Sunday 18 February 2018

Back door broadens horizons

ONE of the successes of the back door in football has been the number of games between counties who never previously met in the championship.

Ten years after the introduction of the All-Ireland qualifiers, it is still providing new parings, with Roscommon v Tyrone the latest.

Under the old system, they would have met in the 2001 All-Ireland semi-final as Connacht and Ulster champions, but both were beaten in the quarter-finals. Now, they meet for the very first time on Saturday after having very different experiences over the last decade.

It will be only the second time Roscommon have played Ulster opposition in the qualifiers, with their sole experience so far having ended in an eight-point defeat by Donegal in 2008.

Of course, unlike now, those were troubled times in Roscommon, who had three different managers in the space of a few months.

Irish Independent

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