Explainer: 'A' side football qualifiers could be epic

12 June 2017

Tyrone's Sean Cavanagh and Seamus O'Shea of Mayo

Imagine Mayo playing Donegal or Tyrone in four weeks’ time, it could happen after the football qualifier draw took shape this weekend.

The qualifiers are split into an ‘A’ and ‘B’ side to allow beaten sides get two weeks to prepare before a qualifier game. Every year one side looks stronger than the other and this year the ‘A’ side has that appearance.

Round 1A takes place this Saturday with four games and the winners will play losing provincial semi-finalists in Round 2A. Those ‘A’ beaten provincial semi-finalists are Mayo, Clare, Donegal or Tyrone and Kildare or Meath.

Round 3A involves two games between the Round 2A winners and if we take a leap of faith and say that the beaten provincial semi-finalists all win those Round 2A games, then you are looking at Mayo having a 1 in 3 chance of playing Tyrone or Donegal.

The ‘B’ side has some heavy hitters too, with Cavan, Tipperary, Roscommon or Leitrim and Dublin/Westmeath/Offaly entering as beating provincial semi-finalists.

The round 3A winners play the losing provincial finalists from Munster or Connacht with the 3B winners facing up against the losers in Ulster and Leinster.

Here are the upcoming football qualifier fixtures:

Saturday 17 June

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1A
Louth 1-10 Longford 2-15, Gaelic Grounds - FT
Wicklow 3-10 Laois 2-16, Aughrim - FT
Sligo 0-22 Antrim 3-7, Markievicz Park - FT
Waterford 0-13 Derry 1-17, Fraher Field - FT

Saturday 24 June

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1B
Limerick v Wexford, Gaelic Grounds, 3pm

Sunday 25 June

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1B
Offaly v Cavan, Tullamore, 6.30pm
Armagh v Fermanagh, Athletic Grounds, 6.30pm
London v Carlow, Ruislip, 1pm

Saturday 1 July

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 2A
Meath v Sligo, Pairc Tailteann, TBC
Mayo v Derry, MacHale Park, TBC
Laois v Clare, Portlaoise, TBC
Donegal v Longford, Donegal venue, TBC

Saturday 8 July

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 2B
Provincial semi-final loser (Dublin or Westmeath) v Round 1B winner, TBC, TBC
Provincial semi-final loser (Down or Monaghan) v Round 1B winner, TBC, TBC
Provincial semi-final loser (Tipperary) v Round 1B winner, TBC, TBC
Provincial semi-final loser (Roscommon or Leitrim) v Round 1B winner, TBC, TBC

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 3A
Round 2A winner v Round 2A winner, TBC, TBC
Round 2A winner v Round 2A winner, TBC, TBC

Saturday 15 July

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 3B
Round 2B winner v Round 2B winner, TBC, TBC
Round 2B winner v Round 2B winner, TBC, TBC

Saturday 22 July

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 4A
Connacht final runner-up v Round 3A winner, TBC, TBC
Munster final runner-up v Round 3A winner, TBC, TBC

Saturday 29 July

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 4B
Leinster final runner-up v Round 3B winner, TBC, TBC
Ulster final runner-up v Round 3B winner, TBC, TBC

Related article: All the dates of the upcoming football and hurling qualifier draws




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