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Weekend previews

All-Ireland U-21 FC


(Extra-time if necessary)

Dublin v Cork, Portlaoise, 2.0,

M Higgins (Fermanagh).* LIVE TG4

Both sides have named unchanged teams despite some injury worries for Cork, particularly over Tomas Clancy.

Cork have won eight of the last 12 Munster titles, but a team that features Luke Connolly, Donal Og Hodnett, Damien Cahalane (son of Niall) and Brian Hurley had to survive extra-time against Kerry in this year's final. Dublin, with many of last year's minor dual stars, have racked up 8-64 en route -- 2-25 coming from Ciaran Kilkenny.

Betting: Dublin 4/7, Cork 15/8, Draw 7/1.

Verdict: Dublin.

Roscommon v Cavan, Pearse Park, 4.0,

C Reilly (Meath).* LIVE TG4

Cavan may have some senior woes at present, but their underage set-up has been good in recent years and you don't win back-to-back Ulster titles without a decent team.

Beating Tyrone in the last two provincial deciders is equally significant, and captain Michael Brady, Packie Leddy, Killian Clarke, Jack Brady and Kevin Tierney are all key men. The Rossies impressed against Mayo and Sligo this year. The Daly brothers Conor and Niall, alongside Donie Smith, are among their leaders. Cathal Shine is expected back but the midfield battle could settle this.

Betting: Cavan 8/13, Roscommon 7/4, Draw 7/1.

Verdict: Cavan.

Allianz NHL Division 1A Relegation Play-off Replay

(Extra-time if necessary)

Galway v Dublin, Portlaoise, 4.0,

J Sexton (Cork)

Hard to know which glass was fuller after last week's dramatic stalemate. Dublin were three points to the good but had to snatch a late equaliser after losing Ryan O'Dwyer and Alan McCrabbe to red cards, and Galway, having moved clear with a two-man advantage, should have closed it out.

David Treacy replaces O'Dwyer this week and Martin Quilty comes into midfield, with Paul Schutte moving to corner-back. Iarla Tannian starts in midfield for Galway, Johnny Coen replaces Gerard O'Halloran in defence and Andy Smith comes into the attack for Conor Cooney. Joe Canning, in last week's comeback, changed the game when he moved to centre-forward and scored 0-12 (6f), but Dublin have had a week to figure out how to curtail him.

Last meeting: Dublin 2-20 Galway 0-26 (2012 Division 1A relegation play-off).

Betting: Dublin 1/1, Galway 1/1, Draw 9/1.

Verdict: Dublin.

Leinster MHC

(Extra-time if necessary)

Westmeath v Laois, Mullingar, 2.30,

D Harrington (Dublin). Verdict: Laois

Offaly v Wexford, Tullamore, 2.0, P Murphy (Carlow). Verdict: Wexford

Kildare v Carlow, Newbridge, 7.0,

M Flynn (Kilkenny). Verdict: Carlow

Wicklow v Meath, Arklow, 6.0, G McGrath (Dublin). Verdict: Meath.


All-Ireland Minor 'A' Final

Kilkenny v Galway, MacDonagh Park, Nenagh, 2.30, M O'Kelly. Verdict: Galway.

All-Ireland Minor 'B' Final

Derry v Wexford, St Peregrine's, Blakestown, 2.30, A Lagrue. Verdict: Derry.


Westmeath v Kerry, Nenagh, 12.30. Verdict: Kerry. Down v Laois, Trim, 2.30. Verdict: Down.


NHL Division 1 Semi-finals

(Extra-time if necessary)

Kilkenny v Clare, Semple Stadium, 2.0,

A Kelly (Galway). * LIVE TG4

Clare have been hit by the loss of centre-back James McInerney (broken thumb) but Richie Hogan (punctured lung) is also a big loss to the Kilkenny attack.

The Cats are expected to have Richie Power and Jackie Tyrell back after suspension and injury, and it's believed Seadna Morey will come in for the Banner.

This is a huge step up in class for Clare. They've gone unbeaten all year under Davy Fitzgerald, including that feisty 1B final defeat of Limerick when they made a six-point comeback helped by some sideline distractions. They've averaged 1-20 this year and regularly scored two goals, but this will be a whole new level of physicality and speed, and they struggled in midfield against Limerick.

Kilkenny have tried out a lot of players, and Matt Ruth, Kieran Joyce and Cillian Buckley are among those who've impressed, but on big days like this, just watch their All-Ireland veterans step up to the plate.

Last meeting: Kilkenny 3-16 Clare 1-9 (2009 NHL).

Betting: Kilkenny 1/8, Clare 11/2, Draw 16/1.

Verdict: Kilkenny.

Cork v Tipperary, Semple Stadium, 4.0, M Wadding (Waterford). *LIVE TG4

Both sides have been hit with injuries since they drew a few weeks ago.

Cork hold rising stars Conor Lehane and Darren Sweetnam in reserve and are also without the injured Cathal Naughton and Brian Murphy. Niall McCarthy and Luke O'Farrell make their first league starts this year. Conor O'Sullivan also comes in and John Gardiner moves to midfield.

Tipp, who have lost Paul Curran and Donagh Maher, replace them with Conor O'Brien and David Young and move wing-back star Padraic Maher to full-back.

Pa Bourke has taken on the 'Lar' role, scoring 2-31 so far, but they're still also missing Patrick 'Bonner' Maher up front.

Cork have shown a knack for second-half comebacks this year and the sight of Lehane and Sweetnam on the bench indicates they'll be brought in for a late push.

cork -- D Og Cusack; S O'Neill, S McDonnell, C O'Sullivan; S O hAilpin, E Cadogan, W Egan; J Gardiner, L McLoughlin; J Coughlan, P Cronin, N McCarthy; L O'Farrell, P O'Sullivan, P Horgan.

Tipperary -- B Cummins; C O'Brien, P Maher, M Cahill; T Stapleton. C O'Mahony, D Young; B Maher, J Woodlock; G Ryan, N McGrath, P Bourke; S Bourke, B O'Meara, J O'Brien.

Last meeting: Cork 1-23 Tipperary 1-23 (2012 NHL, last round).

Betting: Cork 11/8, Tipperary 8/11, Draw 9/1.

Verdict: Cork.

nhl Division 2A

Relegation play-off

(Extra-time if necessary)

Wicklow v Down, Trim, 2.0

F Smith (Meath).

The sides' drawn meeting was the only point that Down won this year, and with dual stars Leighton Glynn and Stephen Kelly expected to line out for Wicklow, they can win even without injured star Jonathan O'Neill.

Last meeting: Down 2-11 Wicklow 0-17 (2012 NHL, Rd 2).

Betting: Down 4/6, Wicklow 11/8, Draw 10/1.

Verdict: Wicklow.


NFL Division 4 semi-finals

Limerick v Louth, 2.0, Crettyard, Laois

Verdict: Louth

Longford v Offaly, 2.0, St Loman's, Mullingar. Verdict: Longford


NL Division 2 GROUP1 Limerick v Wexford, Martinstown, 2.30 Verdict: Wexford.

Division 3 Final

Armagh v Kildare, Donaghmore, Ashbourne, 3.0, W Cole . Verdict: Armagh.

Division 4 Final

Carlow v Dublin, Donaghmore, Ashbourne, 1.0. P McDonald

Verdict: Dublin.

Irish Independent