Preview: Weekend's Provincial Football Finals


Saturday May 28

Munster SFC Final

Kerry v Limerick, Fitzgerald Stadium, 3pm

Kerry's impressive Allianz Football League campaign ensured Jack O'Connor's team brought hope and expectation into the summer.

Cork were spirited initially at Páirc Uí Rinn, but ultimately couldn't cope with Kerry's depth of talent.

By the end Kerry had edged 0-23 to 0-11 clear with another Munster SFC Final appearance booked.

The Cliffords and Seán O'Shea continue to provide craft and scores in attack, but Limerick will be eager to summon a defiant display in Killarney.

Billy Lee's charges earned Division Two status in the League, while subsequently overcoming Clare and Tipperary in the Championship.

That perfectly illustrates the progress being made under Lee's passionate and purposeful stewardship.

Josh Ryan and Cillan Fahy have been effective, while goalkeeper Donal O'Sullivan provides valuable leadership too.

Leinster SFC Final

Dublin v Kildare, Croke Park, 5pm

Eager to secure a 12th Leinster SFC title in a row, Dublin have sauntered through to another provincial decider.

Emphatic wins over Wexford and Meath provided encouraging evidence for Dublin following a bitterly disappointing Allianz Football League campaign.

Kildare were also relegated in the Spring, but they scored heavily during victories over Louth and Westmeath.

Jimmy Hyland, Darragh Kirwan, and Ben McCormack have all been prominent for Glenn Ryan's Kildare, who last wona Leinster crown back in 2000.

In the intervening years Kildare have been beaten in four deciders by Dublin - 2002, 2009, 2017, and 2021.

Con O'Callaghan's return following injury has added a significant attacking threat for Dublin, while Brian Fenton and Ciarán Kilkenny remain influential figures for Dessie Farrell's outfit.

Matthew Tierney, Galway, and Niall Daly, Roscommon, in action during the Allianz Football League Division Two Final at Croke Park.
Matthew Tierney, Galway, and Niall Daly, Roscommon, in action during the Allianz Football League Division Two Final at Croke Park.

Sunday May 29

Connacht SFC Final

Galway v Roscommon, Pearse Stadium, 1.45pm

A fifth provincial final in seven years involving Galway and Roscommon should be lively.

Roscommon's industry in the league was rewarded with Division Two silverware - including a couple of wins over neighbours Galway.

Diarmuid Murtagh's blistering late goal sealed the deal when the counties last collided at Croke Park in early April.

Since then, though, Galway have defeated Mayo and Leitrim, while Roscommon were always in control against Sligo.

Enda Smith, Ciaran Murtagh, and Conor Cox all contributed handsomely in the Sligo success.

Galway will be looking to the excellent Seán Kelly, Paul Conroy, and Damien Comer for inspiration.

Paddy McBrearty and Michael Murphy remain key performers for Donegal.
Paddy McBrearty and Michael Murphy remain key performers for Donegal.

Ulster SFC Final

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

This could be a compelling encounter in Clones.

Derry, without an Ulster title since 1998, will be eager to take the prized Donegal scalp.

Having defeated Tyrone and Monaghan with admirable authority, Rory Gallagher's charges have generated belief and momentum.

Shane McGuigan has been efficient in attack, while Benny Heron has landed vital goals too.

Donegal will be satisfied with how their provincial campaign has unfolded too, following victories over Armagh and Cavan.

Those awkward hurdles were cleared by Declan Bonner's team with Paddy McBrearty and Michael Murphy still delivering when it truly counts.