Preview: Sligo Minors in All Ireland Quarterfinal

The Sligo minor team will attempt to record an historic first for the county and win an All-Ireland quarter-final when they clash with Derry at Ballybofey on Saturday (2pm).

The Yeats men enter the tie on the back of their Connacht final loss to Galway four weeks ago, but will hope to extend their 2017 campaign at least one stage further as the competition enters the business end.

8 teams remain in the quest for All-Ireland glory, and for Sligo as a county it is a second quarter-final appearance in three years – marking decent progress after a series of poor years at minor level.

That said, winning this encounter against the Ulster champions will be the only priority on the mind of manager David Cummins and his selectors as Saturday approaches, with Sligo not having played in an All-Ireland semi-final since 1968.

The Connacht final loss to a strong Galway side at Pearse Stadium last month was a disappointing one, but the 3-11 to 0-10 final score was unfair on a Sligo side that put in a hardworking performance.

The lengthy break will have given Sligo a chance to reorganise themselves and restore morale in the camp ahead of the All-Ireland series, which will undoubtedly aid their cause.

The last time the county reached the last eight was in 2015, when Aidan Rooney’s side fell the eventual All-Ireland champions Kerry at O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 2-12 to 1-6.

Derry will also pose a formidable challenge for Sligo at this stage in 2017, with the Oak Leaf county on a high having clinched the Ulster title three weeks ago at the expense of Cavan. In collecting their second title in three years, Derry amassed a tally of 1-22 which indicates the strength of their forward division.

While approaching the tie as underdogs, Sligo will relish the opportunity to set the record straight after their Connacht final defeat and march on to Croke Park later this year. 

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