Tuesday 16 October 2018

Dublin on road again as Mayo and Galway are kept apart in provincial Championship draws

 

The Sam Maguire Cup pictured before the GAA Championship Draw 2019 at RTÉ Studios in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
The Sam Maguire Cup pictured before the GAA Championship Draw 2019 at RTÉ Studios in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

All-Ireland champions Dublin will open the defence of their provincial football crown on the road in 2019 with Jim Gavin's side drawn away to the winners of Louth and Wexford.

As well as chasing five Sam Maguire triumphs in succession, the all-conquering Dubs bid for their ninth Leinster SFC title in a row with a juicy semi-final tie possibly awaiting against Cian O'Neill's Kildare.

The Lilies must first account for Wicklow in the preliminary round, however, with the victors meeting Pádraic Davis' Longford where the reward for the winner is a semi-final date with the Dubs.

In the other half of the Leinster draw, John Maughan's first game as Offaly boss will see him renew acquaintances with Meath 22 years after their epic All-Ireland final replay duel when he was in charge of his native Mayo.

At last night's football championship draw, Maughan revealed that his backroom team will consist of selectors Kevin Guing (Edenderry), Crossmolina native Gerry O'Malley (now based in Ferbane), while Dubliner Mark Fee is football coach and Cavan's Dermot Sheridan is strength and conditioning coach.

The winners of Offaly/Meath will meet this year's surprise packets Carlow in the last four in Leinster, while Jack Cooney will be out to avenge this year's demoralising championship loss when they meet John Sugrue's Laois in the remaining quarter-final clash.

Elsewhere, Connacht kingpins Galway - the only one of the five traditional provincial counties to have the same manager as 2018 - open their title defence with a quarter-final trip to Ruislip to face London.

The first championship game of James Horan’s second coming with Mayo sees them away to New York and with Galway and Mayo on opposite sides of the draw, a first potential provincial decider between the big guns since 2014 looks on the cards.

Roscommon – still the only inter-county football side without a manager after Kevin McStay’s resignation – must beat Leitrim to earn a shot at Mayo/New York while Galway or London meet Sligo.

The big hitters were kept apart in Ulster with reigning champions Donegal away to Fermanagh in a repeat of last year’s final while Monaghan travel to Cavan as Mickey Harte’s Tyrone face a long road to lift the Anglo-Celt Cup with their preliminary round opener against Derry the first of four possible games.

Clare face Waterford with a home tie against reigning Munster SFC champions Kerry awaiting while the other semi-final sees Cork play Tipperary/Limerick.

All dates and venues are to be confirmed but with the Leinster and Munster SHC draws already pre-determined, there’s very little to get your teeth stuck into.

Leinster Senior Football Championship

First Round

Louth v Wexford

Wicklow v Kildare

Meath v Offaly

 

Quarter finals

Louth/Wexford v Dublin

Wicklow/Kildare v Longford

Meath/Offaly v Carlow

Westmeath v Laois

 

Semi finals

Louth/Wexford/Dublin v Wicklow/Kildare/Longford

Meath/Offaly/Carlow v Westmeath/Laois

 

 

Connacht Senior Football Championship

Quarter-finals

New York v Mayo

London v Galway

Leitrim v Roscommon

BYE: Sligo

Semi-finals

New York/Mayo v Leitrim/Roscommon

London/Galway v Sligo

 

Munster Senior Football Championship

Quarter finals

Tipperary v Limerick

Clare v Waterford

 

Semi finals

Kerry v Clare or Waterford

Tipperary or Limerick v Cork

 

Ulster Senior Football Championship

Preliminary round

Tyrone v Derry

 

Quarter finals

Antrim v Tyrone or Derry

Cavan v Monaghan

Down v Armagh

Fermanagh v Donegal

 

Semi finals

Cavan or Monaghan v Down or Armagh

Fermanagh v Donegal v Antrim/Tyrone/Derry

Irish Independent

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