Saturday 16 December 2017

Kildare chief delighted as Derry tie fixed for Croke Park double-header

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

KILDARE have welcomed the chance to play another big game in Croke Park after their fourth-round qualifier against Derry was fixed for headquarters on Saturday.

It will form the first half (4.0 throw-in) of a big double-header alongside Cork versus Down (6.0) which, as a rematch of last year's All-Ireland final, is expected to help attract a bumper crowd.

"We were delighted with the venue -- we were hoping it would be in Croke Park," said Kildare chairman John McMahon yesterday. "For convenience sake it seemed the ideal place to play and, logistically too, for all the other teams involved."

Saturday's big Ulster derby between Tyrone and Armagh has gone to Omagh, while Limerick footballers have to travel to Portlaoise to take on beaten Leinster finalists Wexford.

The times and venues for this weekend's minor hurling quarter-finals, and three of the upcoming All-Ireland minor football quarter-finals, have also been confirmed.

Portlaoise will host an attractive minor football double-header on Bank Holiday Monday that features Dublin versus Cork, plus Meath against Tipperary.

The minor footballers of Cavan and Galway will meet in Longford on the previous Saturday, but no date has been set yet for the Roscommon v Armagh minor game.

That is because the GAA is waiting to see the result of this Saturday's senior qualifier between Armagh and Tyrone.

Roscommon's seniors are due to meet the winners in the final game of the SFC qualifiers on Saturday week and, if the Orchard county get through, that would facilitate a double-header with the same two counties' minors.

Meanwhile, Tyrone attacker Stephen O'Neill has been ruled out of Saturday after aggravating a hamstring injury at the weekend.

O'Neill missed the win over Longford 10 days ago, but was hopeful of being fit to face the Orchard men.

Saturday, July 23

All-Ireland SFC qualifiers

Omagh: Tyrone v Armagh, 7.0 (Round 3).

Croke Park: Derry v Kildare, 4.0; Cork v Down, 6.0.

Portlaoise: Wexford v Limerick, 7.0.

All-Ireland minor hurling quarter-finals

Parnell Park: Antrim v Galway, 3.0.

Walsh Park: Kilkenny v Waterford, 7.0.

Saturday, July 30

All-Ireland minor football quarter-finals

Longford: Cavan v Galway, 3.0.

Monday, August 1

Portlaoise: Tipperary v Meath, 2.0; Dublin v Cork, 4.0.

(*Roscommon v Armagh, to be confirmed.)

Irish Independent

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