Seán O’Brien looks ahead to this weekend’s action in the Allianz Football League including Roscommon’s meeting with Dublin on Sunday.
Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Next Sunday is D-day in the Allianz Football League when the final round of games will settle all the outstanding issues in the four divisions. It promises to be a very exiting afternoon at 16 venues before the final standings are decided around 3.30pm.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 1: THREE SEMI-FINAL PLACES UP FOR GRABS
Sunday (2pm): Roscommon v Dublin, Dr. Hyde Park; Kerry v Cork, Tralee; Mayo v Down, Elverys MacHale Park; Monaghan v Donegal, Castleblayney.
WHAT’S DECIDED: Having won all six games, Dublin will top the group and play the fourth-placed finishers in the semi-final. Down, who lost all six games so far, will be relegated after just one season in Division 1.
WHAT’S TO BE DECIDED: Which three counties will join Dublin in the semi-finals and who will be relegated with Down? A draw would suffice for Roscommon and Kerry, who are both on eight points, to reach the semi-finals. However, if they were both to lose and Cork and Donegal won, all four would be on eight points, leaving scoring difference to decide the three semi-final places. Mayo and Monaghan are both on four points and in danger of relegation.
THE GAMES: Roscommon host Dublin, whom they haven’t played in the Allianz Football League since 2008 when they lost by 3-20 to 0-7 in Division 2. It’s Kerry v Cork in Tralee in yet another instalment of a great rivalry. Kerry are seeking their first Allianz Football League win over Cork since 2013, having lost heavily in 2014 (2-18 to 1-11) and 2015 (3-17 to 2-9). Kerry beat Cork in the both the 2014 and 2015 championships. Monaghan v Donegal is a repeat of last year’s Ulster final which Monaghan won by a point. Monaghan also beat Donegal (two points) in last year’s Allianz Football League. Down and Mayo meet in the Allianz League for the first time since 2013, when the Ulstermen won by two points.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 2: CAVAN AND GALWAY CHASE PROMOTION PLACE
Sunday (2pm): Laois v Meath, O’Moore Park; Armagh v Derry, Athletic Grounds; Cavan v Galway, Kingspan Breffni Park; Fermanagh v Tyrone, Enniskillen.
WHAT’S DECIDED: Tyrone are guaranteed promotion and will top the group, having won five and drawn one of six games.
WHAT’S TO BE DECIDED: The winners of Cavan (7pts) v Galway (6pts) will decide who is promoted. A draw would be enough for Cavan to finish second. Derry (6pts) cannot be promoted. Fermanagh (5pts), Meath and Armagh (both 4pts) and Laois (3pts) are all in relegation danger. The losers of Laois v Meath will definitely be relegated.
THE GAMES: Cavan and Galway meet for a second successive year, with the Breffni men having won by two points in Pearse Stadium last season. Laois and Meath are usually close affairs. Last year’s Allianz Football League clash finished level while Meath won the 2014 clash by two points. This will be the first Derry v Armagh League clash since 2013, when the sides drew 0-16 each. The Fermanagh v Tyrone game will be the first Allianz League meeting between the counties since 2007.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 3: WHO WILL JOIN KILDARE ON PROMOTION TRAIL?
Sunday (2pm): Kildare v Clare, Newbridge; Limerick v Offaly, Newcastlewest; Longford v Westmeath, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park; Sligo v Tipperary, Markievicz Park.
WHAT’S DECIDED: Kildare will be promoted, having won five of six games. Limerick will be relegated, having picked up only one of a possible 12 points so far.
WHAT’S TO BE DECIDED: Who will join Kildare on the promotion trail and who will join Limerick on the way to Division 4? A draw for Clare against Kildare would be enough to clinch promotion but if the Bannermen lose, they are likely to be joined on eight points as Longford, Offaly, Sligo and Tipperary are all on six points. A defeat for Westmeath (5pts) would see them relegated but if they win they could leapfrog over some of the counties currently on six points.
THE GAMES: The last competitive clash between Kildare and Clare was in the 2014 All -Ireland qualifiers when the Lilywhites won by a point in Ennis. Limerick and Offaly last met in the 2014 Division 3 campaign when Limerick won by a point. Longford and Westmeath meet in the Allianz League for the first time since 2013 when Westmeath won by 2-7 to 1-8 in a Division 2 clash. Tipperary beat Sligo by two points in last year’s League.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 4: ANTRIM AND LOUTH CLINCH PROMOTION
Sunday (1.30pm): Antrim v Louth, Corrigan Park, Belfast; London v Wicklow, Irish TV Grounds, Ruislip; Waterford v Leitrim, Dungarvan; Wexford v Carlow, Innovate Wexford Park.
WHAT DECIDED? Antrim and Louth will be promoted. Antrim have won all six games while Louth have won five of six and are two points ahead of Wexford, whom they beat last Sunday so even if both ended on ten points, Colin Kelly’s men would be promoted on the head-to-head rule.
THE GAMES: Antrim and Louth meet for what will be the first of two clashes next month as they will clash again in the final on April 23. The clash of Wexford (8pts) and Carlow (6pts) will decide who finishes third.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2016: RESULTS & FIXTURES
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 1
Round 1: Dublin 2-14 Kerry 0-14: Donegal 3-15 Down 0-7; Cork 1-18 Mayo 0-12; Monaghan 2-10 Roscommon 1-9.
