan (Tipperary), RTÉ2/Sky Sports

Talking Point: It would be tempting to bill this as a ‘now or never’ moment for Cork’s hurlers, except that’s precisely how it was framed two years ago, when they went down to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland quarter-final, despite the best efforts of Patrick Horgan and his virtuoso hat-trick.

Doubtless, Cork are a better balanced side now, far less reliant on Horgan’s stylings. They threatened from all corners and angles of the pitch – as exemplified by Tim O’Mahony’s goal in Thurles last Saturday against Dublin.

With so much pace up front and indeed, coming from deep through the middle, Dublin’s players were all otherwise occupied, unwilling to leave their men.

O’Mahony was clear, once he broke an initial tackle, to charge through on goal.

The theory quickly gaining traction that Cork could ‘open up’ once they get to Croke Park will be tested out tomorrow, primarily by Robbie O’Flynn, Darragh Fitzgibbon and the extraordinarily quick Jack O’Connor.

Brian Cody’s awesome record in All-Ireland semi-finals (16 wins from 19 appearances) demonstrates how he expertly handled long breaks between big games.

Odds: Kilkenny Evens, Draw 9/1, Cork Evens.

Verdict: Cork


Meath 2020 SHC final

Ratoath v Trim, Páirc Tailteann, 3.30

Carlow 2020 SFC final

Tyrone v Fermanagh, Healy Park, 7.0, M Moore (Down)

Ladies Intermediate SFC quarter-finals

Clare v Westmeath, Tuam, 2.0, G McMahon (Mayo)

Leitrim v Kildare, Ballinasloe, 2.0. J Devlin (Galway)

Laois v Louth, Kinnegad, 2.0, K Corcoran (Mayo)


GAA ON TV

Saturday

All-Ireland SHC semi-final

Limerick v Waterford, 5.0, RTÉ/Sky Sports

EirGrid All-Ireland U-20FC semi-final*

Roscommon v Down, 7.0, TG4

Sunday

All-Ireland SHC semi-final*

Kilkenny v Cork, 3.30, RTÉ/Sky Sports

*(Extra-time and winner on the day if necessary)

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