Preview: Weekend's All Ireland SFC R2 action


All Ireland SFC Round Two

Saturday June 11

Clare v Roscommon, Croke Park, 3.45pm

Mayo v Kildare, Croke Park, 6pm

Sunday June 12

Cork v Limerick, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 1.30pm

Armagh v Donegal, St Tiernach's Park, 4pm

Twelve teams remain in the race for the Sam Maguire Cup.

By Sunday evening only eight will be left standing. Who will join Kerry, Dublin, Derry, and Galway at the quarter-final stage.

Saturday's double header at GAA headquarters promises to be interesting.

Can Roscommon respond following a disappointing Connacht SFC loss to Galway? Will Colm Collins be able to secure another significant win with the Banner?

Back in 2016 Clare won a Round Four qualifier against Roscommon at Pearse Stadium by 2-12 to 1-9.

That triumph steered Clare into a quarter-final with Collins, passionate as ever, still in charge of Clare, who continue to deliver defiant displays.

Last weekend's success over Meath was satisfactory for Clare, but they know a tricky test awaits against Roscommon.

Eoin Cleary continues to supply scores for Clare, but Pearse Lillis and Jamie Malone are other key contributors.

Roscommon finished strongly against Galway, but sufficient damage had already been inflicted by Padraic Joyce's outfit.

Diarmuid Murtagh impressed again following his introduction so the St Faithleach's clubman is pushing for inclusion from the start.

The Daly and Smith brothers will be eager to help guide Anthony Cunningham's charges into the last eight.

Mayo did what was required to eke out a victory over Monaghan in Castlebar.

Now a trip to the capital beckons for a critical encounter against Kildare, who were blitzed in the Leinster decider.

Famously in 2018 Kildare edged Mayo out of the Championship following an absorbing tussle in Newbridge.

Kildare will need to replicate the passion and purpose that was demonstrated on that sultry evening at St Conleth's Park.

While some seasoned performers are still going strong, the Mayo panel has altered dramatically since then.

Last weekend Cillian O'Connor's goal from a first half penalty was the decisive moment as Mayo eventually overcame Monaghan.

Eoghan McLaughlin, Oisín Mullin, and the splendid Lee Keegan repeatedly drove forward from deep for Mayo so Kildare will need to defend in diligent fashion.

Conceding five goals in the provincial showpiece was a blow for Kildare, who will hope that Jimmy Hyland and Ben McCormack can maintain their good form.

Despite a heavy Munster final loss, it has been an encouraging stint for Limerick, who face Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Soundly beaten by Kerry, Billy Lee's side will be hoping to produce an improved display Leeside.

Having gained promotion into Division Two of the Allianz Football League, Limerick subsequently defeated Clare and Tipperary in the Championship.

Josh Ryan has showed his ability throughout the year, while goalkeeper Donal O'Sullivan and Cillian Fahy are other prominent Limerick footballers.

After being defeated by Kerry, Cork overcame Louth 2-12 to 2-8 last weekend.

Stephen Sherlock, Brian Hurley, and the emerging Cathail O'Mahony carry an attacking threat for Cork.

Stefan Campbell, Armagh, and Michael Langan, Donegal, in Ulster SFC action.
Stefan Campbell, Armagh, and Michael Langan, Donegal, in Ulster SFC action.

The eagerly anticipated tie of the round is scheduled for Clones on Sunday.

Armagh, so effective against Tyrone, now want to avenge their Ulster SFC loss to Donegal.

Declan Bonner's team suffered a bitterly disappointing reversal in the Ulster final as Derry claimed the Anglo Celt.

Stefan Campbell impressed for Armagh, who were crafty against Tyrone. Andrew Murnin's cameo illustrated the increasing depth in the Armagh panel.

That was a morale boosting result for Kieran McGeeney's Armagh, who know that another defining clash is imminent.

Michael Murphy and Paddy McBrearty are still influential players for Donegal, who now want to make a real impact on the national stage. Armagh do too so the stakes are piled high.