Fáilte chuig gaa.ie - suíomh oifigiúil CLG
Damien Comer and Stephen Cluxton with referee Anthony Nolan before the Allianz Football League Final.
Damien Comer and Stephen Cluxton with referee Anthony Nolan before the Allianz Football League Final.

Preview: All Ireland SFC Semi-Finals

Saturday August 11

All Ireland SFC Semi-Final

Dublin v Galway, Croke Park, 5pm

Dublin and Galway haven't clashed in the Championship since the famous decider of 1983.

That day Dublin dealt with three sending offs beating Galway in a tense encounter.

Despite last weekend's surprisingly tame loss to Monaghan 2018 has been an encouraging campaign for Kevin Walsh's Galway outfit.

The last time the Tribesmen had competed in Division One of the Allianz League was in 2011 and they reached the final before being outfoxed in the closing stages by Dublin.

It is also Galway's first All Ireland semi-final appearance in 17 years so several irksome itches have been scratched.

Still Galway will be completely aware that this represents the most demanding test of them all: Dublin at Croke Park remains a daunting proposition.

Jim Gavin's standard bearers have won their six summer outings so far with trademark authority. When Tyrone posed questions late on at Healy Park Dublin found a way and they will want to make another August statement at GAA headquarters.

Brian Fenton's enduring excellence is reflected with his 1-9 total from play thus far so Galway will need to be competitive at centrefield.

Paul Conroy's serious leg injury is a significant blow, but Tom Flynn's form is a source of encouragement. Ensuring Ian Burke, Shane Walsh, and Damien Comer are afforded sufficient possession is what Galway must accomplish if they are to make an impact.

At the opposite end Dean Rock will ruthlessly punish any lapses in concentration, while Paul Mannion and Ciaran Kilkenny carry a threat too.

Gavin usually has Dublin primed for these type of matches so Galway will be eager to make a solid start.

Fintan Kelly, Monaghan, and Peter Harte, Tyrone, during the Ulster Championship clash in May.
Fintan Kelly, Monaghan, and Peter Harte, Tyrone, during the Ulster Championship clash in May.

Sunday August 12

All Ireland SFC Semi-Final

Monaghan v Tyrone, Croke Park, 3.30pm

There will be no shortage of intrigue at GAA headquarters on Sunday with the stakes piled high.

Can Monaghan replicate the dash that defeated Tyrone in May? How much have Tyrone improved in the intervening three months? Returning to the semi-final for the first time in 30 years, will Monaghan be able to deliver?

That is what Malachy O'Rourke's team has done for the majority of this Championship campaign even though the Ulster loss to Fermanagh was a setback.

Monaghan's response, though, has been impressive with the All Ireland Quarter Final Group Phase bringing plenty of joy. The Farney win over Galway in Salthill sparked jubilant scenes so Monaghan head for the Jones Road venue heartened.

So to do Tyrone because Mickey Harte's outfit delivered when it truly counted against Donegal in Ballybofey. Now Tyrone are only 70 minutes away from another Croke Park appearance in September.

How Monaghan cope with Tyrone's runners will be critical as Niall Sludden, Mattie Donnelly, and Peter Harte's relevant to the Red Hands cause is rarely underestimated.

Monaghan have significant pace too with Karl O'Connell enjoying an industrious campaign, while Ryan McAnespie flared to prominence against Galway.

The scoring burden has eased on Conor McManus, who still remains one of the most accomplished attackers in the game.

This match could go the distance.

MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Colin Walshe, Vinny Corey, Karl O'Connell; Niall Kearns, Darren Hughes; Ryan McAnespie, Shane Carey, Dessie Mone; Dermot Malone, Fintan Kelly, Conor McManus.

TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Rory Brennan; Tiernan McCann, Frank Burns, Peter Harte; Colm Cavanagh, Padraig Hampsey; Mattie Donnelly, Niall Sludden, Cathal McShane; Mark Bradley, Richard Donnelly, Connor McAliskey.

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