Thursday 8 December 2016

Qualifier cue: where do all the counties go this year?

Published 26/05/2016 | 02:30

Counties who don't reach the provincial semi-finals play in Rounds 1A and 1B. Four winners in each group play off in Rounds 2A and 2B against the eight beaten provincial semi-finalists. Stock photo: Sportsfile
Counties who don't reach the provincial semi-finals play in Rounds 1A and 1B. Four winners in each group play off in Rounds 2A and 2B against the eight beaten provincial semi-finalists. Stock photo: Sportsfile

The allocation of placings in the All-Ireland football Qualifiers has proved hugely significant in recent seasons as it predetermines which side of the draw counties will enter following elimination from the provincial championships.

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It limits who various counties can meet in all qualifying rounds and also shapes the All-Ireland quarter-final pairings.

QUALIFIERS 2016 : HOW THEY WORK

Counties are allocated to the A and B sides of the draw in a 16-16 split before the Championship starts. They remain on the A or B sides all the way (see below) for as long as they last in the Qualifiers,

Counties who don't reach the provincial semi-finals play in Rounds 1A and 1B. Four winners in each group play off in Rounds 2A and 2B against the eight beaten provincial semi-finalists.

Round 3 features four play-offs (two each in 3A and 3B) with the winners playing the four beaten provincial finalists.

Here's how the counties are divided this year.

A: Carlow, Louth, Laois, Wicklow, Meath, Dublin, Derry, Tyrone, Cavan, Armagh, Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo, Kerry, Waterford,Tipperary.

B: Longford, Offaly, Wexford, Kildare, Westmeath, Fermanagh, Antrim, Donegal, Down, Monaghan, London, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Cork.

The teams in the draw for Round 1 are as follows:

Round 1A (4 games): Carlow, Wicklow, Derry, Leitrim, Louth or Meath, Dublin or Laois, Cavan or Armagh, Tipperary or Waterford.

Round 1B (4 games): Longford, Wexford, Antrim, Offaly or Westmeath, London or Mayo, Clare or Limerick, Down or Monaghan, Fermanagh or Donegal.

The qualifiers begin on June 18 (1A) and June 25 (1B).

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