Friday 23 March 2018

Roscommon avoid the big guns

Kevin McStay
Kevin McStay
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Once again, Down have missed out on a home draw. Their last Ulster Championship game in Newry was a replay in 2008 but they haven't had the 'luck' of a home draw since 2005 and even then they had to switch that to Casement Park.

Arch rivals Tyrone and Derry, who won't have met in the province for seven years, are pitted against each other with the winners meeting Cavan and Armagh, who had a fractious battle when they met in 2014.

New Roscommon joint-managers Kevin McStay and Fergie O'Donnell can reach a Connacht final without having to play either Mayo or Galway.

Roscommon begin their campaign in New York next May and, provided they win there, will then play Leitrim with the winners against Sligo who have again been given a bye into a Connacht semi-final.

Galway and Mayo will meet in the other semi-final, if and when Mayo succeed in London.

In hurling, Cork and Tipperary will meet in a Munster Championship tie for the first time in six years. The last time they met in the province, in 2010, Cork won but Tipp went on to win an All-Ireland title. They've been drawn in a preliminary quarter-final and the winners will meet Limerick with Clare and Waterford on the other side of the draw.

As Galway moved yesterday to appoint a mediator to find a resolution to the current impasse between Anthony Cunningham's management and players, they were handed a relatively favourable draw in Leinster, avoiding All-Ireland champions Kilkenny, Dublin and Wexford who are all on the other side of the draw.

The Tribesmen will play the winners of the four-team round-robin preliminary competition which contains Kerry for the first time with Laois drawn against the round-robin losers.

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