Clones set for Ulster cyclone

Monaghan v Armagh is the pick of the All-Ireland Round 2 SFC qualifier draw although Mayo face a tricky encounter against Down at Newry on Saturday week.

Yesterday morning’s draw saw the south Ulster neighbours picked out as the last pairing and the game will take place in St Tiernach’s Park, a third trip to the Clones venue in the space of four weeks for Armagh.

Having beaten Fermanagh at the stadium on Sunday, Monaghan will have to beat more opposition from the same province if they are to keep their hopes alive of reaching the Super 8 All-Ireland quarter-final phase for the second year in a row.

In a statement yesterday, the Armagh County Board confirmed midfielder Jarlath Óg Burns was hospitalised following the Ulster semi-final replay defeat to Cavan in Clones’ St Tiernach’s Park.

Although there had been suggestions it was linked to suspected concussion Burns may have suffered the week before, it’s understood the issue was related to dehydration.

“We can confirm that following yesterday’s game Jarly Óg Burns was taken to hospital,” read the Armagh press release. “He was discharged shortly after arrival and returned home last night. Our experienced medical team will continue to assess and monitor Jarly Óg.”

Following their Connacht semi-final loss to Roscommon in Castlebar last month, Mayo have to travel to Down .

James Horan is expected to have a number of stalwarts available for selection including Cillian O’Connor, Fionn McDonagh, Seamus O’Shea, and Donie Vaughan.

Hoping to bounce back from losing to Kerry last Saturday week, Clare will make the journey to Avantcard Páirc Seán MacDiarmada to face Leitrim and Limerick will also be on the road as they encounter Jack Cooney’s Westmeath in Mullingar.

Fresh from their Ulster semi-final defeat to Donegal, Tyrone learned they must go to Glennon Brothers Pearse Park to tackle Longford, who have been known for taking the scalps of Ulster teams in qualifiers in recent times.

It’s highly likely that the 2018 All-Ireland runners-up will take on Pádraic Davis’ Longford without Tiernan McCann, who did pick up an injury against Donegal but is facing a possible two-match ban for making contact with the eye/mouth area of Stephen McMenamin in Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday.

Beaten Leinster semi-finalists Laois and Kildare must head north to keep their Championship campaigns going, Laois facing Division 4 champions Derry and the Lilywhites battling Antrim, both having already beaten Leinster opposition in recent days in the form of Wexford and Louth respectively. Having pushed past London with ease this past weekend, Offaly’s next assignment is the visit of Sligo to Bord na Mona O’Connor Park.

The Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) are today expected to confirm dates, times and venues for the eight games.

All-Ireland SFC Round 2 qualifiers to be played Saturday, June 22:

Westmeath v Limerick, Monaghan v Armagh, Offaly v Sligo, Derry v Laois, Down v Mayo, Leitrim v Clare, Antrim v Kildare, Longford v Tyrone.

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