The 'Newbridge or Nowhere' mural being painted outside St Conleth's Park in Newbridge this afternoon. Picture: Tony Keane
Kildare will play Tyrone in Newbridge this weekend - and could the Lilywhites stage another shock on Derby weekend just like by beating Mayo last year?
Last year Cian O'Neill's men dumped Mayo out of the Championship on Derby Day in a thrilling encounter in St Conleth's Park after a week-long 'Newbridge or Nowhere' stand-off with the GAA bosses who wanted the game to be played elsewhere for "health and safety reasons".
Tyrone won't be too happy coming to the Newbridge GAA fortress on Derby weekend where a large home crowd are expected.
Tyrone are managed by Mickey Harte - currently the longest serving inter county manager who has steered his team to three All Irelands and five Ulster titles since he took charge in 2003.
The draw for the qualifiers took place this morning on RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland.
Following their Leinster semi-final loss to Dublin, Cian O’Neill’s side enjoyed a comprehensive away win over Antrim on Saturday, but will face much stiffer Ulster opposition on this Saturday or Sunday (day and time to be decided today).
Mickey Harte’s side game against the Lilywhites will be their fifth of the championship.
After seeing off Derry and Antrim in Ulster, they came a cropper against eventual provincial champions Donegal at the penultimate stage before emerging victorious away to Longford at the weekend.
"Kildare are capable of putting up a big performance on any given day. This is probably what they need to ignite their season," former Tyrone footballer and RTÉ GAA analyst Sean Cavanagh said.
Today's draw will also see Westmeath pitted against Clare while in-form Offaly will travel to Portlaoise to take on Laois.
Mayo bounced back from their Connacht semi-final defeat at the hands of Roscommon with victory in Newry, though manager James Horan admitted he was concerned by the manner in which Down created goal opportunities.
The Orchard County went close to reaching the Ulster final, but were squeezed out by Cavan in the provincial semi-final. Kieran McGeeney's men regrouped and were impressive in their defeat of Monaghan, a game which proved to be Malachy O’Rourke’s last in charge of the Farney County.
Laois will welcome Offaly to Portlaoise. When the sides met in Division 3 back in March, Laois emerged victorious from O’Connor Park with three points to spare.
John Maughan’s side have regrouped well in the qualifiers having defeated London by 10 points in round one and easing past Sligo last time out with 11 points to spare, while John Sugrue’s side will look to build on the round 2 win at Derry.
It is the first time the sides will meet in championship football since 2006.
The fixture details (dates/times/venues) will be confirmed by the CCCC this afternoon with the fixtures scheduled for next Saturday and Sunday.
All matches in this round must be decided on the day.
ROUND 3 QUALIFIER DRAW
Mayo v Armagh, Castlebar
Kildare v Tyrone, Newbridge
Westmeath v Clare, Mullingar
Laois v Offaly, Portlaoise
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