Preview: Tailteann Cup quarter-finals:

Tailteann Cup quarter-finals,

Saturday 15th June

Sligo v Limerick in Markievicz Park at 5pm

Having lost eight matches in a row between the League and the Munster Championship, Limerick suddenly caught fire in the Tailteann Cup with wins over Offaly, London, and Tipperary.

Emmet Righter announced himself as a star in the making in last weekend’s win over the Premier County, and he’s ably assisted in a lively Limerick attack by Danny Neville, James Naughton, and Peter Nash.

Sligo have been one of the form teams of the competition thus far though and are always an especially hard nut to crack in Markievicz Park.

If they get a decent supply of ball in to dangerous duo Niall Murphy and Patrick O’Connor they’ll be hard to hold.

SLIGO: Aidan Devaney; Evan Lyons, Eddie McGuinness, Paul McNamara; Brian Cox, Darragh Cummins, Nathan Mullen; Paul Kilcoyne, Canice Mulligan; Cian Lally, Alan McLaughlin, Sean Carrabine; Mikey Gordon, Patrick O’Connor, Niall Murphy. Subs: Daniel Lyons, David Quinn, Donal Conlon, Eoghan Smith, Jack Lavin, Keelan Cawley, Lee Deignan, Luke Casserly, Mark Walsh, Pat Spillane, Peter Laffey.

LIMERICK: Josh Ryan; Cormac Woulfe, Sean O’Dea, Paul Maher; Barry Coleman, Cillian Fahy, Tony McCarthy; Tommy Childs, Iain Corbett; Emmett Rigter, James Naughton, Cathal Downes; Danny Neville, Rob Childs, Peter Nash. Subs: Jeffrey Alfred, Darren O’Doherty, Jim Liston, Tommy Griffin, Ruadhan O’Connor, Joe Sweeney, Bryan Nix, Brian Ahern, Shane Costelloe, Andrew Meade, Aaron Neville.

Fermanagh v Antrim in Brewster Park at 6pm

Fermanagh’s ability to win all three matches in their Tailteann Cup group is looking all the more impressive now considering two of the teams they beat, Laois and Wicklow, have also made it to this stage of the competition.

Antrim laboured to victory over London last weekend, only making sure of the win with a late goal, and will need to raise their level if they’re to better their fellow Ulster county here.

Fermanagh’s defence with players Josh Larg Ellis, Che Cullen and Declan McCusker all in very good form looks more solid than Antrim’s, and this could be the key to victory.

FERMANAGH: Ross Bogue; Lee Cullen, Ché Cullen, Jonathan Cassidy; Declan McCusker, Shane McGullion, Josh Largo Elis; Brandon Horan, Joe McDade; Callum Jones, Conor McShea, Fionan O’Brien; Ultán Kelm, Garvan Jones, Sean Cassidy. Subs: Sean McNally, Aidan Breen, Ronan McCaffrey, Conor Love, Oisin Smyth, Darragh McGurn, Oisin Murphy, Tiarnan Bogue, Diarmuid King, James McMahon, Rian McGovern.

ANTRIM: Michael Byrne; Declan Lynch, Eunan Walsh, Kavan Keenan; Niall Burns, Joseph Finnegan, Dermot McAleese; Patrick McAleer, Cathal Hynds; Colm McLarnon, Patrick McBride, Ruairí McCann; Ryan McQuillan, Ruairi McCann, Marc Jordan. Subs: Luke Mulholland, Calum Higgins, Conhuir Johnston, Conor Hand, Daniel McNicholl, Dominic McEnhill, Eoin Hynds, James McDonnell, Liam McLarnon, Pat Shivers, Peter Healy.

Down v Wicklow in Pairc Esler at 4.30pm – GAAGO

Beaten finalists last year, Down were competition favourites from the outset and so far have lived up to that billing.

They won their three matches over Limerick, London, and Offaly by an average of 12 points each and seem to have gotten a nice balance between a tight defence and expansive attack.

With forwards like Pat Havern, Ryan Johnston, Danny Magill, and Conor McCrickard all in good form, it would be a big shock if the home team didn’t come out on top here.

But Wicklow will be full of self-belief after last weekend’s win over Leitrim and are good enough to make a serious game of it if Dean Healy recreates his midfield heroics and Kevin Quinn and John Paul Nolan get a decent supply of ball.

DOWN: John O’Hare; Peter Fegan, Ryan McEvoy, Pierce Laverty; Miceal Rooney, Daniel Guinness, Shealan Johnston; Jonny Flynn, Odhran Murdock; Danny Magill, James Guinness, Ryan Johnston; Oisin Savage, Pat Havern, Conor McCrickard. Subs: Kevin Anderson, Finn McElroy, Paddy McCarthy, Ryan Magill, Shane Annett, Caolan Mooney, Liam Kerr, Ceilum Doherty, John McGovern, Gareth McKibben, Eamonn Brown.

WICKLOW: Mark Jackson; Cillian McDonald, Malachy Stone, Patrick O’Keane; Matt Nolan, Eoin Murtagh, Gavin Fogarty; Dean Healy, Craig Maguire; Darragh Fee, Oisin McGraynor, Jack Kirwan; Jonathan Carlin, Kevin Quinn, John Paul Nolan. Subs: Shane Doyle, Mark Kenny, Jack Treacy, Gearoid Murphy, Joe Prendergast, Adam Arslan, Eoin Darcy, Padraig O’Toole, Christopher O’Brien, Zach Cullen, Jaques McCall.

Sunday 16th June

Tailteann Cup quarter-final

Kildare v Laois in Glenisk O’Connor Park at 1.15pm – GAAGO

After a torrid League campaign that saw them relegated from Division 2 was followed by a limp Leinster SFC campaign, Kildare have suddenly caught fire in the Tailteann cup.

They won their three group games against Leitrim, Waterford, and Longford by an average of 17 points each and forwards like Darragh Kirwan, Paddy Woodgate, and Kevin Feely are all in great form.

Laois haven’t been quite so impressive and looked unsure of themselves for much of last weekend’s win over New York, so it’s hard to see past the Lilywhites here.

KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Ryan Burke, Shea Ryan, Mick O’Grady; Tony Archbold, Brian Byrne, Jack Sargent; Aaron Masterson, Kevin Flynn; Shane Farrell, Darragh Kirwan, Paddy McDermott; Paddy Woodgate, Niall Kelly, Kevin Feely. Subs: Didier Cordonnier, Alex Beirne, Eoin Doyle, Daniel Flynn, Brendan Gibbons, Ryan Houlihan, Barry Kelly, Luke Killian, Dean O’Donoghue, Darragh Swords, Rian Teahan.

LAOIS: Killian Roche; Dylan Kavanagh, Kieran Lillis, Mark Timmons; Seamus Lacey, Brian Byrne, Simon Fingleton; Damon Larkin, Conor Heffernan; Mark Barry, Evan O’Carroll, Kevin Swayne; Rioghan Murphy, Niall Dunne, Paul Kingston. Subs: Conor Brown, Eoin Buggie, Ciaran Burke, Niall Corbet, Brian Daly, Mikie Dempsey, Ben Dempsey, Shaun Fitzpatrick, James Kelly, Jack Lacey, Eoin Lowry.