Rebels will be hoping for a favourable draw to help reach the Super 8s

Rebels will be hoping for a favourable draw to help reach the Super 8s
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE Cork football management will be out in force next Saturday night to cast the eye over their potential opponents in the qualifiers.

Fresh from a highly entertaining Munster final where Kerry pipped them by three points, the Rebels are still one win away from a berth in the Super 8 round-robin series which has replaced the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

If they progress Cork will be in a group with Dublin, who they'll head to Croke Park to take on, Ulster runners-up Cavan or whoever beats them, and Roscommon, who would be due at Páirc Uí Chaoimh at the start of August.

Before that of course, Ronan McCarthy's side will have to negotiate a round four qualifier and push on from their promising display in losing to the Kindgom.

Cork will find out next Monday morning who they'll face the following Saturday or Sunday in that crunch backdoor clash. Yesterday's draw pitted Kildare against Tyrone and paired Armagh with Mayo, so naturally Leesiders will be hoping they get the winners of Clare-Westmeath or Laois-Offaly. 

They haven't had a whole lot of luck in recent years, losing out to Tyrone last season and pushing Mayo all the way in 2017. Both counties subsequently made the All-Ireland final.

As encouraging as the second half effort was in almost dethroning Kerry in the provincial series, it is imperative that Cork produce the goods again when the stakes are high.

The hurlers have a qualifier of their own coming up against the losers of the McDonagh Cup final, Laois or Westmeath, which means Cork could meet the same county on the same weekend in both codes depending on the draw. 

The fixtures for round three take place on Saturday where Kildare will host Tyrone at St Conleth's Park in Newbridge, 5pm. Westmeath will take on Clare at TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar.

Neighbours Laois and Offaly are to meet at O'Moore Park, while Mayo host Armagh in Castlebar, at 7pm.


July 13-14: Group 1: Kerry v Galway/R3 winner, Fitzgerald Stadium; Donegal v Meath/R3 winner. Group 2: Dublin v Cork/R3 winner, Croke Park; Roscommon v Cavan/R3 winner. 

July 20-21: Group 1: Kerry v Donegal, Galway/R3 winner v Meath/R3 winner; Group 2: Dublin v Roscommon, Cork/R3 winner v Cavan/R3 winner. All in Croke Park 

August 3-4: Group 1: Meath/R3 winner v Kerry, Galway/R3 winner v Donegal; Group 2: Cork/R3 winner v Roscommon, Cavan/R3 winner v Dublin.

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