Sligo's short turnaround
MONAGHAN'S and Sligo's footballers have been given just six days to recover from the bitter disappointment of losing last weekend's Ulster and Connacht finals, WRITES Cliona FoleY.
All four games in the last round of the All-Ireland qualifiers have been fixed for Saturday, which means Sligo and Monaghan have the minimum time to regroup.
Monaghan are part of a double-header in Croke Park, facing Kildare (3.0) ahead of the all-Leinster clash between Dublin and Louth (5.0). Sligo face Down in Breffni Park (7.0), and the all-Munster clash of Limerick and Cork is at the Gaelic Grounds (7.0), with all but the Sligo v Down game live on television.
The hurling quarter-finals will form a triple-header at Croke Park on Sunday, presumably to maximise GAA attendances in a summer that has seen them dwindle -- just 22,763 fans attended last Saturday's thrilling Munster SHC final replay at Semple Stadium.
Cork will play Antrim in the opening senior game (2.0), followed by Galway versus Tipperary (4.0). The curtain-raiser will be the All-Ireland MHC quarter-final between Waterford and Galway. The other minor hurling quarter-final, between Dublin and Antrim, is in Crossmaglen on Sunday (noon).
Reacting to Louth's tough draw, manager Peter Fitzpatrick said his team had no qualms about returning to the scene of the Leinster final 'crime', where the Wee County were robbed of the provincial title by a controversial Meath goal.
"The Leinster final will never go away. What happened should never have happened, but we just have to carry on and get on with the game," said Fitzpatrick, who went to see Dublin and Armagh last Saturday as "I had a funny feeling we would draw them".
All-Ireland SFC qualifiers, Round 4 (e/t if necessary)
Monaghan v Kildare, Croke Park 3.0 LIVE RTE
Louth v Dublin, Croke Park, 5.0, LIVE TV3
Limerick v Cork, Gaelic Grounds 7.0, LIVE RTE
Sligo v Down, Kingspan Breffni Park, 7.0
All-Ireland SHC, quarter-finals (e/t if necessary)
Cork v Antrim, Croke Park, 2.0, LIVE RTE
Galway v Tipperary, Croke Park, 4.0, LIVE RTE