Here’s the draw for the 2014 GAA Championships
Just five days after the Liam MacCarthy was claimed by Clare, here’s how the 2014 football and hurling Championships will shape up after tonight’s draws at HQ.
Looking out at the dank, damp weather this dark October evening, it is no wonder we are already looking forward to warm summer days in Castlebar, Thurles, Clones or Killarney.
As they do, the GAA held the draw for next year’s Championships just days after the 2013 edition wrapped up and while we won’t see these matches for many, many months, there are a few crackers thrown in there.
The pick of the football draw is surely Tyrone and Down in the Ulster prelim. Can't wait for that one already. And the winner of that face Ulster champions Monaghan. A tough start for Mickey Harte, but one he may relish.
Fermanagh/Antrim, Derry/Donegal and Cavan/Armagh round out the quarters. The winner of that last match faces whoever gets out of the Tyrone/Down/Monaghan battle. The other half of the draw, featuring Donegal, is definitely easier.
In Leinster, All-Ireland champions Dublin play the winners of Wicklow or Laois in the quarters. Longford/Offaly will play Wexford, Westmeath/Louth will play Kildare and Carlow v Meath rounds out the quarter-final draw. Wexford and Dublin are in one half of the draw, Kildare and Meath are in the other.
In Connacht, Mayo have to negotiate New York in the prelim. London play Galway and Roscommon play Leitrim in the quarters. In the semis, Mayo should be waiting for the winner of Roscommon/Leitrim and Sligo should go through to play London or Galway. A potential Mayo/Galway Connacht final is on the cards.
In Munster, Cork will play the winners of Tipp and Limerick while champs Kerry will play the victor of Waterford and Clare.
As for the hurling, All-Ireland champs Clare will play the winner of Cork and Waterford in the Munster semi-final, meaning the Banner's first game of the Championship could be a replay of the All-Ireland final. Tipp and Limerick play in the other semi.
Kilkenny will begin their quest for dominance again against Offaly, and they are in the same half of the draw as Galway too. Wexford, if they progress past the winner's of the new qualifier group in Leinster, will play Leinster champs Dublin in the semi-final.
Roll on 2014...