The August Bank Holiday weekend is starting to come into view and this coming Saturday the Round 4 qualifier matches take place, with the draw for the All-Ireland quarter-final due to take place that evening once the Round 4 matches have been completed. We don’t have all that long, then, to wait before learning who our opponents will be the weekend after that.
Of the eight counties that are still left in the qualifiers, the only one we definitely can’t be paired with are London, as repeats of provincial finals aren’t allowed (but earlier provincial ties are, which means we could in theory draw Galway). In our case this is, one suspects, a moot point because the Exiles are unlikely to get past a rejuvenated Cavan when they face off in the first of Saturday’s Croke Park triple-header. This constraint could, though, impact on all three of the other provincial champions if – as could happen – Cork, Donegal and Meath all make it through to the last eight.
While I think Galway and Laois will give Cork and Donegal respectively a good rattle next Saturday, both big guns should have enough to prevail, though you would wonder if Donegal – with their aura of invincibility now well and truly smashed and with their injury list continuing to mount – will be ready for another scrap so soon after Sunday’s bruising defeat to Monaghan. It could be Laois’s limitations that’ll save the All-Ireland champions in that one.
If Donegal had been paired with Meath, I think their task could have been much harder. Along with Cavan and Monaghan, the Royals spent this spring plying their trade in Division Three but Mick O’Dowd is managing a team on the rise and they’ll relish the challenge of facing a Tyrone side that looks anything but convincing at the minute. If there’s to be any upset in this weekend’s matches, I reckon it’ll be in this one.
Anyways, I’m wandering off the point. As things stand (i.e. before Saturday’s Round 4 games) there are seven possible opponents we could be drawn against in the quarters, i.e. Cavan, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Laois, Meath and Tyrone. Which one of these would you like us to draw? Time to vote.
Who would you like to see us draw in the quarter-finals?
- Donegal (32%, 86 Votes)
- Cavan (21%, 58 Votes)
- Meath (17%, 47 Votes)
- Galway (11%, 30 Votes)
- Laois (9%, 25 Votes)
- Tyrone (7%, 19 Votes)
- Cork (3%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 273