By Sean Goff | Sports Reporter
The GAA season is warming up nicely and the football and hurling qualifiers take centre-stage this weekend.
The All-Ireland quarter-final at Semple Stadium rekindles memories of an epic 2004 Munster final between the pair that Waterford won.
The Rebels had the last laugh though when they went on to lift the Liam McCarthy Cup that September beating Kilkenny. This Cork side is re-building quicker than expected under Jimmy-Barry Murphy while Michael Ryan’s aging side will need big performances from their main men.
Brian Cody’s Cats have eased to even-money favourites in Paddy Power’s online betting to reclaim their All-Ireland crown after being stunned by the Tribesmen at Croke Park in their first Leinster Championship loss since 2004.
They are long odds-on to get the show back on the road against a Limerick side
If there is a red card in either of these two hurling matches Paddy Power will refund losing single 1st/last goalscorer, anytime goalscorer and first team goalscorer bets on that match. (T&C’s apply)
The latter clash should provide plenty of tabloid fodder.
Kerry’s line-up not only contains ‘chokers’ if Joe Brolly’s criticism of Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper (29) is to be believed but a midfield hardman in touch with his feelings judging by Paul Galvin’s (32) blubathon after the emotional win over previous nemesis Tyrone.
There should be no need for tears against Clare on Saturday night in Limerick as it will arguably be one of the biggest upsets in GAA history if the Kingdom are beaten at an unbackable 1/50.
While Meath, Down and Kildare are all warm favourites, the front two are coming off hard games against Dublin and Donegal respectively while the Lilywhites are struggling to get out of second gear in a stop-start season.
The winners of the qualifiers go into Saturday night’s draw on RTE Radio 1 at 8.30pm. They will face Dublin, Donegal, Cork and Mayo – provided the teams didn’t clash in the deciders so that rules out a Dublin v Meath scenario.