All-Ireland football qualifiers become more straightforward after Kildare and Limerick wins

Colm Keys

The All-Ireland football championship will take a more straightforward path with no need now for preliminary first round qualifiers after Kildare's Leinster semi-final win over Westmeath in Croke Park.

Kildare's win, following on from Limerick's triumph over Tipperary in the Munster semi-final last night, ensures that each of the eight provincial finalists will be Division 1 and 2 teams with the remaining eight teams from the top divisions involved in round one of the qualifiers.

Had there been a need for preliminary round fixtures, Mayo, Tyrone, Armagh, Clare and Louth would have been in a draw tomorrow morning.

The first round qualifier draw will now take place on Monday week with Mayo, Tyrone, Armagh, Cork, Clare, Louth and the losers from the two provincial semi-finals later today, Dublin/Meath and Monaghan/Derry, involved.

There will now be a requirement for two preliminary rounds in the Tailteann Cup before the first round proper and both games will involve teams from the south section because New York were drawn on that side during the week. That leaves nine south teams with a requirement to pare it down to six as New York are already guaranteed a quarter-final place.

The Tailteann Cup preliminary rounds will involve four teams from Wicklow, Waterford, Wexford, Laois, Offaly and Carlow, because they didn't reach provincial semi-finals, with the winners joining Tipperary and Westmeath in the first round proper.

The north section of tomorrow morning's Tailteann Cup draw will include Antrim, Down, Cavan, Fermanagh, London, Longford, Sligo and Leitrim.

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