Round 2: Dublin 0-9 Mayo 0-7; Roscommon 0-14 Kerry 1-10; Donegal 2-14 Cork 1-7; Monaghan 0-13 Down 0-11.
Round 3: Dublin 1-14 Monaghan 0-16; Roscommon 4-25 Cork 3-10; Donegal 1-14 Mayo 1-12; Kerry 0-22 Down 0-6.
Round 4: Dublin 2-14 Cork 2-10; Roscommon 1-12 Down 0-6; Kerry 1-13 Donegal 1-8; Mayo 2-11 Monaghan 1-12.
Round 5: Dublin 1-15 Down 1-7; Cork 1-20 Monaghan 1-13; Kerry 2-13 Mayo 0-14; Roscommon 1-19 Donegal 0-17.
Round 6: Dublin 1-10 Donegal 0-7; Cork 0-12 Down 0-7; Kerry 1-17 Monaghan 1-9; Mayo 1-11 Roscommon 1-7
Round 7: Apr 3: Kerry v Cork; Mayo v Down; Monaghan v Donegal; Roscommon v Dublin.
Semi-finals: Apr 10: 1 v 4; 2 v 3.
Final: Apr 24
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 2
Round 1: Meath 1-10 Armagh 0-8; Tyrone 0-10 Cavan 0-8; Galway 3-12 Laois 1-10; Derry 3-13 Fermanagh 1-9.
Round 2: Laois 1-13 Armagh 0-15; Derry 1-12 Cavan 1-11; Tyrone 1-11 Galway 1-9; Fermanagh 0-10 Meath 0-6.
Round 3: Armagh 1-10 Fermanagh 0-12; Galway 1-18 Derry 2-12; Cavan 1-20 Meath 1-13; Tyrone1-14 Laois 0-14.
Round 4: Cavan 3-18 Armagh 0-10; Tyrone 2-15 Derry 0-12; Galway 0-15 Meath 1-12; Fermanagh 1-17 Laois 0-10.
Round 5: Cavan 1-12 Fermanagh 0-9; Laois 1-22 Derry 5-10; Armagh 1-15 Galway 1-15; Tyrone 1-17 Meath 1-11.
Round 6: Tyrone 0-13 Armagh 1-10; Cavan 1-17 Laois 0-15; Galway 0-15 Fermanagh 0-15; Derry 2-12 Meath 2-12.
Apr 3: Armagh v Derry; Cavan v Galway; Fermanagh v Tyrone; Laois v Meath.
Final: Apr 24: 1 v 2
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 3
Round 1: Clare 1-11 Sligo 0-7; Limerick 1-12 Tipperary 2-9; Offaly 0-12 Longford 0-10; Kildare 2-9 Westmeath 0-11.
Round 2: Kildare 1-12 Offaly 1-8; Longford 0-13 Limerick 1-8; Sligo 1-11 Westmeath 1-10; Tipperary 2-7 Clare 1-7.
Round 3: Kildare 2-11 Longford 0-10; Offaly 1-13 Sligo 0-14; Westmeath 0-11 Tipperary 1-8; Clare 1-14 Limerick 0-11.
Round 4: Tipperary 2-11 Offaly 0-12; Clare 1-18 Westmeath 0-10; Kildare 1-11 Limerick 1-10; Longford 1-17 Sligo 2-9.
Round 5: Westmeath 3-14 Limerick 0-7; Sligo 2-15 Kildare 2-14; Longford 1-17 Tipperary1-11; Offaly 0-15 Clare 1-11.
Round 6: Clare 1-20 Longford 1-9; Sligo 3-10 Limerick 1-12; Westmeath 1-9 Offaly 0-9; Kildare 2-13 Tipperary 1-5.
Round 7: Apr 3: Kildare v Clare; Limerick v Offaly; Longford v Westmeath; Sligo v Tipperary.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 4
Round 1: Louth 2-9 London 0-9; Antrim 1-12 Carlow 0-10; Wexford 0-14 Leitrim 1-10; Wicklow 0-13 Waterford 1-8.
Round 2: Carlow 4-4 London 1-11; Antrim 1-8 Wexford 0-7; Louth 1-10 Waterford 1-9; Wicklow 0-10 Leitrim 1-6
Round 3: Wexford 4-20 London 1-6; Antrim 2-14 Leitrim 0-10; Waterford 3-15 Carlow 0-15; Louth 0-15 Wicklow 1-2.
Round 4: Wexford 0-12 Waterford 0-11; Leitrim 0-16 Louth 2-9; Antrim 1-11 London 0-11; Carlow 0-17 Wicklow 0-14.
Round 5: Leitrim 1-16 London 1-11; Antrim 1-16 Waterford 0-6; Louth 2-17 Carlow 1-7; Wexford 4-23 Wicklow 3-14.
Round 6: London 0-13 Waterford 0-12; Carlow 0-12 Leitrim 1-4; Louth 0-13 Wexford 0-11; Antrim 2-13 Wicklow 1-12
Round 7: Apr 3: Antrim v Louth; London v Wicklow; Waterford v Leitrim; Wexford v Carlow