Tough draw for Derry while Donegal face perennial giant-killers
DERRY'S summer will reach a crucial fork in the road in two weeks' time after they were paired with last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo in this morning's round 2A qualifier draw.
The Oak Leafers edged to victory in Waterford at the weekend thanks to Danny Heavron's second-half goal and will now meet Stephen Rochford's side, who suffered a second straight defeat to Galway in the Connacht series.
The two counties last met in the Championship in 2007, when Enda Muldoon's sumptuous lob over David Clarke put the seal on a comfortable Derry win on the day Ciaran McDonald made his last appearance for Mayo.
Their paths have changed considerably since then, with Derry reaching just one Ulster final in the decade since, while Mayo have been regular September visitors to Croke Park.
Elsewhere, Donegal will look to bounce back from their humbling defeat by Tyrone when they meet a dangerous Longford side.
The midlanders beat Louth at the weekend to secure a ninth successive first round qualifier win and in recent years they have ended the Championship campaigns of Monaghan, Derry and Down among others.
Rory Gallagher's side will have home advantage for the clash, which will take place on the weekend of July 1/2.
Meath have been drawn to face Sligo but that game may now be in doubt after it emerged that Niall Carew's side used seven subs in their round one win over Antrim, and may have to replay the tie.
Laois will take on Clare in the final tie at O'Moore Park.
RTÉ and Sky are both due to show one qualifier tie each on Saturday, July 1 but they could decide to show hurling qualifiers, depending on how a potentially mouth-watering draw there turns out.
All-Ireland SFC round 2A qualifiers
Meath v Sligo
Mayo v Derry
Laois v Clare
Donegal v Longford
*Ties to be played on the weekend of July 1 - 2.