Saturday 23 September 2017

Action-packed weekend can see GAA net a cool €1.5m

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

GAA coffers will be boosted by around €1.5m this weekend as no fewer than 12 games are on the provincial final and All-Ireland qualifier programmes.

The 100,000 attendance figure could be broken for the first time this season, although that's largely dependent on good weather this evening and tomorrow.

The biggest crowd-puller will be the Tipperary-Waterford Munster hurling final in Pairc Ui Chaoimh tomorrow. It's likely to attract around 30,000, with up to 25,000 expected at the Mayo-Sligo Connacht final in Dr Hyde Park.

This evening's triple header All-Ireland qualifier bill in Thurles (Wexford v Cork in hurling and Limerick v Clare and Tipperary v Wexford in football) is also a big draw, while the highest profile attraction in the stand-alone football qualifier clashes will be Cavan v Kildare in Kingspan Breffni Park tomorrow.

Seanie Johnston's first appearance in a Lilywhite jersey has been keenly awaited and while he is not listed on Kildare's starting 15, fans are expecting him to come on as a sub at some stage.

The fact that Kildare are playing his native Cavan adds to the intrigue of a round-two schedule which also features big hitters Kerry (v Westmeath in Mullingar), Tyrone (v Roscommon in Dr Hyde Park) and Galway (v Antrim in Casement Park).

The football qualifiers have thrown up an unusual situation where seven of the eight away teams are favourites to advance to round three next Saturday. The exception is Longford, whose good run through the league, followed by two wins and a draw in four championship outings, has seen them installed as favourites to beat Limerick at Pearse Park.

The draws for next round of the football qualifiers and hurling quarter-finals will be made on RTE radio on Monday morning.

Irish Independent

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