Monday 16 July 2018

Dublin facing a tricky away

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte

Dublin's away game in the forthcoming 'Super 8s' will be in either Healy Park, Omagh or Páirc Uí Chaoimh on the weekend of July 21st/22nd, it has been confirmed.

Yesterday morning's draw for the final raft of qualifiers pitted Mickey Harte's Tyrone against Cork in Portlaoise this Saturday at 5.0 in what is arguably the juiciest of the fourth-round ties.

The winner of that game will join Dublin and Donegal in Group B of what is officially called the All-Ireland quarter-final group stage, along with whoever comes through the Roscommon v Armagh qualifier, which will also be played on Saturday in Portlaoise at 3.0.

Should Cork prevail, Dublin would play their first Championship game in Páirc Uí Chaoimh since the 1983 All-Ireland semi-final replay, when Cork secretary Frank Murphy invoked an old home and away arrangement between the counties to bring the game to Leeside.

On current form, however, the likelihood is that Dublin will go to Healy Park where the capacity could be reduced to as low as 18,000 due to it being an all-ticket fixture and issues over egress, as per the Slattery Report.

Dublin's 3,500 season ticket and Parnell Park pass holder will be accommodated - as will Tyrone's season ticket holders.

Frightening

After that, the remaining available tickets are likely to be split between the competing county boards.

Dublin have beaten Tyrone on the last three occasions they have played in the All-Ireland SFC, all of which were played in Croke Park.

Dublin beat Tyrone by 2-13 to 1-11 in their last visit to Omagh back on Febuary 3, although easily their most famous visit to Healy Park was in 2006 in bad-tempered League game later dubbed the 'Battle of Omagh'.

Alan Brogan and Denis Bastick and Tyrone pair, Colin Holmes and Stephen O'Neill, were all sent off that day by referee Paddy Russell, who later confessed he found the atmosphere so "frightening" he'd considered abandoning the match.

Kildare meanwhile, will play Fermanagh in Navan at 7.0 for a spot in the last eight, knowing that their allotted home fixture in the so-called 'Super 8' round against Galway will be in St Conleth's Park, should they win.

Speaking on RTÉ radio during this morning's draw, GAA President John Horan stated: "It is in rule that each team in the Super 8s get a home game and that will be stood over."

"It was agreed at Congress and we won't be going back on that."

Cian O'Neill's chief injury concerns are over captain Eoin Doyle and Kevin Feely.

Doyle suffered a dead leg in Newbridge last Saturday and was replaced in injury-time by Eamonn Callaghan, who kicked a crucial late point.

Feely meanwhile, spent much of Saturday's match at midfield, having started the previous week's win over Longford on the Kildare bench.

Recovery

"Kevin is fine. Just a bit of fatigue, a bit of tightening, but he's fine," O'Neill explained.

"He hasn't played 70 minutes, since he came off in the Derry match. "He just needs recovery time.

"Eoin (Doyle) got a bang on the leg, it's a dead leg.

"We were worried it was something more serious, but it was just a dead leg that he couldn't shake off."

"We're back in with a chance to make the 'Super 8s' now, which is where we wanted to be."

All-Ireland SFC round 4 qualifiers

July 7: Armagh v Roscommon, Portlaoise, 3.0; Tyrone v Cork, Portlaoise, 5.0, Fermanagh v Kildare, Navan, 7.0.

July 8: Monaghan v Laois, Navan, 2.0.

All-Ireland SFC quarter-final round stage fixtures

Group 1

July 14/15: Kerry v Galway, Laois/Monaghan v Fermanagh/Kildare (both Croke Park).

July 21/22: Laois/Monaghan (home) v Kerry, Fermanagh/Kildare (home) v Galway.

August 4/5: Kerry (home) v Fermanagh/Kildare, Galway (home) v Laois/Monaghan.

Group 2:

July 14/15: Donegal v Dublin, Cork/Tyrone v Roscommon/Armagh (both Croke Park)

July 21/22: Cork/Tyrone (home) v Dublin, Roscommon/Armagh (home) v Donegal.

August 4/5: Donegal (home) v Cork/Tyrone, Dublin (home) v Roscommon/Armagh.

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