IF Kildare are to win a first Leinter SFC title since 2000 next summer, then they are going to have to do it the hard way following the draw for the various inter-county championships last week.
Although the Lilywhite sare on the opposite side of the draw to All Ireland champions, Dublin, Kildare could well meet the Dubs in the final next July. However, Kildare are going to have get the better of either Westmeath or Louth in a quarter final, before a potential meeting with either Meath or Carlow in the last four.
Elsewhere, the county minors will begin the defence of their provincial title with an away trip to Westmeath, the team they beat in this year’s Leinster final, while the juniors and U’21s – also Leinster champions – will begin their respective campaigns with games against Louth and Wexford/Offaly respectively.
Meanwhile in the small ball game, Kildare’s defence of their U-21 ‘A’ crown will begin with a trip to Meath in the semi-final, while the minors will take on Westmeath at home.
The draws in full are as follows:
Leinster SFC: Rd 1: Wicklow v Laois; Longford v Offaly; Westmeath v Louth Quarter-finals: Wicklow/Laois v Dublin; Longford/Offaly v Wexford; Westmeath/Louth v Kildare; Carlow v Meath. Semi-finals: Wicklow/Laois/Dublin v Longford/Offaly/Wexford; Westmeath/Louth/Kildare v Carlow/Meath.
Leinster MFC: Kilkenny v Offaly ; Meath v Wicklow; Carlow v Laois; Dublin v Longford; Westmeath v Kildare; Wexford v Louth.
Leinster U-21 FC: 1. Longford v Westmeath; 2. Wicklow v Laois; 3. Wexford v Offaly; 4. Carlow v A BYE; 5. Kildare v 3 6. Meath v Louth; 7. 2 v 1; 8. Dublin v 4; 9. 5 v 6; 10. 7 v 8; Final 9 v 10.
Leinster JFC: 1.Kildare v Louth; 2. Cavan v Wexford; 3. Wicklow v Meath; 4. Longford v Bye; 5. 1 v 2; 6. 3 v 4; Final. 5 v 6.
Leinster U-21 ‘A’ HC: 1.Meath v Kildare; 2. Wicklow v Louth; Final 1 v 2.
Leinster MHC: Tier 1 – 1. Offaly v Carlow; 2. Wexford v Dublin; Tier 2 – 3. Kildare v Westmeath; 4. Meath v Wicklow
Next Rd – 5. Winners 3 v Losers 1; 6. Winners 4 v Losers 2.
Next Rd – A. Winners 1/2 v Kilkenny/Laois; B. Winners 5/6 v Losers A.
Quarter-Finals, Semi- Finals and Final – TBC.