Draw keeps Kerry and Cork apart in Munster
Donegal face Tyrone for the fourth time in five years while in hurling Kilkenny likely to face Wexford in Leinster semi-final
Tyrone’s Stephen O’Neill and Donegal’s Neil McGee are on course to meet again in next year’s Ulster championship. Photo: Russell Pritchard/Inpho
Despite the partial removal of the seeding arrangements in Munster’s football championship, All-Ireland champions Kerry and perennial rivals Cork have been kept apart in next year’s provincial draw.
Although last year’s finalists got a bye to the semi-finals they could have been drawn together. Instead Kerry will face the winners of Waterford v Tipperary in the semi-finals while Cork take on Clare or Limerick.
It’s the third time in five years Donegal have been drawn in the preliminary round.
They are on the harder side of the draw with the winners scheduled to play Armagh, who met both counties during the recent championship.
Monaghan, who interrupted Donegal’s Ulster-winning sequence in 2013 but lost to them in last year’s provincial final, are on the opposite side of the draw.
Leinster champions Dublin will take on the winners of Offaly and Longford. Kildare and Laois are on the same side of the draw as Dublin with provincial finalists of the past two years, Meath, on the other side along with Wexford. In the preliminary round, Westmeath will play Louth for the fourth time in as many summers.
Connacht champions Mayo are in pursuit of a provincial five-in-a-row for the first time. They are on course to play Galway in the semi-finals, should the latter get past New York and Leitrim.
In hurling the Munster championship sees holders Cork get the kinder side of the draw, with straight progress to the semi-finals where they will face Waterford who took Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s team to a replay at the beginning of last summer.
The neighbouring counties met in the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final, won by Clare. Should Cork and Tipp reach the final it would be the first time they’ve contested a Munster final in what will be nine years.
All-Ireland and Leinster champions Kilkenny received the customary bye into the provincial semi-finals where they will face Wexford or the second-placed team from the qualifier group. The county’s two predecessors as Leinster title holders, Dublin and Galway, have been drawn together in the first quarter-final.
The counties last met in the 2013 Leinster final, which Dublin won convincingly. In fact since their arrival in the province, Galway have yet to defeat Dublin. Their opponents will be under the new management of Ger Cunningham, who succeeded Anthony Daly this week.
Connacht - preliminary round: New York v Galway. Quarter-finals: London v Roscommon, New York/Galway v Leitrim. Semi-finals: London/Roscommon v Sligo, New York/Galway/Leitrim v Mayo.
Leinster - first round: Offaly v Longford, Laois v Carlow, Louth v Westmeath. Quarter-finals: Offaly/Longford v Dublin, Laois/Carlow v Kildare, Louth/Westmeath v Wexford, Wicklow v Meath. Semi-finals: Offaly/Longford/Dublin v Laois/Carlow/Kildare, Louth/Westmeath/Wexford v Wicklow/Meath.
Munster - quarter-finals: Waterford v Tipperary, Clare v Limerick. Semi-finals: Waterford/Tipperary v Kerry, Cork v Clare/Limerick.
Ulster - preliminary: Donegal v Tyrone. Quarter-finals: Cavan v Monaghan, Fermanagh v Antrim, Derry v Down, Donegal/Tyrone v Armagh. Semi-finals: Cavan/Monaghan v Fermanagh/Antrim, Donegal/Tyrone/Armagh v Derry/Down.
Leinster - qualifier group (round robin): Laois, Antrim, Carlow, Westmeath. Quarter-finals: Dublin v Galway, Q1 v Offaly, Q2 v Wexford. Semi-finals: Q1/Offaly v Dublin/Galway, Kilkenny v Q2/Wexford.
Munster - quarter-final: Clare v Limerick. Semi-finals: Waterford v Cork, Tipperary v Clare/Limerick.