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Champs Dublin bound for Clones for seasonal League opener

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Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey scores past Monaghan’s Ryan Wylie in April 2017 - their last time in Clones

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey scores past Monaghan’s Ryan Wylie in April 2017 - their last time in Clones

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey scores past Monaghan’s Ryan Wylie in April 2017 - their last time in Clones

Dublin will begin the defence of their League crown in Monaghan on the last Sunday of January next year following the publication of the provisional 2019 football and hurling fixtures.

The game is almost certain to be in Clones, although Monaghan also played home fixtures in Inniskeen and Castleblaney this spring.

In all, Jim Gavin's team will play just three home games; against Galway on February 2, Mayo on February 23 and Tyrone on March 16.

Dublin's four away matches will be against Monaghan on January 27, Kerry on February 9, Roscommon on March 3 and Cavan on March 24 in their final match of the division.

On the last occasion Dublin visited Kerry last March, the game was played under lights in Tralee while their most recent visit to Roscommon featured a late change of venue to Carrick-On-Shannon.

Dublin's three home matches have been scheduled for Saturdays under lights in Croke Park - although as the programme of fixtures has only been sent to county boards, there is room for manoeuvre.

Changes are generally minimal, however.

Notably, there is no cross-over dates between the Dublin footballers and the Dublin hurlers, although the latter are due to play at home on Sunday, February 24 against Waterford, the day after the footballers meet Tyrone, opening the possibility of a double-header in Croke Park, provided Waterford are amenable to the move.

promotion

This year, the Dublin hurlers played just one Division 1B game in Croke Park, their opener against Offaly on the same bill as the footballers recorded their first win over the competition against Kildare.

They did, however, play their League quarter-final against Tipperary at GAA HQ on the day of the Dublin footballers' only defeat of the year, when they were beaten by Monaghan.

Last year, Gilroy expressed his wish to play as many matches in Croke Park as possible, reasoning: "I'd prefer to play in Croke Park, because the more we play in Croke Park the better.

"If we can get the games there.

"All the big games in the season come in Croke Park. You've got to know how to play that pitch.

"Because it's different. It's not just the crowd. It's the size of the pitch and managing that.

"I'd be all for playing in Croke Park, but there maybe will be reasons why we have to play at Parnell Park and we'll do that."

The hurlers are scheduled open their account against Carlow on January 26 under lights in Parnell Park.

They also finish with two home games; against Waterford and finally, Laois on March 3.

In between Gilroy will bring his team to Tullamore to play Offaly on February 3rd and Salthill to face Galway on February 17th in a match likely to have significant promotion ramifications.

Mayo and Roscommon - both of whom are currently manager-less - will kick off the League with a Division 1 meeting in Castlebar on the same night Tipperary play Clare in the only Division 1A hurling match scheduled for the final Saturday of January.

Kerry, who are also on the hunt of a new manager, will host Tyrone the following day.

In Division 2 of the football League, Kildare will host Kieran McGeeney's Armagh in their first match in the second rung while Meath will enjoy home advantage against Tipperary on the same day.

All-Ireland hurling champions Limerick will begin their first top flight League campaign in eight years in Wexford Park.

DUBLIN'S 2019 LEAGUE FIXTURES

FOOTBALL

27 Jan (Sun): Monaghan v Dublin, TBC

02 Feb (Sat): Dublin v Galway, 7.0

09 Feb (Sat): Kerry v Dublin. 7.0

23 Feb (Sat): Dublin v Mayo, 7.0

03 Mar (Sun): Roscommon v Dublin, 2.0

16 Mar (Sat): Dublin v Tyrone, 7.0

24 Mar (Sun): Cavan v Dublin, 2.0

HURLING

26 Jan (Sat): Dublin v Carlow, 7.0

03 Feb (Sun): Offaly v Dublin, 2.0

17 Feb (Sun): Galway v Dublin, 2.0

24 Feb (Sun): Dublin v Waterford, 2.0

03 Mar (Sun): Dublin v Laois, 2.0


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