2019 provincial championship draws on tonight

Photo: RTE.ie

We’ve known for a good while that our first outing in the Connacht championship for 2019 would take place across the Atlantic in New York – with that preliminary round game now fixed for Sunday, 5th May –  but, with due deference to the footballing talents in the Big Apple, later this evening we’ll find out who we’ll be playing first next summer once the lads land back on home soil.

In recent years it has appeared that, with only a few short weeks having passed since the All-Ireland final, the provincial draws for the following summer have been made with immodest haste. There are no such sentiments from our perspective this year – we were turfed unceremoniously out of this year’s championship over three months ago and so next year’s action can’t come soon enough.

Tonight’s draw will, along with the League schedule that has already been announced, provide an important building block in James Horan’s plans for next year. Plans that will surely include our making an appearance in a Connacht final for the first time since 2015 and, once we’re there, winning the Nestor Cup to gain direct entry to the so-called Super 8s.

It’s fair to say that we haven’t been blessed with charitable draws in Connacht in recent years. In fact you have to go back as far as 2012 for the most recent time that the draw hasn’t pitted us (at least potentially) against both Galway and Roscommon within the province. For the last three years running we’ve been paired with Galway in advance of the decider, losing – lest we need reminding – each time.

I’m no conspiracy theorist – far from it in fact – but the draws we’ve been getting, when you compare them with Roscommon’s, are at this stage testing the outer limits of the laws of chance. So a nice handy 2019 semi-final draw against Leitrim once we emerge from the do-or-die encounter with the Yanks would be both welcome and enormously overdue.

Tonight’s draw takes place on RTÉ2, with the show throwing in at 8.30pm.

41 thoughts on “2019 provincial championship draws on tonight

  1. Even more staggering is the fact we have drawn Leitrim what 2, 3 times in the last 30 odd years. There are only 4 teams we can possibly draw!

  2. It is, for sure. We met Leitrim at MacHale Park in 2012 but have been waiting to play the return fixture against them up in Carrick ever since. We last played them there in 2006.

  3. Anyone that knows our own Connaught council man who’s always involved in the draws will know there’s no chance of it being fixed! No way Ted, not a chance!!

  4. Spot on WJ and if I’m not mistaken, the game in Castlebar before that was in 1997. Colm McMenamin sent off that day

  5. I reckon it will be a semi final v Leitrim or Sligo for Mayo in the draw tonight. Galway v Roscommon will have to fight it out for a place in the final

  6. Yes, the draw tonight is crucial – its been really annoying drawing Galway in the first round each year and I too have noticed how little we’ve played Leitrim.

    Remember, if we avoid Galway until the final then we would at least make it to the last round of the qualifiers if we lost the final – the further you go in your province the less qualifiers you have to play.

    Draws make a big difference – just look at the soft qualifier draw Monaghan had this year.

    It shouldn’t escape people the importance of this draw tonight; it has the ability to ‘make or break’ our season.

    BTW, we reached the AI ’06 final beating Dublin of course along the way – but we almost came a cropper in Leitrim (I think we won by a point).

    Fingers crossed now

  7. So the last 3 times we’ve drawn Leitrim in Connacht, we’ve went on to the All Ireland final? There’s the proof of how important a soft draw can be.

  8. Raydempsey,
    More crucial that McMenaman being sent off that day in 1997 was Kevin Cahill’s injury which ruled him out for the rest of the year. How different it might have been if he had been available to Mark Maurice Fitz in the final. He would have had the pace to take him on in the race for possession instead of concentrating on staying goalside as Pat Holmes did. It was also the day Leitrim’s Gerry Flanagan took on John Maughan – and subsequently told the disciplinary powers that were that he was “happy enough” with that encounter.

  9. Do I detect a ‘fear’ of meeting Galway in the comments so far. We should be salivating about meeting them.

    Speaking of Leitrim, by my reckoning (trawling though those wonderful archives) we played them in Carrick in 1996 as mentioned, and before that in Carrick in ’85. Should be due to meet them again so!

  10. Yeah let the Rossies and Galway fight it out for a place in the final, where hopefully all going well, we will waiting for them in the long grass, rearing to go, primed and ready for battle.bring it on.

