Champions Donegal have been drawn to face last year’s beaten finalists Mayo in the pick of this year’s All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-finals.
Jim McGuinness’s Tir Chonaill side bounced back from their Ulster final loss to Monaghan to see off Laois with six points to spare in the final round of the qualifiers on Saturday, and now they will renew acquaintances with the side they defeated in last year’s September decider when the teams meet at Croke Park on Sunday.
“It doesn’t take away the pain of losing the Anglo Celt, but we’re back where we want to be and that’s the main thing,” McGuinness said after his side’s 0-14 to 0-8 win over Laois in Carrick-on-Shannon.
“It was a very physical game. Laois set out their stall the same way as Monaghan did last week,” he explained. “I thought we dealt a lot better with it today. We showed a lot of spirit, we showed a lot of guts, they (the players) kept doing what we asked them to do and that’s why we made it six (points) in the end. If you win a game by a point, it’s a great result in championship football.”
Elsewhere, Dublin have been drawn to face Cork after the Rebels struggled past Galway in their qualifier by 1-17 to 1-16. A late Aidan Walsh goal ultimately proved the difference between the sides, and the Rebels will now prepare to face All-Ireland favourites Dublin on Saturday at headquarters.
That game will be the second of a double header which will kick off with Tyrone’s all-Ulster clash with Monaghan – the Red Hands seeing off Meath by two points on Saturday.
In the fourth and final quarter-final clash of the weekend, Cavan (who saw off London) will take on Kerry in the curtain-raiser at Croke Park on Sunday.