Donegal will play Cork in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter finals, after the draw for the final eight was made live on RTE this evening.
The teams last met at a similar stage in the 2006 championship, when the Leesiders came out on top by a single point. Then Brian McIver was in charge of Donegal and Billy Morgan was the Cork manager.
Cork went on to be beaten by Kerry in the All-Ireland semi final with the Kingdom defeating Mayo in the All-Ireland final of that year.
The venue and time for the game, scheduled for next weekend, will be finalised tomorrow.
Donegal defy the odds
For many, Donegal are the surprise package of the final quarter pairings, after an indifferent start to the championship campaign and earlier in the season, getting demoted from Division One of the National Football league.
Then there was the whole debacle over the appointment of Donegal manager John Joe Doherty.
More recently two players were dropped from the panel, for indiscipline.
In fact, the whole season has been a lot to digest for Donegal supporters and their Irish fans abroad.
Interestingly, compare the way that the indiscipline matter was dealt with in Donegal compared to Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper and Tómas O’Sé, who were dropped from the Kerry side for today’s game against Antrim.
But ‘Gooch’ was back on the pitch, before the end of the first half – making a serious impact for the Kingdom in the second half, ultimately playing a pivotal role in their victory.
Antrim bow out
Ironically, Antrim who put Donegal out in the first round of the Ulster championship in Ballybofey, found themselves on the wrong end of a Kerry score this afternoon in Tullamore where they put up the bravest of battles before losing out by 2-12 to 1-10.
In fact the Saffrons were leading at the interval 1-04 to 1-03 in their Round 4 All-Ireland qualifier.
There was another north west connection as the referee was Killybegs whistler Jimmy White and last night Marty Duffy from Sligo took charge of the Kildare v Wicklow quarter final which Kildare won.
All-Ireland Quarter Final draw
(Four provincial champions V the last four who came through the Qualifiers)
Leinster Champions Dublin v Kerry
Munster Champions Cork v Donegal
Ulster Champions Tyrone v Kildare
Connacht Champions Mayo v Limerick/Meath
Limerick defeated Dublin and Waterford in an amazing last five minutes, came back to win against Galway in the hurling quarter finals this afternoon in Semple Stadium.
The semi final pairings will be:
Waterford v Kilkenny
Limerick v Tipperary