Football

Armagh one win away from the perfect Division One campaign

Relegation issues to be resolved in second and third tiers

Caroline O'Hanlon and Aimee Mackin celebrate Armagh's win over Meath. The Orchard girls have five wins from five so far in Lidl National League Division One
Caroline O'Hanlon and Aimee Mackin crop Caroline O'Hanlon and Aimee Mackin celebrate Armagh's win over Meath. The Orchard girls have five wins from five so far in Lidl National League Division One (Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Lidl Ladies’ NFL, round seven
Division One

LEADERS Armagh are already in the final and finish up with a home game against Dublin this afternoon.

Their final opponents are yet to be revealed, with defending champions Kerry and today’s opponents fighting for the remaining place.

Dublin must win and hope that Kerry, who are playing Galway tomorrow, lose if they are to take that final place. A draw for Dublin and a loss for Kerry will not be enough for the Dubs as Kerry will progress to the final on their head-to-head result.

At the other end, the relegation outcome will not be decided this weekend because of the postponement of Galway and Waterford last week.

Those two counties and Cork are fighting to stay up. Cork need to win against Meath and even then it might not be enough if other results do not go their way.

If they don’t win, the 12 times league champions are down to Division Two.

Waterford play Mayo and Galway play Kerry and both know they need to win ahead of that rearranged crucial showdown.

Saturday Armagh v Dublin (the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds, 2.45pm, live on TG4)

Sunday Mayo v Waterford (Ballina, 2pm); Meath v Cork (Ashbourne, 2pm); Kerry v Galway (Fitzgerald Stadium, 3.45pm)

Division Two

ALL the attention is on the bottom half of the table where two Ulster sides are fighting to stay up.

Monaghan are in the relegation zone and face Laois, who are bottom and already relegated.

Monaghan need to win but also hope that Cavan, who are sitting just outside the relegation zone, draw or lose to Tyrone.

Cavan need to win that game against the league finalists to make sure they stay up. If they lose, they will look to see the outcome of Monaghan and Laois, and hope that Laois win or at the very least draw with Monaghan to ensure their safety.

Donegal can consolidate third place with a win over Tipperary. Both sides have secured their status for next season but will want to finish on a winning note.

Sunday (2pm unless stated) Tipperary v Donegal (Fethard, 1pm) Cavan v Tyrone (Redhills); Kildare v Westmeath (Manguard Park); Monaghan v Laois (Smithborough)

Antrim v Sligo ladies gaelic football
Antrim v Sligo Antrim need to beat Roscommon and hope that Sligo take at least a point in their last game if they want to remain in Division Three PICTURE: MAL MCCANN (Mal McCann)

Division Three

ANTRIM must beat Roscommon tomorrow and hope that Sligo take at least a point against Louth to stay in the third tier.

Roscommon are already in the league final, with promotion to Division Two guaranteed, along with Clare, so for them the result of the game does not matter.

The Rossies’ management team might consider resting key players ahead of next month’s final and giving fringe players their chance to make an impact. That might open the door for Antrim to grab the win, which is all they can do.

Down will look to finish their campaign on a high and make it five wins on the bounce with victory over joint-leaders Clare.

Like Roscommon, the Banner management team might take the opportunity to rest players and give others their chance, so it remains to be seen how strong a squad Clare will field.

Regardless, Down will want to push themselves on with this the last competitive game before championship begins, with the Mourne county making their return to the intermediate tier.

Victory for Down will see them finish in third place but their final position will be no less than fourth.

Sunday (2pm) Down v Clare (Teconnaught); Sligo v Louth (Cloonacool Community Park); Offaly v Wexford (Edenderry); Antrim v Roscommon

(Lamh Dhearg)