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The Draw For This Year's All-Ireland Championship Looks Pretty Imbalanced

The Draw For This Year's All-Ireland Championship Looks Pretty Imbalanced
David Kent
By David Kent
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This morning's draw for Round 3B of the football qualifiers paired Monaghan with Carlow, and Tipperary with Armagh. While most will be expecting Monaghan to get past the Scallion Eaters, the other tie, at least on paper, seems quite intriguing.

The way the draw is split into 'A' and 'B' side makes the championship pretty imbalanced. Fourteen teams remain in the Championship at the time of writing. Given the number of games played, the quarter-final make-up on the 'A' side is clear.

A Side - Quarter-finals line-up

Cork/Mayo; Donegal/Galway; Kerry; Roscommon

Elsewhere, on the 'B' side: the quarter-final make-up will be along these lines:

B Side - Round 4 qualifier line-up 

Carlow/Monaghan; Tipperary/Armagh; Losers of Down/Tyrone; Losers of Dublin/Kildare


Two of those sides will progress to join the Leinster and Ulster champions in the quarter-finals.


It's not difficult to figure out which side of that is the harder.


Dublin beat two Division Four teams to get to another Leinster final. We're hedging our bets to say that they're probably going to win that final next weekend to get to a quarter-final. Same goes for Tyrone beating Down. Kildare and Down are 9/1 and 5/1 respectively to cause the upsets.

Dublin and Tyrone are on the 'B' side of the draw. So they'll face two of Monaghan/Carlow, Tipperary/Armagh or Down in that quarter-final. In other terms, one Division One side, or a heap of teams that they would easily beat.


But let's focus on the Farney's season. Since being stunned by Down, they've beaten Division Four Wexford, now they're up against Division Four Carlow. They'll be in the pot for round 4 if they win that - which will probably see them coming up against Kildare - who they'll likely be favourites against.

In comparison, on the A side, the fourth round of qualifiers is of a noticeably higher quality.

Roscommon, who brilliantly navigated their way through Connacht to earn their first title since 2010, enter a minefield in the quarters, featuring two of the last five All-Ireland winners (Cork and Donegal) and a Mayo side that's reached three All-Ireland finals in the last five years.


The Rossies, who were relegated from the top division in the league, will be rewarded for that by either facing one of those. They can't play Galway again under the GAA rulebook.

Now, we're not writing off Kevin McStay's side, but it's a slightly more daunting task than the likes of Tipp or Down.

The draw hasn't been this imbalanced since, er, last year.


SEE ALSO: The GAA World Reacts As Roscommon Stun Galway To Win The Connacht Championship




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