Gilroy's men draw old foe Tyrone
Of the four possible opponents they could have drawn, Tyrone were probably last on Pat Gilroy's new Dubs' list, but for the fourth time (including one replay) in six years, they will meet their northern nemesis in an All-Ireland quarter-final, WRITES COLM KEYS.
The draw, made in Croke Park last night, also threw up a fascinating clash between Kerry and Down . The Mourne men historically have the current All-Ireland champions somewhat spooked, with four championship victories from four games (two All-Ireland finals and two All-Ireland semi-finals).
Indeed, it is the 50th anniversary of Down's first All-Ireland triumph, which came courtesy of a final win over Kerry.
Meath and Kildare will be equally happy to be meeting each other and avoiding other potential pitfalls, while the last names out of the drums were Roscommon and Cork, a match Conor Counihan's side will fancy progressing from.
Two years ago, Tyrone hammered Dublin by 3-14 to 1-8 in the last eight, the first of three bad beatings Dublin have taken in Croke Park over the last two years. That defeat hastened the end of Paul Caffrey's four-year reign as manager.
In Caffrey's first year, Dublin and Tyrone had drawn, before Tyrone prevailed in a replay by 2-18 to 1-14.
Kildare's impressive qualifier form has earned them a shot at Meath, who will hope to have emerged from the Leinster final with less psychological scars than Louth did on Saturday.
Kerry will have to contend without the suspended Paul Galvin and Tomas O Se for the Down game, which makes this an especially tricky assignment.
They have not met in the championship since 1991 when Down triumphed in an All-Ireland semi-final -- Pat Spillane's last championship game for Kerry.
The draw now means that if Kerry are to meet Cork or Tyrone, it can only be in the All-Ireland final.
The winners of their quarter-final meet the winners of Meath and Kildare, with Tyrone/Dublin and Roscommon/Cork playing in the second semi-final on the last Sunday in August.
The venues for all four quarter- finals will most likely be Croke Park, with the prospect of a Bank Holiday Monday fixture lessened by Dublin being paired with Tyrone as it is not a holiday up north.
ALL-IRELAND SFC Q/F DRAW
Meath v Kildare, Kerry v Down, Tyrone v Dublin, Roscommon v Cork.
Dates to be confirmed.