WEEKEND PREVIEWS: TG4 All-Ireland JFC and IFC Finalists to be revealed; Cavan and Waterford battle to preserve Senior status

THE 2023 TG4 All-Ireland Junior and Intermediate Finalists will be revealed over the coming weekend – with four brilliant semi-finals in store.  

On Saturday, the action gets underway with the meeting of Limerick and Fermanagh in the Junior Championship, with a 2pm start in Longford.  

That’s followed on Sunday by the second Junior semi-final between Carlow and Down at 2pm.  

That’s the first game of a Parnell Park double-bill, with Leinster rivals Kildare and Wexford meeting in the Intermediate semi-final at 4pm.  

Also on Sunday, Antrim take on Clare in Longford in the other Intermediate semi-final, and that game has a 2pm throw-in time.  

Meanwhile, Cavan and Waterford will battle it out for survival in the Senior grade on Saturday.  

The losers of the relegation play-off in Crettyard (2pm) will drop down to the Intermediate Championship ranks for the 2024 season.  

The four TG4 All-Ireland semi-finals can be watched on the Spórt TG4 YouTube page

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUds-3OqMdVufEjNmdiYL-w while the Cavan v Waterford Senior relegation fixture can be viewed at https://bit.ly/46XK1cs 

Saturday July 22  

TG4 All-Ireland SFC relegation play-off 

Cavan v Waterford; Crettyard, 2pm 

It’s the last chance saloon for Cavan and Waterford as they battle it out for survival in the Senior grade.  

The losers of this relegation play-off will drop down to the Intermediate grade for the 2024 season, and the stakes are high in Crettyard.  

Cavan lost out to Laois last week, as the O’Moore County stayed alive at Senior level, while Waterford suffered an agonising defeat after a free-kick shoot-out against Munster neighbours Tipperary.  

Now, it’s all on the line for Cavan and Waterford, and Cavan have made one change in personnel for this winner-takes-all clash, with Shauna Lynch, who came on as a substitute against Laois, coming in for Niamh Keenaghan.  

Opponents Waterford have also made one change, with Katie Murray starting this one in place of Annie Fitzgerald.  

Cavan: Róisin O’Reilly; C Brady, S Lynch, C Charters; E Halton, N Byrd (capt.), Rebecca O’Reilly; C Madden, E Madden; A Walls, A Sheridan, K McCormack; M Cusack, G Sheridan, A Gilsenan.  

Waterford: E O’Brien; H Power, L Mulcahy, A Murray; E Power, E Murray, Karen McGrath (capt.); Á O’Neill, B McMaugh; K Hogan, Kate McGrath, A Waring; K Murray, C Hynes, L McGregor.  

TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship semi-final 

Limerick v Fermanagh; Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford, 2pm 

Fermanagh were beaten Junior Finalists last year after a replay against Antrim, and will be hoping to go one step further this time.  

To get back to another Final, however, they’ll have to get past Limerick, who are appearing in a fourth successive Junior semi-final.  

Limerick will hope they can get one over on Fermanagh at the penultimate stage, as the Erne County won the 2020 and 2022 All-Ireland semi-final meetings between the counties.  

Fermanagh topped Group B with three wins from three to reach this semi-final, with Limerick qualifying in second place from Group A behind Down.  

Sunday July 23  

TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship semi-final 

Down v Carlow; Parnell Park, 2pm 

Down were relegated last year but are targeting a swift return to the Intermediate grade.  

Their opponents are Carlow, who have been knocking at the door in the Junior grade in recent years.  

Carlow have appeared in the 2021 and 2022 Junior semi-finals and will be hoping it’s third time lucky on Sunday as they target a Croke Park berth.  

Down topped Group A to make it through to the semi-finals, with Carlow joining them after finishing second in Group B.  

TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship semi-finals 

Antrim v Clare; Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford, 2pm 

Antrim have been one of stories of the year, building on last year’s TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship win.  

They’ve won the Lidl National League Division 4 title and Ulster Intermediate crown already this year, and are ready to appear in a TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate semi-final for the very first time. 

To reach the Final, the Saffrons will have to get past Clare, who are no strangers to the knockout stages of the Intermediate Championship.  

In last year’s semi-final, Clare were edged out by eventual winners Laois after extra-time in a thriller and the Banner County will aim to vault the last four hurdle this time and contest a first Intermediate Final since 2016.  

Antrim and Clare were very impressive in their respective quarter-final wins against Monaghan and Westmeath – and are in the last four on merit  

Kildare v Wexford; Parnell Park, 4pm 

Kildare are back-to-back Leinster Intermediate champions in 2022 and 2023 and they defeated Wexford in both provincial Finals.  

These teams know plenty about each other and another close encounter is anticipated.  

Kildare have enjoyed an excellent season to date, also claiming the Lidl National League Division 3 title, but Wexford will present stern opposition and the Model County have contested the last two All-Ireland Intermediate Finals.  

Kildare and Wexford were very impressive in their respective quarter-final wins against Tyrone and Leitrim – and this promises to be an intriguing semi-final. 

Team sheets for the Junior and Intermediate semi-finals available in the hyperlinks above, along with a match programme for Cavan v Waterford in the hyperlink for that game.  

Ticket details available at: https://bit.ly/3Dah3Iz 

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