We look ahead to Saturday's Semi-Finals in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship with coveted spots in the Final on Sunday September 8th at stake.
Saturday August 17th
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship, Semi-Finals
Down v Westmeath, St Tiernach’s Park, Clones, Co. Monaghan 2pm, J. Heffernan (Wexford)
Down have secured their passage to the latter stages in impressive style and remain unbeaten heading into their sixth Championship fixture. With three wins and two draws in the group stage, they pipped Tipperary to top spot and secured their place amongst the last four. The black and red outfit have been clinical in front of goal having scored an incredible 13 goals and 103 points in just five matches, averaging over 2 goals and 20 points per match. They will be hoping to return to the promise land after their All-Ireland Final defeat 12 months ago.
Very rarely will a team qualify as runner-up after securing five victories from six group games but that is exactly how Westmeath’s campaign transpired. In an incredible group, only three points separated the top three teams, with the Leinster side advancing on the final weekend after a mighty four-point victory over the reigning champions Cork. With only one defeat, it still wasn’t enough to qualify as group winners, thanks to Galway’s impressive haul of five wins and one draw but the competitiveness of the group will stand to the maroon outfit when the pressure is turned up once more this weekend.
Galway v Tipperary, Cratloe GAA, Co. Clare, 2pm, A. Larkin (Cork)
Galway have looked very strong so far and deservingly topped a highly competitive group including reigning champions Cork and last year’s Premier Junior champions Dublin. It has been six years since the Maroon outfit lifted the Jack McGrath trophy, so they will be hoping to change that this year.
With one trophy in the bag already this season after their League Division 2 success, Tipperary go in search of adding more silverware to their collection and they will feel that they have a right to wrong from 12 months ago. Having been denied a day in Croke Park at the final hurdle they will hope to put that disappointment to use this weekend to prevent a repeat of last year’s Semi-Final heartbreak. With only one defeat in five matches, they have looked strong in all areas of the pitch, especially in front of the posts. It was 2004 when they last reached the All-Ireland Final so they will be hoping to roll back the years this weekend.
Saturday August 17th
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Finals
Kilkenny v Tipperary, L.I.T. Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, 5:30pm, J. Dermody (Westmeath)
Cork v Galway, L.I.T. Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, 7.15pm, L. Dempsey (Kilkenny)
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Semi-Finals
Down v Westmeath, St Tiernach’s Park, Clones, Co. Monaghan 2pm, Justin Heffernan (Wexford)
Galway v Tipperary, Cratloe GAA, Co. Clare, 2pm, Andrew Larkin (Cork)