Thursday 23 November 2017

Dubs favourites for Sam as kind draw opens up path to final

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

DUBLIN have zoomed to the top of the All-Ireland football betting after the quarter-final draw sent them on the opposite side to the three other main contenders, Cork, Kerry and Donegal.

Dublin will play Laois on Saturday night at Croke Park with the winners facing Down or Mayo in the semi-final, who square off in the preceding game at 5.0. On the other side, Donegal are paired with Kerry in a Sunday showdown (4.0), while Cork versus Kildare (2.0) will be the curtain-raiser.

The quarter-final pairings were decided by open draw involving the four provincial winners against the four qualifiers but the semi-final is operated by a rota, which this year matches Connacht v Leinster and Ulster v Munster.

The draw presents Dublin with the perfect scenario as they can reach the All-Ireland semi-final by beating Leinster opponents only. And since they have suffered only one setback in the province (v Meath in 2010) in eight seasons, there's every reason to believe they will beat Laois, who are back in the quarter-finals for the first time in six years.

ALL-IRELAND QUARTER-FINALS

(All Croke Park)

Saturday, August 4

Mayo v Down, 5.0, Dublin v Laois, 7.0. Sunday, August 5

Cork v Kildare, 2.0, Donegal v Kerry, 4.0.

Latest All-Ireland odds: Dublin 2/1, Cork 3/1, Kerry 10/3, Donegal 13/2, Mayo, Kildare 12/1, Down 25/1, Laois 50/1.

• PETER FITZPATRICK last night stepped down from his role as Louth football manager.

Irish Independent

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