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Allianz National Football League: Final Day Ups And Down

Allianz National Football League: Final Day Ups And Down
Aaron Strain
By Aaron Strain
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It's been a whirlwind final day of the Allianz National Football League and yet still we don't have a definitive idea of how next year's league shake-up will look.

Division One

What we do know is that Kerry will meet Mayo in this year's Division One decider.

The Kingdom were in pole position to book their place in next weekend's finale at Croke Park and they broke little sweat in making that certain at Dr Hyde Park today with a ten point victory over Roscommon.

Behind Kerry, three sides were battling to take their league campaigns into finals weekend with Galway knowing that a victory over Tyrone in Omagh would seal their spot. Mickey Harte's men had something to play for too after a tremendous late drive to their campaign.


If Red Hands could beat the Tribesmen and hope that fellow final chasers Mayo slipped up at home to Monaghan it would be them who would make Croke Park.  In the end, it would be Mayo who would progress after a convincing win in Castlebar, that despite Galway looking the most likely for a lot of Sunday. Up by seven at half-time, Kevin Walsh's side capitulated in the second half, as goals from Peter Harte, Mattie Donnelly and Conal McCann saw Tyrone lead by the seven come the final whistle.

At the foot of the table, Cavan went into the day knowing it would take a minor miracle to survive, but Dublin snuffed out any chance of that with a six-point win at Breffni Park. Joining them in Division 2 next season will be Roscommon, with Monaghan surviving.

Division One Final: Kerry v Mayo


Relegated: Cavan, Roscommon

Division Two

Meath and Donegal will make a return to the top-flight next winter after deservedly sealing promotion after home wins over Fermanagh and Kildare respectively.

All four sides had a squeak of making it to the promised land going into the last set of round robin fixtures, but things went very wrong very quickly for the Lillywhites in Ballyshannon. Playing against a gale in the first half, they trailed 0-13 to 0-01 at the break, a deficit they could not close in the second period.



James McEntee and Barry Dardis were the goalscorers for the Royals, as they will return to Division One next year after an wxile of fourteen years.

Arguably the bigger story in Division Two this season has been the demise of Cork. Having toiled most of this league campaign, they travelled to Armagh knowing that should Tipperary manage to hold Clare, that a point would be enough for the Rebels to survive. In the end, they managed two, winning by the minimum at the Athletic Grounds.

Unfortunately for Ronan McCarthy's side, Clare triumphed in Thurles and it'll be Cork and Tipp that have been banished to Division Three


Promoted / Division Two Final: Meath v Donegal

Relegated: Tipperary, Cork

Division Three

You might want to sit down.


With the rearranging of the postponed fixture between Westmeath and Louth still hanging over everyone's heads, it was Down who led the pack before a ball was thrown in this afternoon. Paddy Tally's charges knew that a point at home to the aforementioned Louth would guarantee the Mourne men a place in next Saturday's third tier decider as well as an immediate rebound to Division Two.

Disaster struck for those of a Red and Black persuasion, as the five-time All-Ireland winners just failed to rein in their neighbours, after allowing them a six-point lead half-way through the second half, Connaire Harrison's goal giving them the eventually unfulfilled hope in a 1-06 to 0-10 defeat.

Laois condemned their own neighbours, Carlow, to the doldrums of Division Four with a three-point win in Portlaoise and in doing so confirmed their place in Division Two next year. More of that below, first we need to point out that Westmeath kept their own promotion hopes alive with a four-point win over Longford.

So what does it all mean? Well, whatever happens, Laois will finish above Down, given the fact they beat their rivals in Newry on the opening weekend and they have a superior score difference. This is enough for John Sugrue's men to advance to the Division Three decider because any result from the outstanding Louth-Westmeath match would not see them drop from the top two.

Down will miss out, however. Having lost to Louth, a victory for the Wee County over Westmeath would see Wayne Kieran's side promoted on the head-to-head basis, whilst a win or draw for the Lake County would see them progress given the fact they have a better score difference than the Ulstermen.

To explain, a draw in the game would see Laois, Down, Westmeath finish on 10 points. The head-to-heads see Laois overcoming Down, Down overcoming Westmeath and Westmeath overcoming Laois, typically. In that event, the three sides will be separated by score difference. In that scenario, Westmeath will qualify top with +15, Laois would meet them in the Division Three final with +14, with Down just missing out with +13.

Fuck my head hurts!

Promotion / Division Three Final: Laois v A.N. Other

Relegated: Sligo, Carlow

Division Four

Thankfully Division Four was already wrapped up.

Derry and Leitrim wrapped up the promotion thing a few weeks back and final weekend of divisional games interest was focused on whether Derry could maintain their winning streak at home to Wexford. They did, in what looks like a belter - the Oak Leafers winning on a scoreline of 3-21 to 4-16 last night.

London finish bottom of the heap, having not been able to muster a final day win over Wicklow in Aughrim.

SEE ALSO: Here's The Ireland Team We Would Pick To Face Georgia



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