  11. My comment was my poor attempt at humour… i think both of us would like to avoid each other until a Connacht final meeting..

  12. I’d like leitrim but really don’t care who we get. I actually think We’ll make the 8’s regardless of whether we win Connacht or not.

  13. Softest draw possible please, keep the oul enemy on the other side till the final. Roscommon surely cant get the softest possible draw for the fourth year in a row??.

  14. I hope we get Galway that will stir the blood after Salthill last Feb and Castlebar on May 13th its time to even a few scores

  15. Leitrim will do nicely thanks . Just a short spin up the road from Carrick from me so away please … Not asking for much I know …….
    Then we’ll be saying we haven’t been tested !!
    Hard bunch to please , us Mayo folk .

  16. With all due respect to NY and Leitrim, does it mean a home draw v Roscommon ? Last played them in the Connacht championship back in 2014 in the Hyde ? Answers on a postcard please.

  17. Finally we avoid Galway in the earlier rounds! Roscommon (assuming it’s them on all known form and no disrespect to Leitrim or New York) will be no pushover in the semi-final. They will have a new management team in place too so they will be back in transition again. I’m confident of taking Connacht in 2019

  18. Yes it’s Roscommon in MacHale Park. More or less a repeat of the 2014 draw when Horan was last manager. Drawing the rossies means a close eye will now be kept on who they get in as their next manager.

  19. Much better draw for 2019 – phew! The early meeting of Galway in May was a killer after a tough league campaign, All Ireland final loss, then team holiday and awful injuiries. Rochy had awful luck this year especially. Anyways we will give a right rattle I’m sure. It such a relief to have James back.

  20. My Ball, I think a lot of Mayo folk will be pleased with that draw, a good test at home, before we take on the tribesmen, assuming everything goes according to plan,

  21. Much easier route to super 8’s this year..which after that draw looks like will definately be kerry Dublin kildare Monaghan Galway Mayo Tyrone and last two up for grabs..

  22. @Mayoviking .. Agree re draw .. Rossies will be no push over but still a good draw . Looking forward to the new year and hopefully a few new players pushing for starting positions

  23. At a press briefing tonight James Horan is saying that all players from this years panel will have to attend trials.I think this is a good move.

  24. Remember when John O’Mahony called up our best ever forward Ciaran McDonald to attend trials in 2008.That didn’t end well .

  25. Are we really lamenting poor draws WJ we got a string of easy qualifiers in 16 & 17, the easiest possible QF both years and avoided Dublins side both years. Leitrim must be sick of the sight of Roscommon at this stage and if anything we might get a bit more of a run into the legs out in NY. Quite looking forward to a Rossie match up in Connacht and will hopefully have Galway coming in cold. Sligo look very poor atm

  26. Didn’t see it mayo gooch but if what you say is correct, I for one am absolutely thrilled. The only way you can judge potential in the county is by pitting them up against the best in the county. The panel has been too comfortable for too many years now and you can’t beat competition for places to drive players on. Could be a great fundraiser too, two double headers in MacHale Park two weeks in a row. Would guess potential attendance for each double header to be far in excess of the county final.
    On the draw, well its OK, gives a chance to build momentum for galway in salthill assuming we beat Ross. But by God do I hate salthill.

  27. This is really the only way he can make way for a fresh injection of new talent ahead of the national league.

  28. Correct, Mayo Gooch – that’s what JH confirmed at the media event last night.

    45 – please don’t ever again refer to any Mayo player in the terms that you did and which I’ve now excised from your comment. Anyone who plays for his county puts in huge effort to make the grade and deserves respect for doing so.

  29. Apologies WJ – my comment was very harsh on reflection. Changes to the panel will most likely be enabled through these series of trials and any player exiting the panel deserves respect and credit for their effort. I over stepped the mark. Sorry.

  30. Many thanks 45,felt it was harsh knowing the work and sacrifice the players out in feel they deserve our outmost support,hopefully two or three newcomers will put their hands up in the games

  31. Fair enough Willie Joe. Thought it might have to be given the subsequent edits and deletions.

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