The possibility of an all-Ulster confrontation in the All Ireland football semi-finals still looms — but it will be confined to the touchline.
Yesterday, James McCartan masterminded Down’s stunning 1-16 to 1-10 quarter-final triumph over reigning champions Kerry and now he could come face to face with former Armagh All Ireland winning captain Kieran McGeeney whose Kildare side take on Meath in the last of this weekend’s quarter-finals today.
But while McCartan will put this contest under the microscope he is keeping an open mind on his team’s semi-final opponents.
“We are just glad to be in the last four. No matter who we play the semi-final will be a massive match for us,” insists McCartan.
It’s a titillating prospect from an Ulster viewpoint but while Down have taken a step closer to ending their 16-year exile from All Ireland glory, Tyrone’s dream of a fourth crown in seven years was left in tatters following their clinical eclipse (1-15 to 0-13) by Dublin in a pulsating encounter yesterday.
“Dublin worked hard and deserved their victory,” said Tyrone boss Mickey Harte.
For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.