O'Connor Tips Cork and Monaghan

Former Dublin All Star and All Ireland winner, Cliodhna O’Connor, joined us to preview the TG4 All Ireland Quarter Finals that take place this weekend. It is going to be Cork v Cavan and Monaghan v Kerry in the Senior championship and Clare will meet Tyrone and Tipperary will meet in the Intermediate Championship. Scroll down to see our previews for this weekend’s action.


23 April 2016; Orla Finn, Cork. Lidl Ladies Football National League, Division 1, semi-final, Cork v Dublin. St Brendan's Park, Birr, Co. Offaly. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***


Saturday, August 20th


TG4 Senior All Ireland Quarter Finals


Cavan v Cork,


12:30pm (S. Mulvihill)


Cork will be looking forward to getting back out onto the field of play for the first time since they claimed the TG4 Munster Championship earlier this Summer as they renew their campaign to claim an 11th TG4 Senior All Ireland Championship in 12 years. Cavan had a real scare when they played Laois two weeks ago as they held on to claim a narrow win in a match that they were expected to win far more comfortably.


Cavan showed plenty of rustiness as they were pushed all the way by Laois and they had to rely on their stand out forward, Aisling Doonan, to be the player that saved their blushes. What will be of most concern to Conor Barry was how easily Laois were able to breach their defence. Doonan will again be the key forward for Cavan along with Róisín O’Keefe with the scoring burden for the Breffni County falling squarely on their shoulders. Donna English and Rosie Crowe will hope to have big performances in the middle of the field whilst the defensive unit, lead by Sinead Greene, will need to be at their best to deal with Cork’s challenge.


Cork will have some very familiar names on their team sheet when they take the field in Birr. Bríd Stack, Deirdre O’Reilly, Rena Buckley, Briege Corkery and Ciara O’Sullivan are all multiple All Ireland winners and will provide plenty of experience. Libby Coppinger and Hannah Looney will both start in the full forward line and much is expected of the two players who were stars at underage level. There will be a lot of interest in the performance of Orla Finn who has been immense this year as she has lead the team on the scoreboard.


Cork will have been warned of the danger of ring rustiness after watching the performances of fellow Provincial champions, Mayo and Dublin, in matches they were both expected to win more comfortably. Cavan will have to produce a perfect performance if they are to produce a sensational shock in the championship but Cork are rarely surprised and will be expected to progress.


Monaghan v Kerry,


2:15pm (J. Niland)


This is a match that has all the potential to be a superb game of football. These two sides have both been there or thereabouts in recent years but both have failed to get their hands on the elusive Brendan Martin Cup. Monaghan are coming into this match in great form as they claimed the TG4 Ulster title when few expected it and Kerry had a good win over Waterford to provide them with a timely boost after a disappointing Munster final.


Monaghan were very much in a slump earlier this year as they struggled throughout the Lidl NFL finishing just above the relegation places winning only one match along the way. However, Paula Cunningham has since galvanised the team who went on to easily defeat Armagh before defeating Cavan to regain the TG4 Ulster title. Their team is full of quality players and All Stars with their half backline of Aoife McAnespie, Sharon Courtney and Gráinne McNally being amongst the strongest around. Cora Courtney and Eimear McAnespie form a very exciting midfield duo that will have a huge work rate. Up front Ciara McAnespie has rediscovered her very best form and will be a real threat as will the youngest Courtney sister, Rosemary, who looks like she could be a quality player for years to come. In a further boost to Monaghan Caoimhe Mohan has returned to the panel and is a potential game changer when introduced.


Kerry have rediscovered their early season form after defeating Waterford in the previous round and will be full of confidence ahead of this encounter. Bernie Breen and Emma Sherwood will be tested to their limits in the middle of the field but these two quality performers are capable of dominating that sector and proving the ball to their quality inside forwards. Sarah Houlihan, Louise Ní Muircheartaigh and Laura Rogers will line out in an exciting full forward line that will score when they have possession.


This is a match that is very hard to call and may be decided in the middle third where Monaghan’s strong half forward line will be expected to help securing vital possession. If Kerry are able to get regular ball into their full forwards then they will be favourites to win but Monaghan are an experienced team that will have a plan to deny that space.




TG4 Intermediate All Ireland Quarter Finals


Tipperary v Wicklow,

St. Loman’s Mullingar,

2:00pm (J. Murphy)


Tipperary are the favourites to win the TG4 Intermediate All Ireland title but they will know that both Roscommon and Down took the field as favourites against Wicklow and they have both been knocked out by the Garden County.


This Tipperary team are full of potential. After a few years out of the running they have come roaring back into contention for silverware and will be determined to make 2016 their year. Jennifer Grant is a natural leader and will be expected to patrol the defensive unit and break up any Wicklow attacks. Their midfield partnership of O’Shea and Carew are a mobile and hard working duo but it is through the middle of their attack where Tipperary are strongest. Mairead Morrissey is an excellent centre forward and is a constant scoring threat whilst Aisling McCarthy is a full forward that is full of potential and could be the key player in this contest.


Wicklow have been sensational to date in their campaign as they have knocked out both Roscommon and Down and  will have their sights set on another giant killing. Lorna Fusciardi is a strong defender and can get forward to support the attack whilst Paul McLaughlin will be delighted to welcome back influential midfielder, Jackie Kinch, following injury. Laura Hogan and Helena Dowling will both be important players in the central attacking positions but ace goal poacher, Amy Murphy, will be determined to keep up her fine goal scoring record to date.


Tipperary will be expected to win this match but they will be well warned of the dangers of underestimating this Wicklow team.



Clare v Tyrone,

St. Loman’s Mullingar,

3:45pm (K. Corcoran)


In a weekend of top quality encounters in all three grades the meeting of Clare and Tyrone has the potential to be the very best match of the weekend. Clare were disappointed to lose out in Munster but have since been in superb form whereas Tyrone were the winners in Ulster but have had to wait since mid July to get their campaign back underway.


Clare are a team that are full of potential and have some real quality amongst their ranks. Laurie Ryan is their captain and full back and will provide the experience necessary in the defence. Louise Henchy is a quality midfielder and will be partnered by Kayleigh McCormack where the duo that will need to provide enough ball to their deadly duo of Ailish Considine and the excellent Niamh O’Dea who is a real match winner.


Tyrone are a team that are hard to assess at this level. They have just returned to Intermediate from the Senior grade and immediately won the TG4 Ulster title. However, they had a very difficult league campaign losing heavily in Division 1 before suffering relegation. However, their opposition in Division 1 were all senior teams like Cork and Dublin, how they will fare against Intermediate quality is very difficult to know. The Tyrone strength lies in their half back line where their team captain, Neamh Woods, is flanked by Tori McLaughlin and Christiane Hunter, this trio is as good as any in the country. The presence of Cathy Donnelly on the sideline is a real boost for Tyrone and she could be a difference maker.


Whichever team wins this match will immediately become one of the favourites to win the TG4 Intermediate final but there is very little between these teams in a match that is just too close to call.


Sunday, 21st August


TG4 Junior All Ireland Quarter Final


Lancashire v Antrim,

John Mitchell’s,

1:30pm (A. Gallagher)


Lancashire were heavy losers against London in the British final but they will be hoping that they can make home advantage count as they look to make it through to their first ever TG4 All Ireland Semi Final. Antrim will want to get their campaign back on track after losing out to Longford. Antrim will still feel that they can return to Croke Park in September but they will not underestimate their hosts this weekend. However, with attacking talent like Claire Timoney and Mairead Cooper this Antrim team will be hoping to go on to face London in the semi final on September 10/11th.

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