All-Ireland SFC: Champions Tyrone to face Armagh in qualifiers first round

Five players were sent off following a melee in the league game between Armagh and Tyrone in February
Five players were sent off following a melee in the league game between Armagh and Tyrone in February

All-Ireland SFC champions Tyrone will travel to take on derby rivals Armagh in the first round of qualifiers.

The draw was made on Monday morning with Ulster semi-finalists Monaghan away to Mayo, Clare hosting Meath and Louth visiting Cork.

The Tyrone v Armagh contest will take place at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday 5 June with a 13:30 BST start.

Monaghan's game in Castlebar will take place the previous afternoon with a 16:00 throw-in.

Cork's tussle with Mickey Harte's Louth will also be on 4 June with the Pairc Ui Chaoimh contest start at 14:00 and Clare v Meath starting three hours later in Ennis.

The first round features teams from the top two divisions who have not reached their provincial finals.

Tyrone and the Orchard side will meet for the first time since their ill-tempered league meeting in February.

Five players - four from Tyrone and Armagh's Greg McCabe - were sent-off following a brawl at the Athletic Grounds.

Armagh, who lost out to Donegal in the Ulster quarter-finals, won the game 2-14 to 0-14 and will again have home advantage when the go up against their Ulster neighbours.

The Red Hands also fell at the last-eight stage of the Ulster SFC with a 1-18 to 0-10 defeat by Derry, who will play Donegal in Sunday's final.

Tyrone the 'draw Armagh didn't want'

BBC Sport NI Championship pundit Oisin McConville believes facing Tyrone is the "one draw" his native county didn't want.

"It's difficult because it's Tyrone but also for the fact that we've already played them (in the league) and there was a bit of tension in that game with a raft of sending offs," said the 2002 Armagh All-Ireland winner.

"Armagh ended up winning that game and trying to beat the All-Ireland champions twice in the same year…..tough.

"The positive thing I suppose is that we're at home but it has all the makings of being an absolute cracker."

McConville believes Monaghan, despite their disappointing defeat by Derry, are capable of winning in Castlebar.

"Conor McManus and Jack McCarron didn't get a lot of room in the Athletic Grounds from the Derry defenders.

"They will get much more room in Castlebar and will be able to express themselves much better."

All-Ireland SFC qualifiers first round

Saturday 4 June

Cork v Louth - Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 14:00 BST

Mayo v Monaghan - Castlebar, 16:00

Clare v Meath - Ennis, 17:00

Sunday 5 June

Armagh v Tyrone - Athletic Grounds, 13:30

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