Meath set for quick return to action on Saturday
NOT only were Meath's hopes of an extra day's rest dashed when the dates and venues for the final round of the football qualifiers were confirmed yesterday -- they will actually be the first game down for decision next weekend.
The beaten Leinster finalists face Laois in Tullamore at 3.30, with the game due to be shown live on RTE; it will be preceded by an All-Ireland MHC quarter-final between Wexford and Galway. Down face Tipperary in Mullingar at 4.0 with Clare's All-Ireland MHC quarter-final clash with Down as the curtain raiser.
Elsewhere, Kildare, fresh from their scare against Limerick, take on Sligo at Dr Hyde Park at 6.30. Kerry's showdown with Clare ends the day's action with a 7.0 throw-in. The referees for each game will be confirmed later this week.
Saturday -- All-Ireland SFC Round 4 (extra-time if necessary, Refs TBC) O'Connor Pk: Meath v Laois, 3.30; Cusack Pk: Down v Tipperary, 4.0; Dr Hyde Park: Sligo v Kildare, 6.30; Gaelic Grounds: Clare v Kerry, 7.0.
All-Ireland MHC quarter-final: O'Connor Pk: Wexford v Galway, 1.30, E Hassan (Derry); Cusack Pk, Mullingar: Clare v Down, 2.0, P O'Dwyer (Carlow).
Sunday -- All-Ireland SHC quarter-final (extra-time if necessary) both Semple Stadium: Cork v Waterford, 2.0, B Kelly (Westmeath); Kilkenny v Limerick, 4.0, M Wadding (Waterford).