CARLOW AND Offaly are set to battle it out in the Joe McDonagh Cup final this weekend.
Offaly are the hot favourites but Carlow will be looking to cause an upset.
Here’s everything you need to know about the final:
When is the match on and at what time is throw-in?
It will be played on Saturday May 27 with throw-in at 4:45pm. It will be at Croke Park in Dublin.
What TV channel is it on and can I stream it?
RTÉ 2 will be showing it live with coverage from 4:30pm.
It can be streamed on the RTÉ Player.
What are the latest betting odds?
Offaly are favourites at 4/9, while Carlow are the outside shout at 9/4.
A draw has been set at 9/1.
OFFALY’S RETURN TO THE TOP
Between 1980 and 2000, Offaly reached 17 Leinster finals but since then they have only managed to make it to one and it came in 2004.
They haven’t even competed in the province since suffering back-to-back relegations in 2018 and 2019.
Most Read in The Irish Sun
Now only Carlow stand in their way of a return to top-tier provincial action.
Jason Sampson’s earliest childhood memory is of GAA president Joe McDonagh presenting Offaly with the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
And a full 25 years on, current Faithful skipper Sampson is hoping to get his hands on the cup named after Joe McDonagh this weekend.
Winning the tier-two competition is a long way from the All-Ireland glory they experienced in 1998.
But it could signal the start of a Faithful rising with their Under-20s also through to an All-Ireland decider on Sunday week.
Sampson, 30, said of 1998: “I’ll never forget it. For some reason it just sticks in my head.
“I remember being in Thurles for the third game against Clare that year too.
“I would have been very young but I have faint recollections of it all.”
Nobody would have predicted an Offaly collapse in the years after but they are moving in the right direction again.
The Joe McDonagh Cup could signal Offaly’s return to major hurling.