All-Ireland quarter-final draw renews old acquaintances

Kerry and Mayo reprise April’s league final in last eight of championship

Three of this year’s All-Ireland football quarter-finals, drawn on Monday, will revive memories of previous significant encounters this century. Mayo’s meeting with Kerry is an echo of two All-Ireland finals plus two semi-finals, both of which went to a replay. The only previous quarter-final was 2005, which Kerry won.

Mayo’s sole success came in the 2017 semi-final replay. The counties have, of course, met this year in the league final, an encounter that Mayo will prefer to forget as it ended in a 15-point defeat. The counties meet on Sunday week in Croke Park.

Also on the bill that Sunday, Armagh and Galway looks the most evenly balanced of the quarter-finals. It was a fixture in the original year of the qualifiers, 2001, when Galway emerged with the win thanks to a last-minute point from Paul Clancy on their way to a first All-Ireland for a team that had been beaten in the provincial championship.

The previous day, the other two matches take place. Dublin and Cork have met in the last eight twice in the past 10 years with the Dubs winning both and going on to win the All-Ireland.

Three years ago, the counties met in the round robin or Super 8s, where it was Dublin 5-18 Cork 1-17, and in 2013, in a knock-out quarter-final like this year, Dublin 1-16 Cork 1-14.

The remaining fixture, Derry v Clare mightn’t have any All-Ireland precedents but the counties did meet in the 1947 league final, won by the Ulster men, 2-9 to 2-5.

Speaking at his award of PwC GPA Player of the Month for May, Derry full back Brendan Rogers said that although they had won well, 2-13 to 0-10, in Division Two of the league, they would be wary of Clare whose comeback win against Roscommon was the match of the weekend.

“We played them in the national league this year and it wasn’t a handy game. It was very tight even though the score-line maybe didn’t reflect that at the end. I guess we got a couple of scores to kind of add on to it, which obviously changes the look of it.”

All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals

Saturday, June 25th

Dublin v Cork, Croke Park, 6.0 [Sky Sports Arena]

Derry v Clare, Croke Park, 3.45 [Sky Sports Arena]

Sunday, June 26th

Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, 4.0 [RTÉ]

Galway v Armagh, Croke Park, 1.45 [RTÉ]

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times