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Local rivals set for showdown

By John Campbell

A potential showdown between Tyrone and Armagh is the big Ulster talking point after the draw for the third round of the All-Ireland football qualifiers took place last night.

The Red Hands will have home advantage for the next round where they will face either Armagh or Wicklow, who must replay this weekend after ending all square at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday night.

Armagh face a tough trip to ‘Fortress Aughrim’ before they can even think about facing old foes Tyrone.

If the Orchardmen do get past Mick O’Dwyer’s side, it will be the 10th Championship meeting between Armagh and Tyrone since 2000.

Tyrone have won four Championship games since 2000, Armagh three, with two draws. The last meeting was in the All-Ireland semi-final of 2009.

The winners will face the losers of this weekend’s Connacht final between Mayo and Roscommon.

That Armagh and Wicklow must replay is a boost to the Connacht final losers who will now have 13 days to prepare for the round four qualifier instead of the usual six.

Down have a possible chance of revenge against Cork for last year’s All-Ireland final should they navigate past Antrim at Casement Park.

An all-Ulster clash was guaranteed when Antrim and Down were paired together with the Saffrons securing home advantage for the third game in a row.

Antrim came past Carlow on Saturday by a point, while Down took a while to wear down a battling Leitrim side before emerging eight-point winners.

However last year’s All-Ireland runners-up will be strong favourites to progress to the fourth round where the prize is a meeting with the Sam Maguire holders.

Two Ulster managers clash in the all-Leinster meeting of Meath and Kildare.

Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare side have already beaten Meath this summer in the Leinster Championship and they had a rather convincing 3-16 to 0-10 win over Laois on Saturday.

Meath boss Seamus McEnaney has watched his side slowly build a bit of momentum since their Leinster exit, including a one-point win over Galway on Saturday, however Kildare will be favourites to face either Derry or Donegal who meet on Sunday n the Ulster final.

There is an all-Munster clash between Limerick and Waterford, the winner of which will take on Wexford who were beaten by Dublin in yesterday’s Leinster final.

Times and venues will be confirmed by the CCCC today.

  • Eoin Bradley could be a major injury doubt for Derry's Ulster final team to face Donegal next Sunday after picking up a knee injury in training.

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