Preview: Weekend’s All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Finals:

All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Finals

Saturday 29th June

Armagh v Roscommon in Croke Park at 4pm, GAAGO

Six years ago these counties clashed in a thrilling qualifier at Laois Hire O’Moore Park.

That open and high scoring encounter was packed with quality moments, and several of the key performers remain involved.

The stakes are piled seriously high on Saturday, though, because both counties crave a return to the penultimate round.

Armagh haven’t been in the last four since 2005, while Roscommon are waiting since 1991 to compete at the All-Ireland semi-final stage.

So, this promises to be a fascinating encounter. Armagh showed plenty of resolve when finishing strongly to secure a valuable draw against Galway at Markievicz Park.

Tiernan Kelly, Conor Turbitt, and Stefan Campbell supplied crucial scores when the issue was delicately poised.

It means Kieran McGeeney’s charges will enter GAA headquarters heartened following a gutsy display.

Roscommon will be similarly optimistic following a morale boosting win over Tyrone at O’Neill’s Healy Park. Daire Cregg, Donie Smith, and the splendid Diarmuid Murtagh starred for Davy Burke’s team in that excellent victory.

Armagh: Blaine Hughes; Paddy Burns, Aaron McKay, Peter McGrane; Barry McCambridge, Tiernan Kelly, Aidan Forker; Niall Grimley, Ben Crealey; Oisín Conaty, Rian O’Neill, Joe McElroy; Rory Grugan, Andrew Murnin, Conor Turbitt.

Subs: Ethan Rafferty, Connaire Mackin, Jason Duffy, Greg McCabe, Aidan Nugent, Oisín O’Neill, Stefan Campbell, Shane McPartlan, Ross McQuillan, Jarly Óg Burns, Darragh McMullan.

Roscommon: Conor Carroll; Niall Higgins, Brian Stack, Robbie Dolan; David Murray, Ronan Daly, Eoin McCormack; Enda Smith, Ruaidhrí Fallon; Ultan Harney, Diarmuid Murtagh, Shane Cunnane; Daire Cregg, Conor Cox, Donie Smith.

Subs: Colm Lavin, Niall Daly, Conor Hussey, Dylan Ruane, Keith Doyle, Andrew Glennon, Conor Hand, Adam McDermott, Tadhg O’Rourke, Cathal Heneghan, Ciaran Lennon.

Dublin v Galway in Croke Park at 6.15pm, GAAGO

Cormac Costello’s sharp late fisted point in Dr Hyde Park ensured Dublin earned a division of the spoils against Mayo.

It was enough to avoid a preliminary quarter-final, with Mayo dumped out of the reckoning in that round.

The composure shown by Ciarán Kilkenny, Jack McCaffrey, and Costello in the dying embers mattered deeply for Dublin, who will afford Galway the utmost respect at Croke Park.

Galway have quietly stitched a seven match 2024 Championship sequence together, eking out a vital victory over Monaghan at Pearse Stadium.

Paul Conroy provided leadership and also rifled over three delightful points, while Cillian McDaid made a significant contribution in that success too.

Damien Comer, who has troubled Dublin previously, also enjoyed a productive cameo for Galway, who know a demanding assignment awaits.

Dublin have won eight of their 10 Championship matches against Galway. The Tribesmen’s last win over Dublin was in the 1934 All-Ireland Final.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Eoin Murchan, Michael Fitzsimons, Seán McMahon; Brian Howard, John Small, Seán Bugler; Brian Fenton, Tom Lahiff; Niall Scully, Cormac Costello, Ciarán Kilkenny; Paddy Small, Con O’Callaghan, Colm Basquel.

Subs: David O’Hanlon, Theo Clancy, Paul Mannion, Jack McCaffrey, James McCarthy, Ross McGarry, Killian McGinnis, Daire Newcombe, Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne, Lorcan O’Dell, Killian O’Gara.

Galway: Connor Gleeson; Johnny McGrath, Seán Fitzgerald, Jack Glynn; Dylan McHugh, Liam Silke, Seán Ó Maoilchiaráin; Paul Conroy, Seán Kelly; Matthew Tierney, John Maher, Cillian McDaid; Rob Finnerty, Damien Comer, Shane Walsh.

Subs: Conor Flaherty, John Daly, Eoghan Kelly, Daniel O’Flaherty, Kieran Molloy, Cian Hernon, Cian D’Arcy, Johnny Heaney, Liam Ó Conghaile, Tomo Culhane, Niall Daly.

Sunday 30th June

Donegal v Louth in Croke Park at 1.15pm, RTE

A first ever Championship meeting between the counties beckons at Croke Park.

It has been a hugely encouraging stint for Louth, who are making admirable progress under the shrewd guidance of Ger Brennan.

Louth, though, know that Donegal will represent a formidable test, especially with Jim McGuinness supplying experience and knowledge.

McGuinness guided Donegal to Ulster glory earlier this year with Daire Ó Baoill, Ryan McHugh, and Peadar Mogan continuing to drive forward from deep.

Inside Oisín Gallen and Paddy McBrearty are crafty operators for Donegal, who beat Louth 1-17 to 0-15 in Division Two of the Allianz Football League.

Louth, with Craig Lennon craving involvement, edged out Cork in the preliminary quarter-finals.

That was the latest encouraging result for Louth, who will be looking towards Sam Mulroy, Ciarán Downey, and the hard running Conor Grimes for inspiration in attack.

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Mark Curran, Brendan McCole, Eoghan Bán Gallagher; Ryan McHugh, Caolan McGonagle, Peadar Mogan; Ciarán Moore, Michael Langan; Shane O’Donnell, Ciarán Thompson, Daire Ó Baoill; Paddy McBrearty, Oisín Gallen, Niall O’Donnell.

Subs: Gavin Mulreany, Caolan McColgan, Stephen McMenamin, Odhran Doherty, Conor O’Donnell, Jeaic MacCeallbhuí, Jason McGee, Hugh McFadden, Jamie Brennan, Aaron Doherty, Charles McGuinness.

Louth: Niall McDonnell; Donal McKenny, Dermot Campbell, Dan Corcoran; Conall McKeever, Anthony Williams, Craig Lennon; Tommy Durnin, Bevan Duffy; Conor Early, Ciarán Keenan, Conor Grimes; Ryan Burns, Sam Mulroy, Ciarán Byrne.

Subs: Craig Lynch, Chris O’Neill, Peter McStravick, Liam Jackson, Dylan McKeown, Ciarán Murphy, Seán Marry, Leonard Grey, Tadhg McDonnell, Paul Mathews, Tom Jackson.

Kerry v Derry in Croke Park at 3.15pm, RTE

Another interesting match featuring plenty of sub plots.

Last year’s rollicking All-Ireland semi-final was eventually decided by a daring Kerry burst in the closing stages.

Mickey Harte has subsequently taken charge of Derry, adding a further talking point ahead of Sunday’s Croke Park clash.

Derry had endured three Championship losses on the spin to Donegal, Galway, and Armagh before responding against Westmeath.

The penalty shootout triumph over Mayo at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park with Gareth McKinless, Brendan Rogers, and Lachlan Murray relevant means Derry are armed with confidence again.

There is no shortage of class and character in the Kerry panel as was demonstrated when they last clashed with Derry at this venue.

The Clifford brothers and Seán O’Shea remain brilliant forward operators, while Tom O’Sullivan has remarkably contributed 0-10 from play in the 2024 Championship with his enduring ability to scamper into threatening positions.