Heavyweights to meet in football quarter-finals

With 57 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship titles between them, the two most-decorated footballing counties in the country will go head-to-head in next weekend's quarter-finals.

With 57 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship titles between them, the two most-decorated footballing counties in the country will go head-to-head in next weekend's quarter-finals.

Kerry and Dublin were pitted together in this evening's draw, setting up a mouth-watering clash between the under-fire All-Ireland runners-up from 2008 and Pat Gilroy's Leinster champions.

If the Dubs are to finally make the All-Ireland breakthrough and lift the Sam Maguire Cup for the first time since 1995, their first challenge is beating a Kingdom side which is smarting from widespread criticism of their performances so far this summer.

But an improved second half display, which included a timely goal from Paul Galvin, helped Kerry to a 2-12 to 1-10 win over Antrim in today's fourth round qualifier in Tullamore.

Kerry beat Dublin by 1-15 to 1-08 when the counties battled it out at the quarter-final stage of the 2004 Championship. Kerry were also victors in a 2001 quarter-final replay, edging out the Metropolitans on a 2-12 to 1-12 scoreline.

Meanwhile, reigning All-Ireland champions and recent Ulster winners Tyrone will face Kildare in the upcoming quarter-finals, after the Lilywhites ended Wicklow's fairytale Championship run last night.

Munster champions Cork, who beat Kildare in last year's quarter-finals, have been paired with Donegal this time around.

Donegal have claimed the scalps of Derry and Galway in recent weeks and manager John Joe Doherty and his players seem to be turning a Jekyll and Hyde season around.

Revenge will be on their minds when they tackle Cork as they lost 1-11 to 1-10 to the Rebels at the quarter-final stage of the 2006 Championship.

Mayo, the newly-crowned Connacht champions, have a last-eight date with the winners of Meath v Limerick, which is the outstanding tie from round four of the qualifiers.

Meath last reached the semi-finals in 2007, while Mayo were semi-finalists back in 2006 and Limerick are hoping to reach new heights in Mickey Ned O'Sullivan's fourth season in charge.

The dates and venues for the quarter-final matches and the Meath v Limerick qualifier will be confirmed tomorrow by the GAA.

2009 ALL-IRELAND SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINALS:

Cork v Donegal

Dublin v Kerry

Mayo v Meath/Limerick

Tyrone v Kildare

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