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Down get tough qualifier mission

Eamonn Burns' Down side couldn't have been handed a more thankless task in the draw for the All-Ireland qualifiers after being paired with Longford, notoriously dangerous giant-killers.

Longford actually ran Down close in a qualifier in 2010, the year the Mournemen reached the All-Ireland final. In the past, though, they have also ended the managerial reigns of Pete McGrath in Down (2002), John Brennan in Derry (2011) and John O'Mahoney with Mayo (2011).

A couple of seasons ago, they arrived in Celtic Park under Jack Sheedy and cut the socks off Brian McIver's Derry.

Elsewhere, Antrim will host Limerick, Armagh have a tricky away trip to Laois, the loser of Fermanagh and Donegal will travel to Wexford and Derry take on the losers of Meath and Louth.

DRAW: Qualifiers Round 1A:

Laois v Armagh, Carlow v Wicklow, Derry v Loser of Louth/Meath, Leitrim v Waterford.

Matches to take place on the weekend of June 18-19.

Qualifiers Round 1B:

Down v Longford, Antrim v Limerick, Loser of Offaly/Westmeath v London, Wexford v Loser of Fermanagh/Donegal.

To take place on weekend of June 25-26.

Belfast Telegraph

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