Draw made for provincial losers in GAA qualifiers
The draw has been made for Round 4A and 4B of the Gaelic football qualifiers, with the provincial losers learning their fate.
In 4A, Connacht losers Roscommon will play one of the teams of the summer so far, Clare.
Also in 4A, Munster losers Tipp will play a team that has built great momentum in the qualifiers, Derry.
In 4B, the tie of the round will see Donegal, who lost the Ulster decider to Tyrone yesterday, play Cork.
And the final game will see Westmeath, who went down to Dublin yesterday, play Mayo.
The Clare v Roscommon and Derry v Tipperary games are scheduled for next Saturday, July 23.
The other two qualifier matches in Group B between Cork and Donegal and Mayo and Westmeath will be played on the following Saturday, July 30.
The most likely venue for all four games is Croke Park on two double bills.
The two winners from the Group A matches (Clare/Roscommon and Derry/Tipperary) will meet Kerry and Galway in the All-Ireland quarter finals.
However, as counties that have already clashed in a provincial final cannot meet again in the quarter final, the pairings in the last eight could be predetermined depending on the results of the two qualifier matches next Saturday night.
Essentially if either of the beaten provincial finalists (Roscommon or Tipperary) wins, the draw will be pre-determined as Tipp cannot play Kerry again and Roscommon can’t face Galway in the quarter-finals. However, if Clare and Derry win then a draw will be required.
In the other side of the draw the two winners from the Group B matches (Cork/Donegal) & (Mayo/Westmeath) will meet Dublin or Tyrone in the last eight.
The same rules apply – there cannot be a repeat provincial final pairing in a quarter final so if either of the beaten provincial finalists win (Donegal or Westmeath) then the quarter final draw is predetermined as Donegal cannot Tyrone or Westmeath cannot play Dublin again.
But if Cork and Mayo both win a draw will be required to determine who faces Dublin and Tyrone in the quarters.
The lop-sided nature of the draw is now apparent. There are only two counties (Kerry and Roscommon) who will play in Division 1 next season in the Group A section while in Group B there are four (Donegal, Mayo, Dublin and Tyrone).
Kerry could reach the All-Ireland semi-final without having to play a Division 1 team or a team outside Munster while Donegal will probably have to beat Cork, Dublin and Kerry to reach the final where their likely opponents could be Tyrone!
Just to compound the confusion surrounding the structure of the latter stages of the championship the All-Ireland semi-final draw is predetermined and counties who have already clashes in the series can meet again.
The draw is Galway (or the team that beat them in the quarter-final) v Tyrone (or the team beat that beats them in the quarter final) with the second semi-final being contested by Dublin (or the team that beats them in the quarter final) v Kerry (or the team that beat them in the quarter final)