No sooner had we got some welcome clarity on the qualifier draw, I’m now hearing that the Round 1 qualifier draw will NOT after all be made this coming Monday morning and that it is instead being shunted down the road for a further week.
The reason for this is, so I gather, the GAA’s desire to give more airtime to the Tailteann Cup draw, which the GAA today confirmed is going ahead on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland show on Monday morning at 8.35am.
At one level, this is understandable. The GAA has probably been stung by the criticism voiced about the new competition and its prospects before a ball has been kicked in anger in it. Giving the Tailteann Cup draw a clear run on Monday morning should, then, help to raise its profile, as otherwise all the focus would have been on the Round 1 qualifier draw.
But here’s the rub. As noted in the previous post I did on this earlier on today, should either Westmeath or Tipperary win their respective provincial semi-finals this weekend, then a preliminary qualifier round will be required. In that scenario, my understanding is that this draw WILL be made on Monday morning, which it would have to, seeing as the preliminary round would be played on 21st May.
If it is what happens and if it results in a Mayo v Tyrone preliminary round qualifier tie then it’s safe to assume that it’s that draw and not the Tailteann Cup draw is where the media focus will be. Because of this, it won’t just be those counties – as well as ourselves, this group comprises Armagh, Clare, Louth and Tyrone – who might end up in a preliminary round, who are likely to be rooting for Kildare and Limerick this weekend.