Armagh sweat as Down progress
By the time you are reading this article the Armagh sweat over whom they will play in the first round All-Ireland Qualifiers will be over as their opponents in the live 8-30 am Monday morning draw will have been revealed.
Meanwhile, the Orchard counties near neighbors Down will be looking forward to their June 10 Ulster Semi-final clash with Donegal following their 1-18 to 0-14 quarter-final home victory over Antrim. This first round qualifier draw involved all of those teams who have been beaten and failed to reach their Provincial semi-final but the format has changed in that there will be no groups sections this year with a straight draw involving all 16 teams taking place. The first team drawn in each tie will have home advantage – exception a Division 3 or 4 team from the current year’s Allianz league drawn against a Div 1 or 2 team will have home advantage. The fixtures will take place over the weekend of June 9th/10th. All matches will be required to finish on the day under the new Championship protocols. At Pairc Esler, Antrim opened up a 2 point lead but once Down rattled off 4 unanswered points from being level at 3-3 after 16 minutes last year’s beaten Ulster finalists never looked back. A Kevin McKernan goal the last score of the opening half sealed Antrim’s fate as they went in trailing 1-9 to 0-5. The teams shared 18 second half points evenly as Down progressed to the Ulster semis relatively untroubled 1-18 to 0-14.