Wednesday 22 November 2017

Big guns avoid each other in the first Qualifier draw

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte

Mickey Harte's Tyrone will have to negotiate the challenge of Offaly in Tullamore as they were paired together in this morning's draw for Round One of the GAA football qualifiers.

Tyrone are still among the front runners to lift Sam despite their defeat to All-Ireland champions Donegal in the quarter-final of the Ulster Championship.

It's hardly the ideal draw for Offaly who put up a creditable performance in their defeat to Kildare earlier this month.

Galway will get the chance to bounce back from their complete capitulation against Mayo with a home tie against Tipperary who were also soundly beaten in their only championship appearance to date.

Sligo, the shock losers of the championship so far, can gain redemption for their defeat to London in Connacht but they will have to do it the hard way with a trip to Celtic Park to face Derry.

Fermanagh could not use home advantage to their advantage yesterday against  Cavan and will have to travel to Cusack Park in Mullingar to take on Division Two runners-up Westmeath.

Laois and Justin McNulty were blown away by Louth in Leinster but have a chance to get their Championship season up and running with a home tie against Anthony Rainbow's Carlow in an all-Leinster affair.

The tactics deployed by Armagh boss Paul Grimley will come under close scrutiny when they host Wicklow at the Athletic Grounds and Glenn Ryan's Longford will have home advantage over Limerick in the final game of the qualifiers.

All games will be played on the weekend of June 29-30. Dates, times and venues will be confirmed in due course by the CCCC.

All-Ireland Football Qualifiers Round One Draw:

Tyrone v Offaly

Galway v Tipperary

Derry v Sligo

Westmeath v Fermanagh

Laois v Carlow

Armagh v Wicklow

Louth v Antrim

Longford v Limerick

Irish Independent

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