The fourth and final round of the All-Ireland Senior Football Qualifiers takes place this weekend and the results will have major ramifications for Kerry and Dublin, writes Adam Moynihan
- Who’s coming to Killarney?
Kerry’s first ever home Super 8s game is just around the corner and their opponents will be decided tomorrow when Fermanagh play Kildare in Navan. The winner of this tie will advance to the next phase and face Kerry in their third and final quarter final group stage game on August 4/5/6.
If we were being very picky we might have asked for more high profile opposition but neither Fermanagh, who reached the Ulster final, nor Kildare, who defeated Mayo (and the GAA) in the last round, will be a pushover, even with home advantage.
Kildare will be favourites following their successful ‘Newbridge or nowhere’ campaign and former Kerry selector Cian O’Neill could well be bringing his charges to Killarney on the August bank holiday weekend.
- Away days
Before Kerry play host to anyone in the Super 8s, they must do a bit of travelling themselves and they’ll be going at least halfway up the country for their second group game, if not farther. Over the weekend of July 21/22, Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his talented squad will take on the winners of Sunday’s clash between Laois and Monaghan.
This is probably the biggest mismatch of Round 4; Monaghan should prevail with some points to spare. That would leave Kerry facing a tricky road fixture above in Clones. It’s an exciting (if not entirely appetising) prospect and it would be interesting to see how many hardened Kerry ultras fancy an away day up in Ulster.
- Ulster + the Dubs?
If the Munster final is anything to go by, Cork won’t turn over Tyrone so The O’Neill County will, in all likelihood, be joining Dublin and Donegal in Group 2. The remaining spot in this pool will be filled by either Roscommon or Armagh and if the latter pull off a minor upset and win tomorrow, the reigning All-Ireland champions will have three games against Ulster opposition in the Super 8s
Realistically, Dublin would probably win their two home games (against Donegal and Armagh/Roscommon) regardless but an away tie against Tyrone on July 21/22 would potentially be the tie of the round.