Hannah Looney of Cork scores her side’s first goal during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship 2 point win over Galway at MTU Cork. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

It’s knockout from here on in

The safety nets are removed and it really is the business end of season for both of Cork’s mens teams with Leinster opposition standing in their way.

Not so for the camogie teams and with their progression assured, they will want to maintain their winning ways in the group phase.

All-Ireland Hurling QF

Cork v Dublin in Semple Stadium Thurles on Saturday at 1.15pm

The first thing that must be said is the ridiculous scheduling of these games, effectively a Saturday morning fixture akin to a local league game, all to facilitate a rugby game of little interest to anyone here.

Equally it shows scant regard for the Féile Na Gael hurling competition in Wexford who will almost certainly suffer support wise. Best of luck to Cork clubs Ballinora, Charleville and Midleton who are flying the Rebel flag.

‘Sloppy’ the most common word used about Cork’s performance in Tullamore last Saturday, and that came from manager Pat Ryan.

Pat added: “Very disappointing performance from our side of things, not breaking the tackle, attempting passes that were never on and we didn’t work hard enough at times.”

On the plus side was “getting game time for Robbie (O’Flynn) and also Padraig (Power), that was important got some nice scores as well. We got the job done and now it’s all focus on Dublin.”

And Pat is aware this is a step up: “No question - I don’t think their Leinster Final display is a true reflection of their quality, remember they beat Galway in Salthill and it took a late goal from Kilkenny to beat them in the round-robin, so we know how good they can be.”

On the injury front “Seamus (Harnedy), Damien (Cahalane) should be back but Ethan (Twomey) might be a bit tight; other than that everyone else is good to go.”

Dublin manager Michael O’Donoghue knows they are better than they showed in the Leinster Final. It is a potential banana skin for Cork, and having had no game for 4 weeks was evident last Saturday, so bad and all as it was, it could work in their favour.

Dublin are better than Offaly, physically alone and they also have a lot of pace in their team and will not fear Cork.

In Chris Crummey, Danny Sutcliffe, Sean Brennan, Conor Donohue, Donal Burke, Mark Grogan and Ronan Hayes, they have players who are better than they played in the Leinster Final.

Can Cork get back, maybe not to the heights they showed against Limerick and Tipp, but better than the Offaly performance? Patrick Collins made a few important saves, Mark Coleman despite a few wides, played well, Darragh Fitzgibbon was busy in midfield, but I wonder does that position suit Ciaran Joyce?

The attack was hit and miss; Shane Barrett, Brian Hayes and Patrick Horgan took their goals well, while Alan Connolly who had a bug in the days leading up to the game failed to score.

Dublin will certainly be better and will test Cork, but you sense that there is more depth and quality in Pat Ryan’s side, and given the prize on offer, a much improved performance should see Cork prevail.

The match is live on C103.

All-Ireland Football QF

Cork v Louth on Sunday in Grattan Park Inniskeen at 3pm

It’s a 5th meeting in the last two years and it stands at 2 wins each. Louth winning both the league games in Ardee, Cork winning both the championship matches, one in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the other last year in Navan.

The vagaries of the current format could be summed up by this fixture; Cork won 2 games, Louth had 1 win and 1 draw and yet they get the home fixture, albeit it’s been played in Monaghan as Ardee is unsuitable for championship.

Having lost to Tyrone, manager John Cleary had a few regrets. “We should have been further ahead at half-time, missed a goal chance early in the 2nd half and then the black card cost us.”

Just a few observations: should Cork have got a penalty for what appeared to be a foul on Paul Walsh as he shot for goal, while for the black card Niall Morgan really milked the tackle.

In the 10 minutes without Chris Óg Jones, Cork were outscored 1-3 to 0-1, and when you lose by 4, it makes the difference.

The draw could have been much tougher; an away trip to Mayo or Galway were the other possibilities and although they won’t admit it, the draw probably gave them a lift, as it’s a game they are well capable of winning.

