Could there be a case of deja vu?
Published 21/07/2010 | 05:00
This is the first year since 2001 that Kerry, Meath, Roscommon and Tyrone were all crowned provincial champions in the same season but they will all be hoping for better fortunes than they enjoyed nine years ago.
Roscommon and Tyrone were both beaten in the quarter-finals; Meath hammered Kerry by 15 points in the semi-final, only to lose the final to Galway by nine points.
Plenty of surprises back then, but despite the volatile nature in part of this year's championships, some constants remain. Kerry, Cork and Tyrone were pre-championship favourites for the title and are even more markedly so now.
Incidentally, the only rematches that aren't permitted in the quarter-final draws are those involving repeats of provincial finals.
That means that, subject to results in the fourth-round qualifiers, there could be provincial repeats of Kerry v Cork, Meath v Dublin, Tyrone v Down. What odds against at least one of them coming up?