Sam Mulroy hoping Louth’s summer extends beyond Donegal quarter-final

Wee County’s first quarter-final appearance will also be first championship meeting with Donegal

Louth captain Sam Mulroy celebrates scoring a free against Cork last weekend. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Louth captain Sam Mulroy hopes the Wee County’s championship odyssey continues beyond next Sunday.

Mulroy’s injury-time winner against Cork in Inniskeen earned Louth a first All-Ireland SFC quarter-final appearance, which will be against Donegal at Croke Park on Sunday at 1.15.

The fixture, which is to be the first championship meeting between the counties, will be a curtain raiser to Kerry versus Derry at 3.15.

Following Monday’s quarter-final draw, it has been confirmed Dublin and Galway will headline a Saturday double-header at Croke Park, with the meeting of the Leinster and Connacht champions throwing in at 6.15. Armagh and Roscommon will form the undercard, starting at 4.0.


Both of Saturday’s quarter-finals will be shown on GAAGo while the Sunday matches will be televised live on RTÉ.

Mulroy hopes the confidence and impetus gained from their preliminary quarter-final victory over Cork can help Ger Brennan’s side in the last eight.

“Getting back to Croke Park is massive for us,” he said. “After the Leinster final, that was probably the objective for us. It’s been a hell of a ride and hopefully we can keep it going.”

But Mulroy cautions against overconfidence and stresses the calibre of sides at this stage of the competition make it a difficult challenge for developing counties such as Louth.

“I’m a very ambitious man but you have to be realistic at times and you look at the teams who have had a longer spell of development under their belt and a lot more players playing at this standard the last 10 to 15 years,” he said.

“For us, it’s about gathering momentum and year-on-year just improving. At the start of the year, it was about going one better and there was a change of management and that takes time.

“We found that out through the league but thankfully we worked out stuff together and collaborated really well and came up with a game plan that has let us win games.

“The lads in the management have been excellent, they have been around All-Ireland winning dressingrooms and they know what it takes. We have thrived under them and hopefully we can keep going next week.”

The Louth-Donegal clash is the only novel fixture in terms of counties having thus far managed to avoid each other in championship football.

Dublin and Galway have met each other on 10 occasions in the championship, with Dublin winning eight and Galway claiming two victories. The most recent of those Galway wins was in the 1934 All-Ireland final. The sides last met in the championship in 2018.

This will be the sixth championship meeting of Kerry and Derry, with the Kingdom coming out on top in four of the previous five games – including last year’s All-Ireland semi-final. Derry’s only championship win over Kerry was achieved at the semi-final stages in 1958.

Armagh and Roscommon enjoy an even championship split from their seven previous meetings, each county has picked up three wins, while there was also one draw.

All-Ireland quarter-final draw (all games at Croke Park)


Armagh v Roscommon, 4.0 (Live on GAAGo); Dublin v Galway, 6.15 (Live on GAAGo)


Donegal v Louth, 1.15 (Live on RTÉ); Kerry v Derry, 3.15 (Live on RTÉ)

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times