Permutations aplenty as football league fare goes down to the wire
Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Tyrone still in with a chance of making Division One final
Cavan’s Gerard Smith moves in to tackle Monaghan’s Ryan McAnespie at Clones last Sunday. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho
Sunday is curtain-fall day in the Allianz Football League, after which most counties have a minimum of seven weeks without a game – or even, in Cork’s case, a full 10 weeks.
With Leitrim and Derry already promoted from Division Four, everything has been decided there uncommonly early. Elsewhere, however, there is plenty to be decided. Indeed, of the remaining 24 teams only Dublin, Armagh and Sligo have nothing to play for on Sunday.
To wit, the possible – not to mention plausible – permutations.
Four teams go into Sunday with a chance of making the final. At the bottom, three teams have to ward off the drop.
A draw or better against Roscommon guarantees a place in the decider. Even if they lose, they will only be kept out of the final if both Galway and Mayo win their games by enough to turn around 11-point and four-point scoring difference deficits respectively.
Can’t afford to lose to Monaghan. Would lose head-to-head with Galway if they both win and Kerry win. Their superior points difference to Galway would stand to them, however, if the two Connacht sides win and Kerry lose. A draw could see them through but only if Tyrone beat Galway.
A few routes to the final. If they beat Tyrone, they’re in under the following scenarios – a Kerry win, a Mayo draw or defeat. A draw would do them as long as Mayo don’t win.
Very simple – they need to beat Galway and hope Mayo lose to Monaghan.
Can’t make the final, can’t be relegated.
A draw or better against Mayo will keep them up. If beaten, they will be relegated if Roscommon beat Kerry. There is also a chance they could go down in the event that they lose, Roscommon draw and Cavan win against Dublin. That will make it a points-difference showdown between them and Cavan, over whom they have a five-point pull.
Lose against Kerry and they’re down. Win and they stay up as long as Monaghan lose to Mayo. Draw and they stay up if both Monaghan and Cavan lose. If they draw and either of the other two win (or if Monaghan draw), they go down.
Can only stay up in the following scenario – they beat the Dubs, Roscommon draw with Kerry and Monaghan lose to Mayo by enough to fall behind them (Cavan) on points difference.
Four teams in with a shout of going up, three teams in danger of the drop.
A win or draw against Fermanagh send them to Division One. The only scenario in which they’re not promoted is a heavy defeat to Fermanagh and Donegal giving Kildare a trimming. They have an 18-point pull over Fermanagh and 15 to spare over Donegal so they should be okay.
If they beat Kildare, they’re up. If they draw, the need Fermanagh to draw or lose. If they lose, they stay in Division Two.
A win puts them up if Donegal don’t win. A draw will do so only if Kildare beat Donegal. Anything else won’t be enough.
Need to beat Donegal and hope Fermanagh lose to Meath.
Can’t go up, can’t go down
Stay up with a win against Tipperary. A draw only keeps them up if Cork draw or lose. Defeat sends them down.
Need to beat Clare and hope Cork lose in Armagh. A draw or defeat sends them down.
Need to beat Armagh and hope Tipperary beat or draw with Clare.
More permutations here than elsewhere because Louth v Westmeath wasn’t played last weekend. Fixtures will go ahead and if a refixture can affect the table, it will be played.
Will go up if they win or draw against Louth. Even if they lose to Louth, they will go up if Westmeath lose to Longford and Laois beat Carlow.
A win against Carlow sends them up, as long as Longford beat Westmeath. A draw leaves them vulnerable to being passed by Longford, Westmeath and Louth. A draw or defeat very likely means the Louth v Westmeath game will have to be played.
Need to beat Longford and hope either Down or Laois are beaten to keep their promotion chances alive.
Need to beat Westmeath and hope Laois lose to Carlow to stay in the mix.
Almost certainly have to beat Down to keep promotion hopes alive. A draw might keep them in it but only if Laois lose and Westmeath beat Longford. A defeat finishes them.
A draw or better against Laois keeps them up. Can stay up with a defeat but only if Offaly lose to Sligo.
Need to beat Sligo and hope Carlow don’t manage a draw or win in Laois.
*Derry and Leitrim are already promoted from Division Four where there is no relegation.