Championship Watch: Galway, Mayo and Roscommon in action

There’s another very busy weekend ahead in the football and hurling championships, however all the major games, bar the football fixture between Louth and Cork, are shoehorned into Saturday.

In fact the fixtures schedule this week is ludicrous, with several major games going on at the same time. This is because of a commitment the GAA gave that the Tailteann Cup semi-finals would have ‘stand-alone’ status on Sunday, with live TV coverage. It is something that the authorities will have to address going forward.

In the preliminary football quarter-finals, three of the games are on Saturday. (See separate preview for Roscommon v Tyrone game).

Galway face Monaghan at 4 pm in Salthill. I watched the Galway v Armagh match last Sunday and the Tribesmen threw victory away with some serious defensive lapses late on. They have a lengthening injury list too. But they should have enough to edge out Vinny Corey’s side.

Game of the day is in Castlebar. Is there one last kick in Derry? Their performance against Westmeath doesn’t suggest that there is. Mayo were excellent against the Dubs and they should win here, but it will be competitive.

I fancy Cork against Louth on Sunday. They are an improving side and are good enough to deal with the Wee County.

In the aforementioned Tailteann Cup semi-finals, Down should be good enough to account for Sligo while Laois will be favourites to beat Antrim in the second game.

In the hurling championship Dublin play Cork on Saturday at 1.15 pm, a throw-in time which is not going to do a lot to promote that game. Cork should be too strong in that one.

The second game is at 3.15 and will see Clare face Wexford. This should be a lot closer. A lot will depend on how Clare have come out of that Munster final defeat to Limerick. Wexford are very unpredictable. I give a hesitant nod to the ‘Banner’.