Longford have been drawn to meet neighbouring rivals Cavan in Round 1 of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers and the eagerly awaited local derby will be played at Breffni Park on Saturday week, June 25th, throw-in 5pm, part of a double bill with the Louth v Meath Qualifier (7pm).
Glenn Ryan will be happy with the draw as it gives Longford at least a 50/50 chance of advancing a stage further at the expense of Cavan who are currently rebuilding after reaching the All-Ireland U-21 Final this year.
Their senior management team of Val Andrews and Terry Hyland started no less than seven newcomers, including a few U-21 players, for the Ulster Championship quarter-final against Donegal at Breffni Park on Sunday last and Cavan crashed to a nine-point defeat, 2-14 to 1-8.
To make matters worse, midfielder Ray Cullivan received a straight red card in the early stages of the game and thus he will be suspended for the showdown against Longford who will have defender Declan Reilly available despite his dismissal in the county championship last weekend.
Reilly was sent-off after receiving a straight red card in the closing stages of Colmcille’s first round clash against Ballymahon on Saturday evening last and while he will be ruled out of club action for four weeks he is eligible to line-out for Longford against Cavan.
The complete draw for the Round 1 Qualifiers is as follows:
Clare v Down
Laois v Tipperary
Antrim v Westmeath
Louth v Meath
London v Fermanagh
Cavan v Longford
Wicklow v Sligo
Offaly v Monaghan