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Laois up first for Kenny's Dublin in revamped Leinster hurling championship

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Dublin manager Mattie Kenny speaks to Conor McKeon after the Laois loss last July

Dublin manager Mattie Kenny speaks to Conor McKeon after the Laois loss last July

SPORTSFILE

Dublin manager Mattie Kenny speaks to Conor McKeon after the Laois loss last July

Dublin have been granted an opportunity to exact some measure of revenge on Laois when they meet in this year's revamped Leinster SHC on October 24th/25th.

Mattie Kenny's team were beaten by 1-22 to 0-23 in O'Moore Park last year in the All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-final in one of the shocks of the hurling summer.

Dublin, having beaten Galway in Parnell Park to finish third in the Leinster SHC round robin group, were scorching favourites going into the game but Eddie Brennan's team - already crowed Joe McDonagh Cup champions - deservedly qualified for an All-Ireland quarter-final against Tipperary.

Given the alternatives, Laois - who Dublin beat by five points in this year's Division 1B in Parnell Park - represents a favourable draw for Kenny's side, although both teams are guaranteed at least two championship games this year.

The winners will play Kilkenny in the Leinster semi-final just a week later while whichever team loses has a two-week break before they face a do-or-die qualifier against one of the beaten Munster sides.

The Dublin/Laois game was two provincial quarter-final grudge matches thrown up by yesterday's draws.

The other being Limerick v Clare, who meet in the only Munster quarter-final.

Passage

That match will double up as a de facto 2020 league final after they were confirmed as winners of Division 1A and 1B respectively.

Those four will play a minimum of five matches over eight weekends should they go all the way to this year's All-Ireland decider on either Saturday, December 12 or Sunday 13th.

Should any of the four qualify for this year's final via the back door, they will play six championship games in just eight weeks.

In Munster, Cork and Waterford were pitted together in the semi-finals while All-Ireland champions Tipperary, who were also given straight passage to the last four, will play the winner of the quarter-final between Limerick and Clare.

Leinster champions Wexford and last year's provincial finalists Kilkenny were given byes to the semi-finals after the decision was made to scrap the round-robin format that has been such a success over the past two years.

Wexford will play Galway in the last four.

On Thursday, the Dublin county board confirmed that this year's Dublin SHC final will take place on either September 12 or 13, six weeks before Kenny's team take on Laois in the Leinster championship.

As yet, times and venues have yet to be decided by either provincial council although neutral grounds will be used where possible.

The Munster and Leinster quarter-finals will both take place on October 24/25, the first weekend of the inter-county championship action of 2020.

The provincial semi-finals are played over Halloween weekend.

Losers of those last-eight ties will have two weeks to prepare for the first round of qualifiers.

Both provincial finals are scheduled to be played over the weekend of October 14th/15th.

The quarter-finals, which will pit the provincial final losers against a round 2 qualifier winners, and the semi-finals are scheduled for consecutive weekends, with a two week break then to the All-Ireland hurling final.

Meanwhile, Dublin and Meath have been kept apart until a potential Leinster final, after the semi-final draw was made for the Eastern provincial championship.

Though the preliminary round and potential quarter-final pairings were already known, Leinster completed their football draw yesterday.

Dublin are set to take on Westmeath in their Leinster opener while Meath meet either Wexford or Wicklow.

Last year's finalists will meet on October 17/18 in the penultimate round of Division 1 of the Allianz football league but cannot cross paths in this year's championship until the Leinster decider, should they win their respective quarter-final and semi-final matches.

Dublin would play Longford, Laois or Louth in the Leinster semi-final should they beat Westmeath.

Meath could clash with Kildare in the other half of the draw.

The Leinster final, down for November 21, will double-up as the centenary commemoration of Bloody Sunday in Croke Park.

Leinster SHC q-final: Laois v Dublin, October 24/25

Leinster SHC semi-finals: Galway v Wexford, Laois/Dublin v Kilkenny, October 31/ November 1

Leinster SFC semi-finals: Wexford/Wicklow/Meath v Carlow/Kildare/Offaly, Longford/Louth/Laois v Westmeath/Dublin, November 14/15

Munster SHC q-final: Limerick v Clare, October 24/25

MunSter SHC semi-finals: Cork v Waterford, Tipperary v Limerick/Clare, October 31/November 1