Intercounty action set to resume with league football

There are growing indications that intercounty football will resume in October with the remaining Allianz Football League games.

The GAA’s ‘Safe Return to Play’ roadmap has marked mid-October for the resumption of intercounty football and hurling.

Now, it appears that Croke Park officials plan to resume intercounty activity by playing out the remaining two rounds of the football league before the championship begins.

In that scenario, Donegal’s first match back would still be against Tyrone, as they were due to meet in the penultimate round of Division 1 at Ballybofey. The same two counties are already scheduled to meet in an Ulster championship quarter-final at the same venue.

For Leitrim, they would resume with a trip to Newry to face Down. Terry Hyland’s side still have a fighting chance of avoiding relegation to Division 4.

Sligo, who are still in the promotion hunt in Division 4, would start back with a trip to Carlow.

There is still no confirmation that the return to play will start with the league matches – but Croke Park places an importance on completing the league programme in order to determine the key promotion and relegation issues for next year.

The make-up of Divisions 2 and 3 will also have an important bearing on the new All-Ireland Tier 2 Championship, which is set to be introduced next year.