Croke Park to host first Ulster SFC final since 2006

Tyrone are set to meet Monaghan at HQ on Saturday July 31st at 4pm

Croke Park will host the Ulster SFC final on July 31st. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

Croke Park will host the Ulster SFC final on July 31st. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

 

Ulster GAA has confirmed that its senior football final between Monaghan and Tyrone will now take place in Croke Park on Saturday July 31st at 4pm. It will be the first time the event has been played outside of the province since the 2006 final between Armagh and Donegal became the last of three finals to be played in the GAA’s premier stadium.

The main issue in moving the match was the scheduling of the finals in hurling’s graded championships, the Ring, Rackard and Meagher Cups, due to take place that Saturday.

The GAA had confirmed earlier on Monday that these finals would definitely be accorded a Croke Park final.

So, the finals will instead be played on Saturday and Sunday of the bank holiday weekend, on a double bill with the Ulster final and the following day’s Leinster football final between Dublin and Kildare with the third staged as a curtain-raiser to the following Saturday’s (August 7th) first All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Munster champions Limerick and whoever emerges from the quarter-finals.

Connacht Council will also be staging their football final in Croke Park this Sunday at 1.30pm - the first time the counties have met in the stadium since 2007 when they met in a league semi-final. It is also the 20th anniversary of when they contested the 2001 league final. Both were won by Mayo.

Also confirmed on Monday were the venues for this weekend’s All-Ireland hurling qualifiers, round two.

Matches will be staged on Saturday, separately in Thurles and Limerick.

Waterford play Galway at 2pm in Thurles where Cork will face Clare at the LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, at 4.30pm. Both matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

The choice of separate venues is for capacity reasons, as double bills of senior matches are generally only considered for Croke Park.

Meanwhile Ulster GAA has announced that the provincial under-20 football final has been deferred until Friday July 30th at the request of Monaghan, who are due to play Down.

The match, originally scheduled for this Saturday, is being postponed as a mark of respect to Monaghan captain, Brendan Óg Duffy, whose untimely death in a road crash last weekend shocked the county and the country at large.

 The final now takes place at 7.30pm on Friday week in Armagh's Athletic Grounds.

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