All-Ireland SFC quarter-final details confirmed for Croke Park

Rory Grugan was in impressive form as Armagh comprehensively defeated Roscommon at the Athletic Grounds yesterday. Picture by Philip Walsh
Rory Grugan was in impressive form as Armagh comprehensively defeated Roscommon at the Athletic Grounds in a 2021 League relegation play-off.

ARMAGH will aim to be the first side through to the All-Ireland SFC semi-finals this weekend – but Donegal and Derry will have to wait.

The Orchard County’s pairing with Roscommon – who dumped Tyrone out on Saturday past – is the opening act of a Saturday double-header at Croke Park, with a 4pm throw-in.

Following that, All-Ireland champions Dublin will put their crown on the line against Galway, with a scheduled start time of 6.15pm.

Headquarters hosts the other last eight games on Sunday, with Donegal first up against Louth, which will throw-in at 1.15pm, followed by Kerry against Derry at 3.15pm.

Both the Saturday matches will be streamed live on GAAGO, while RTE will broadcast the two Sunday games.

As well as three Ulster sides, three Ulster referees will be involved in the quarter-final matches. Monaghan’s Martin McNally will take charge of that opener, Armagh-Roscommon, with Sean Hurson of Tyrone overseeing Dublin versus Galway.

The experienced Joe McQuillan of Cavan will be the man in the middle for Donegal-Louth, while another long-serving official, Meath’s David Coldrick, has been handed the Kerry-Derry task.

Roscommon got the better of Armagh in their last senior meeting, in Division One last year, a result which contributed to the Orchardmen’s relegation, although they bounced straight back up this season. Armagh had demoted the Rossies in the truncated season of 2021, comfortably winning a Division One relegation play-off at the Athletic Grounds.

The two counties fought out a classic championship clash at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise in 2018, Roscommon finishing strongly to win by 2-22 to 1-19 and earn a place in the Super Eights.

Both sides are seeking to end long waits for an All-Ireland semi-final place – Armagh haven’t been in the last four since their unforgettable encounter with neighbours Tyrone in 2005, while Roscommon were last at that stage back in 1991.

Louth have the longest gap to bridge, having not made the semi-finals since they were last Leinster (and eventual) champions in 1957. However, Donegal will be strong favourites to end their decade-long wait, since they famously stunned Dublin in 2014.

The other four counties are all on fairly familiar territory, notably Dublin, with Kerry and Derry set for a re-match of last year’s close-fought semi-final, while Galway were the Oak Leafers’ conquerors at that stage in 2022.

The All-Ireland Minor Football Final will, once more, not be in Croke Park, to the disappointment of holders Derry who won last year at the Athletic Grounds.

The young Oak Leafers have taken the defence of that crown all the way, but as they’re facing Armagh, in a repeat of this year’s Ulster Final, the match-up will again take place at Healy Park in Omagh on Sunday July 7 (2pm).

All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals (all matches at Croke Park):

Saturday, June 29:

Armagh v Roscommon (4pm, GAAGO)

Dublin v Galway (6.15pm, GAAGO)

Sunday, June 30:

Donegal v Louth (1.15pm, RTE)

Kerry v Derry (3.15pm, RTE).