Kerry v Donegal brought forward to facilitate marathon journey

Game has been switched to Tralee on Saturday to as Kingdom bid to seal league title win

Kerry’s Paul Geaney in action against Donegal last year. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kerry’s Paul Geaney in action against Donegal last year. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

The GAA have confirmed their Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) agreed to stage Kerry’s final round meeting with Donegal in Division One of the Allianz Football League on the Saturday after factoring in the distance between the counties.

Traditionally, all final games in the league take place simultaneously, in part so that no team gets an advantage over the other in what they may or may not need from the final game. Although the Kerry-Donegal game is a standalone tie in Tralee on Saturday (2.0), the other three Division One games are all set for 2.0pm on the Sunday.

The other three divisions also conclude either this Saturday or Sunday.

Donegal manager Declan Bonnar outlined earlier this week some of the distances involved, his players travelling down individually on the Friday evening to stay overnight in Kerry.

For some, it means a roundtrip journey of almost 1,000km, Carndonagh-based Conor O’Donnell facing a 487km trek, Neil McGee and Daire Ó Baoill will drive 458km from Gaoth Dobhair and Jason McGee will make a 465km journey from Falcarragh.

Meath, who were relegated before the lockdown, remain the only county with nothing to play for in Division One, as the top four can theoretically win the title whereas the next three are all in danger of joining Meath.

If Kerry beat Donegal they will secure a first league title since 2017; if they lose, the winners of Galway against Dublin on Sunday will win. Should that match end in a draw, Donegal come into the equation, as a victory over Kerry would make them winners, based on scoring difference, over Dublin and Galway.

If Mayo beat Tyrone they stay up and if defeated they go down, as they are behind Monaghan on the head-to-head. If Monaghan beat Meath they stay up and Tyrone take the drop unless they avoid defeat in Castlebar. Mayo have to better Monaghan’s result to get ahead of them.

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