Louth have had a good season under new manager Ger Brennan and they seem to play with a bit more purpose while they still set up in a defensive mode.

In the Leinster Final they were competitive against Dublin while they never looked like winning. They were also comfortable in the group phase. Just like Cork, they will have been pleased with the draw and feel it’s a game they can win.

Sam Mulroy is their main player and Donal McKenny, Tommy Durnin, Niall McDonnell, Craig Lennon and Conor Grimes have made important contributions and are big players for the Wee County men.

How will Cork line up, will Brian Hurley be fit? If he is it’s a plus even if the full-forward line of Mark Cronin, Steven Sherlock and Chris Óg Jones between them bagged 0-15, 0-7 from play.

Tyrone seemed to score that bit easier despite a good defensive effort from Daniel O’Mahoney, Rory Maguire and Kevin Flahive.

Cork will look for a more dominant performance from the midfield pairing of Ian Maguire and Colm O’Callaghan - if they can get that it could point them to victory.

If Cork can start well and not allow Louth build any sort of momentum they are well capable of winning. It’s live on C103.

Glen Dimplex Senior Camogie Championship

Cork v Dublin in Super Valu Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday at 2pm

Cork’s comfortable win over Clare last time out guaranteed the reigning champions a quarter-final spot with 2 games remaining at the very least and with both of them at home, Ger Manley will be targeting the direct route to the semi-final.

After the Clare game last year’s captain Amy O’Connor said: “It was a good enough display but still areas we need to improve on and we can work on them in training as we have a gap until our next game.”

The match was effectively over by half-time as Cork had built up a commanding lead and that might have affected a disjointed 2nd half. “Probably did but it’s something we will want to get out of our game, deliver a consistent 60 plus minutes display with tougher tests awaiting us.”

As for Ger he was pleased, “especially getting game time into the panel and we got 20 minutes from Laura Tracey in her first outing of the championship after her injury and that was important, as was making sure we are into the knockout phase with 2 games to go.”

Dublin are next up: “They are improving all the time chasing down probably 3rd place at this stage sot it will make for an interesting game and with it being in Páirc Uí Chaoimh also really looking forward to it.”

Of their 3 games Dublin have won 2, beating Clare and Wexford and led Galway for long periods before eventually losing by just 3 points and look in a good position to take that 3rd spot and a place in the quarter-final.

Aishling Maher, Gaby Couch, Aishling O’Neill and Niamh Gannon have been consistent performers for Dublin and will relish the trip.

Cork are improving with every outing; since the league defeat to Galway, they are unbeaten and with Meabh Cahalane, Ashling Thompson, Laura Hayes, Saoirse McCarthy and Fiona Keating playing very well, they should continue that momentum. If and I expect they will win, Galway are next up with a semi-final spot on offer for the winners.

Glen Dimplex Intermediate Camogie Championship

Cork v Clare in Tubber, Co. Clare on Saturday at 12.30pm

Cork like their senior counterparts are unbeaten following victories over 2 of the more fancied teams in the group, Offaly and Westmeath both 1st teams of their counties.

Clare have 1 win from their 2 games - that was away against Galway, but were well beaten by Offaly. They won the All-Ireland Junior Championship have beaten Tipperary in the final and earning promotion to the higher grade.

The sides met in the league and Cork emerged comfortable winners on their way to retaining the title.

Rachel Kelly, Sinead O’Keeffe, Eimear Begley, Ella Cahill and Mary Hanrahan are key players for the Banner girls as they go in search of their 2nd win.

Cork have been impressive in their wins and have shown resilience when games looked like going away from them.

Lauren Homan has been the main scorer, getting excellent back up from Niamh O’Leary, Tara McCarthy, Cliona O’Callaghan, Niamh O’Regan, Laura Doyle and Olivia McCarthy. Cork look better balanced and it will be a surprise if they don’t make it 3 wins from 3.

In fact could we have the ultimate result with all 4 Cork teams winning - best of luck to all!