Monday, July 22, 2024

GAA All-Ireland SFC 2024: Armagh vs Kerry & Donegal vs Galway – throw-in times, team news & how to watch

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The last time Donegal contested an All-Ireland semi-final was 10 years ago. They beat Mayo that day before losing to Kerry in the final.

They were the final days of Jim McGuinness’ first spell as Donegal boss, and a decade on, he is trying to go one better in the first year of his second coming.

Even the most ardent Donegal fans have been surprised by the speed with which McGuinness – who famously led the Tir Chonaill to Sam in 2012 – has breathed new life into the county.

After a disastrous 2023, he has already delivered promotion back to Division One, an Ulster title and a return to the business end of the All-Ireland series.

They were too strong for Louth in the last eight but 2022 beaten finalists Galway represent a considerable step-up in opposition.

The Tribesmen, who last lifted Sam in 2001, delivered the shock of the summer so far a fortnight ago, beating Dublin by a point on nerve-shredding evening inside Croke Park.

While Shane Walsh is an injury doubt, in Dylan McHugh, John Maher and Cillian McDaid, Galway have some of the most in-form players in the championship, so if Donegal are to reach the final, they will require their best performance of the year.

McGuinness and Galway boss Padraic Joyce are good friends, having played together on IT Tralee’s Sigerson Cup-winning team in 1998. Friendship will be put to the side, though, as both men aim to lead their counties into the final.

“If we couldn’t win it, I’d be delighted for Padraic and Galway,” McGuinness said after his side’s quarter-final win.

“We had great times together, he is a great fella, a great football man and is very driven. We have great memories down in Tralee and have always stayed in contact.”

This will be Donegal and Galway’s first championship meeting since 2017. Galway won that one by 15 points, but Sunday will surely be a much tighter affair.

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