GAA confirm weekend fixtures with the Cork footballers heading to Thurles and the hurlers playing on Sunday

GAA confirm weekend fixtures with the Cork footballers heading to Thurles and the hurlers playing on Sunday
Cork played Laois in the football league in 2009. Picture: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

THE die-hard Cork GAA fans face a busy weekend of travel after the fixtures were confirmed for the qualifiers.

The footballers head to Thurles on Saturday, 5pm, to take on Laois with a place in the Super 8 round robin at stake. Ronan McCarthy's charges defeated the Premier at Semple Stadium in the Munster semi-final last season, though Cork were beaten by Tipp there in 2016 and a year before in a backdoor tie against Kildare.

The Rebels will be favourites against Laois, though the Leinster side were impressive in the league and have a shrewd Kerry man at the helm in John Sugrue.

The hurlers travel to Westmeath on Sunday for a shot at Kilkenny in the All-Ireland quarter-finals a week later. The home side were defeated in the McDonagh Cup final by Laois on Sunday.

Cork are without Aidan Walsh due to a hand injury with Shane Kingston or Conor Lehane ready to replace him.

Wing-back Robert Downey is in action for the U20s against Limerick on Wednesday at Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.30pm. If Cork win they'll be out a week later at the same venue against Clare in the provincial semi-final.

SUNDAY:

HURLING:

Westmeath v Cork, Mullingar, 3pm.

Laois v Dublin, Portlaoise, 4.15pm

FOOTBALL:

SATURDAY:

Cork v Laois, Semple Stadium, 5pm 

Cavan v Tyrone, St Tiernach's Park, 5pm 

Galway v Mayo, Gaelic Grounds, 7pm

SUNDAY:

Meath v Clare, O'Moore Park, 2pm.

This also clarifies the shape of the Super 8s, which kick off the following weekend.

JULY 13/14:

Group 1: Kerry v Galway/Mayo, Fitzgerald Stadium; Donegal v Meath/Clare, MacCumhaill Park.

Group 2: Dublin v Cork/Laois, Croke Park; Roscommon v Cavan/Tyrone, Dr Hyde Park.

JULY 20/21: 

Group 1: Kerry v Donegal, Galway/Mayo v Meath/Clare, both Croke Park.

Group 2: Dublin v Roscommon, Cork/Laois v Cavan/Tyrone, both Croke Park.

AUGUST 3/4:

Group 1: Meath/Clare v Kerry (Páirc Tailteann/Cusack Park), Galway/Mayo v Donegal (Pearse Stadium/Castlebar).

Group 2: Cork/Laois v Roscommon (Páirc Uí Chaoimh/Rinn/O’Moore Park), Cavan/Tyrone v Dublin (Breffni Park/Omagh).

The winners of the four qualifiers will go forward to the Super 8 quarter-finals.

Already in the draw for the quarters are Kerry, Donegal, Dublin and Roscommon.

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