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Westmeath and Rossies learn championship fate for 2018

Story by Kieran Galvin

Friday, 20th October, 2017 10:28am

Westmeath and Rossies learn championship fate for 2018

Westmeath captain Ger Egan and Offaly's Sean Pender pictured before they met in the 2017 Leinster SFC. Photo: Ann Hennessy.

Westmeath will face either Laois or Wexford in the 2018 Leinster SFC - while Connacht champions Roscommon have avoided Mayo and Galway until a possible final clash.

As Leinster semi-finalists in 2017, Westmeath had a bye into the quarter-finals where they await the winners of the opening round clash between Laois and Wexford. Now under the management of Colin Kelly, Westmeath are on the opposite side of the draw to Leinster and All-Ireland champions Dublin.

Westmeath defeated Laois in the 2004 Leinster final (after a replay) to win the county's only senior provincial title to date. The Lake County last played Wexford in a championship game in 2015 en route to reaching that year's Leinster final.

If Westmeath do reach the semi-finals next year, a meeting with Kildare looks most likely - but there is the possibility of facing Colin Kelly's native Louth, whom he managed up until this summer.

The Dubs will face Offaly or Wicklow in their quarter-final and one of those three teams will take on either Meath or Longford in the last four. Many people will expect a Dublin v Kildare Leinster final, which would be a repeat of this year's decider.

Pictured above: Brian Stack in action for Roscommon during their march to Connacht SFC success in 2017. Photo: Ann Hennessy.

In Connacht, Roscommon fans will be happy to see their side avoid traditional heavyweights Mayo and Galway yet again. Roscommon will meet the winners of Leitrim or New York in the Connacht semi-finals. This means a win over a Division 4 team (Leitrim) or New York (who don't even compete in the League) will see Roscommon advance to a provincial final. And even if they lose that, they will be in the last 12 of the All-Ireland championship and only one win away from the new 'Super Eights' which will replace the knockout quarter-finals in 2018.

2017 All-Ireland finalists Mayo will face Galway in a quarter-final clash. Galway defeated Mayo in the last two Connacht championships and if they can complete a treble of such wins, a semi-final meeting with Sligo or London awaits. 

The Rossies emphatically defeated Galway in this year's Connacht final, having lost to the same opponents in the 2016 decider (after a replay). 

The draws for the 2018 provincial senior football championships took place on RTE television last night (Thursday), with the meeting of Ulster champions Tyrone and Monaghan one of the stand-out clashes. See all the draws below.

Leinster SFC 

First round
Laois v Wexford
Louth v Carlow
Offaly v Wicklow

Quarter-finals
Laois/Wexford v Westmeath
Louth/Carlow v Kildare
Offaly/Wicklow v Dublin
Longford v Meath

Semi-finals
Laois/Wexford/Westmeath v Louth/Carlow/Kildare
Offaly/Wicklow/Dublin v Longford/Meath

Connacht SFC

Quarter-finals
New York v Leitrim
Sligo v London
Mayo v Galway

Semi-finals
New York/Leitrim v Roscommon
Mayo/Galway v London/Sligo

Munster SFC

Quarter-finals
Clare v Limerick
Tipperary v Waterford

Semi-finals
Clare/Limerick v Kerry
Tipperary/Waterford v Cork

Ulster SFC

Preliminary round
Donegal v Cavan

Quarter-finals
Donegal/Cavan v Derry
Fermanagh v Armagh
Tyrone v Monaghan
Down v Antrim

Semi-finals
Donegal/Cavan/Derry v Down/Antrim
Fermanagh/Armagh v Tyrone/Monaghan

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