GAA Football

The final day permutations for the National Football League

Antrim failed two years ago in a last-day shootout with Offaly at the top of Division Four. The same two teams are now among the four battling to survive at the bottom of the third tier. Picture by Seamus Loughran

DIVISION ONE

    Pts    Diff

Dublin    9    +40

Donegal    8    +12

Monaghan    8    +6

Tyrone    7    +10

Mayo    6    -5

Kerry    6    +6

Cavan    4    -20

(R) Roscommon    0    -49

Donegal

Final fixture: Mayo (A)

Current position: Second

Highest possible finish: First

Lowest possible finish: Fifth

RORY Gallagher’s side would top the table if they beat Mayo, provided Monaghan don’t beat Dublin by seven points more. Should they lose to Mayo, and if Monaghan and Tyrone both win, the Tír Chonaill men would drop to a bottom half finish.

Monaghan

Final fixture: Dublin (H)

Current position: Third

Highest possible finish: First

Lowest possible finish: Fourth

IF they end Dublin’s unbeaten run and Donegal fail to win in Mayo, Monaghan would find themselves top of the table outright with 10 points. A draw would be enough to see them into the final if Donegal and Tyrone both lose. 

Defeat by Jim Gavin’s side would end their hopes of reaching the final because even if Donegal lost in Mayo, Monaghan’s weak points difference compared to Tyrone
and Kerry would count against them in the event of a three-way
tie.

 

Tyrone

Final fixture: Kerry (A)

Current position: Fourth

Highest possible finish: Second

Lowest possible finish: Sixth

It looked promising three weeks ago but Mickey Harte’s side are now an outside bet to reach the final, needing to win in Killarney and for Donegal and Monaghan to both lose. If they were to lose to Kerry, the Kingdom would leapfrog them, as would Mayo should they overcome Donegal. It would be a major disappointment were they to drop as low as sixth in the final table, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

 

Cavan

Final fixture: Roscommon (A)

Current position: Seventh

Highest possible finish: Fifth

Lowest possible finish: Seventh

Should Cavan beat Roscommon – something they’ve struggled to do in recent big meetings between the two – Mattie McGleenan will pray that Kerry take something off his native Tyrone, as well as needing a Donegal win in Mayo. 

A two-way tie with Mayo would fall in Cavan’s favour on head-to-head, but a three-way tie would see them almost certainly relegated because of their poor points difference. They could finish as high as fifth, but it’s highly unlikely. If they don’t beat Roscommon, all the permutations would go out the window and they would be relegated along with Kevin McStay’s side.

The others

IF Dublin’s unbeaten run were to end against Monaghan, a Donegal win in Mayo would keep them out of a fifth straight Division One final, but a point is enough for them. Mayo are in more danger of relegation than Kerry, while Roscommon are only playing for pride.

DIVISION TWO

    Pts    Diff

(P) Kildare    10    +33

Galway    9    +30

Meath    7    +22

Cork    6    -2

Clare    5    0

Down    4    -18

Fermanagh    4    -30

Derry    3    -35

Fermanagh

Final fixture: Derry (H)

Current position: Seventh

Highest possible finish: Fifth

Lowest possible finish: Eighth

THE testing nature of their campaign was underlined by the heavy defeat in Meath, but Pete McGrath’s side can still stay up if they overcome Derry on Sunday.

If they win and Down don’t win in Cork, then Fermanagh will remain in Division Two next season. Their head-to-head record against the Mournemen won’t save them should they finish level, though, unless they both draw and Clare beat Meath. Defeats for Fermanagh and Down would see both relegated; draws for both and a defeat for Clare would mean a three-way tie in which Fermanagh would go down, and wins for both would mean a three-way tie with Cork, in which case Fermanagh would still go down. A win gives them a chance but no guarantees. If they lose, they will be relegated.

Down

Final fixture: Cork (A)

Current position: Sixth

Highest possible finish: Fourth

Lowest possible finish: Eighth

THEY head to Cork this weekend knowing that a victory would almost certainly keep them afloat.
A draw would most likely be enough for Eamonn Burns (right) and his side because, even if Derry were to win against Fermanagh, Down won their Celtic Park meeting and have a stronger points difference should Clare be involved in a three-way tie. But a defeat in Cork would send them down.

Derry

Final fixture: Fermanagh (A)

Current position: Eighth

Highest possible finish: Fifth

Lowest possible finish: Eighth

IF Damian Barton’s side are to escape the drop, they need to win in Brewster Park and hope that Down don’t bring anything home from Cork. Anything less than a win over Fermanagh would see them relegated to the third tier. Even a victory wouldn’t be a guarantee of safety though, because were Down to even draw in Pairc Úi Rinn, them and Clare – provided Meath beat them – would stay up ahead of the Oak Leafers.

DIVISION THREE

    Pts    Diff

(P) Louth    10    +9

Armagh    9    +46

Tipperary    8    +18

Sligo    5    -5

Longford    4    -6

Laois    4    -18

Antrim    4    -19

Offaly    4    -27

Armagh

Final fixture: Tipperary (H)

Current position: Second

Highest possible finish: First

Lowest possible finish: Third

IT’S as simple as it gets for Kieran McGeeney’s side – avoid defeat to Tipperary and promotion is theirs. A win or a draw would take them straight back to Division Two after a one-year absence, but a loss would see Tipp usurp them and snatch the promotion themselves. If Armagh win and Sligo take anything from already-promoted Louth, the Orchard would finish top.

Antrim

Final fixture: Longford (H)

Current position: Seventh

Highest possible finish: Fourth

Lowest possible finish: Eighth

AS things stand, Antrim find themselves in the relegation zone by the very slimmest of margins. A four-way tie on four points leaves points difference splitting them from Offaly, Laois and Longford. With either Offaly or Laois certain to drop points, victory at home to Longford would save Antrim from the drop. No matter how other results go, defeat would see the Saffrons relegated.

The others

LOUTH are already up and Tipperary could snatch promotion with a win in Armagh. Sligo are the only team with nothing to play for. The bottom four face off with Longford, Laois, Offaly and Antrim all knowing a win would most likely save them. Draws would be an enemy to Offaly and Antrim.

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