Tuesday 27 September 2016

Explained: Here is the state of play following today's Football Qualifier draw

Sean McGoldrick

Published 18/07/2016 | 08:46

17 July 2016; Cathal Cregg of Roscommon collides with the advertising during the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship Final Replay match between Galway and Roscommon at Elverys MacHale Park in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
17 July 2016; Cathal Cregg of Roscommon collides with the advertising during the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship Final Replay match between Galway and Roscommon at Elverys MacHale Park in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Donegal will face Cork in the fourth round of the football qualifiers following this morning's draw.

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Rory Gallagher's men suffered late heartache against Tyrone in yesterday's Ulster final and they will face a Cork side who produced a brilliant second half performance to see off Longford on Saturday.

Mayo's reward for their victory over Kildare on Saturday is a tie against Westmeath who were trounced by Dublin in yesterday's Leinster final despite putting up a brave first-half performance in Croke Park.

The two winners from the Group A matches (Clare/Roscommon and Derry/Tipperary) will meet Kerry and Galway in the All-Ireland quarter finals.

However, as counties that have already clashed in a provincial final cannot meet again in the quarter final, the pairings in the last eight could be predetermined depending on the results of the two qualifier matches next Saturday night.

Essentially if either of the beaten provincial finalists (Roscommon or Tipperary) wins, the draw will be pre-determined as Tipp cannot play Kerry again and Roscommon can’t face Galway in the quarter-finals. However, if Clare and Derry win then a draw will be required.

In the other side of the draw the two winners from the Group B matches (Cork/Donegal) & (Mayo/Westmeath) will meet Dublin or Tyrone in the last eight.

The same rules apply – there cannot be a repeat provincial final pairing in a quarter final so if either of the beaten provincial finalists win (Donegal or Westmeath) then the quarter final draw is predetermined as Donegal cannot Tyrone or Westmeath cannot play Dublin again.

But if Cork and Mayo both win a draw will be required to determine who faces Dublin and Tyrone in the quarters.

The lop-sided nature of the draw is now apparent.  There are only two counties (Kerry and Roscommon) who will play in Division 1 next season in the Group A section while in Group B there are four (Donegal, Mayo, Dublin and Tyrone).

Kerry could reach the All-Ireland semi-final without having to play a Division 1 team or a team outside Munster while Donegal will probably have to beat Cork, Dublin and Kerry to reach the final where their likely opponents could be Tyrone!

Just to compound the confusion surrounding the structure of the latter stages of the championship, the All-Ireland semi-final draw is predetermined and counties who have already clashes in the series can meet again.

The draw is  Galway (or the team that beat them in the quarter-final) v Tyrone (or the team beat that beats them in the quarter final) with the second semi-final being contested by Dublin (or the team that beats them in the quarter final) v Kerry (or the team that beat them in the quarter final)

Here are the fixtures for the remaining qualifiers and the All-Ireland quarter-finals:

Saturday July 23

GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 4A Qualifiers

Clare v Roscommon, Pearse Stadium, Salthill, 3.00pm (Sky Sports)

Referee: TBC

(ET if necessary)

 

Derry v Tipperary, Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan, 5.00pm (Sky Sports)

Referee: TBC

(ET if necessary)

 

Sunday July 24

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Finals

Waterford v Wexford, Semple Stadium, 2.00pm (RTE)

Referee: TBC

 

Clare v Galway, Semple Stadium, 4.00pm (RTE)

Referee: TBC

 

Saturday July 30

GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 4B Qualifiers

Cork v Donegal, Croke Park, 4.00pm (Sky Sports)

Referee: TBC

(ET if necessary)

 

Westmeath v Mayo, Croke Park, 6.00pm (Sky Sports)

Referee: TBC

(ET if necessary)

 

Sunday July 31

GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championships Quarter-Finals (A)

Galway v Round 4A winner, Croke Park, TBC (RTE)

Referee: TBC

 

Kerry v Round 4A winner, Croke Park, TBC (RTE)

Referee: TBC

 

Saturday August 6

GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Finals (B)

Tyrone v Round 4B Winner, 4.00pm (Sky Sports)

Referee: TBC

 

Dublin v Round 4B Winner, Croke Park, 6.00pm (Sky Sports)

Referee: TBC

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