The weekend’s results have set us up for interesting run-ins in all but Division 4 of the league. With some great matches in the last two weekends of the 2017 edition of the NFL, we look at what each team needs to do in the last fortnight’s action.
Dublin, Tyrone, Donegal & Monaghan – All these counties sit on 7 points. Given that Monaghan play both Donegal and Dublin, it means effectively each team needs three points from their last two games to make the final.
Kerry – The draw with Dublin means they could yet be in contention of league honours but they’ll need maximum points and results to go their way. Victory over Cavan will see them safe in Division 1. A subsequent victory over Tyrone could see them in the decider but this would require some shock results.
Mayo – A loss to Cavan this weekend has them looking over their shoulder with only one point to spare over a relegation spot. They’ll hope they can get back to winning ways against Tyrone next and for Kerry against Cavan to do them a favour in order to avoid any final day surprises.
Cavan – The result against Mayo have given hope to the Breffni men. With Kerry at home and Roscommon on the final day survival at the expense of Mayo is possible.
Roscommon – Division 2 now beckons after their loss to Monaghan this weekend. Mathematically they’re not gone but with a game against Dublin next weekend, one would imagine it’s a mere formality at this stage.
On the balance of things, it looks good for Dublin to reach the final with their, on paper, easier run in. Who they will play there is anyone’s guess. Roscommon are all but relegated and Cavan are odds on to join them unless Mayo collapse completely.
Kildare – A repeat of last year’s Division 3 final against Clare and a tough trip to Salthill lie ahead of them in the last 2 weeks. They only need one victory to get back-to-back promotions.
Galway – They’ll be eyeing top spot. With Down away and Kildare at home, they’ll be confident of doing just that.
Clare & Meath – Both now lie on 5 points and play each other on the last day. Before that they have games against Kildare and Fermanagh respectively. Both need all four points, along with one of Galway or Kildare to lose both of their remaining fixtures, if they are to get to the decider. Neither are safe from relegation either though. One win for each will be enough in that regard, however.
Cork, Down & Fermanagh – Cork’s draw with Meath and Fermanagh’s win against Clare mean the race to stay up will go all the way to the final day. To ensure survival, two wins must come their way. One win will leave them anxiously looking at other results.
Derry – Their inconsistency in the league has left them with a lot to do. They will need maximum points to ensure survival in this tight division. One win though could be enough if any two of Cork, Fermanagh and Down were to fail to pick up a point.
The final two weeks are going to be interesting in this tight division. Kildare and Galway should have enough of a gap to see them promoted though. Derry and Down are the most in danger with a hard final set of fixtures ahead of them.
Louth & Tipperary lead the way by just one point from Armagh.
It’s now down to these three to head to Divison 2 next year. Sligo lie a further two points back but are mathematically out of contention given the way the fixtures have fallen.
Tipp and Louth play in a top of the table clash with the loser likely to be jumped by Armagh who play Antrim. The final day of the league will see the top four play each other and only then will we know who will contest the Division 3 final.
It would appear though that Armagh and Louth have the edge for promotion.
Longford, Antrim, Laois and Offaly can all still survive. Offaly though are still to face Sligo, and Antrim are yet to play Armagh. This puts them at a disadvantage compared to the other two and should see them drop to Division 4.
Wexford have won promotion and can relax at this stage. Westmeath realistically need just one point to join them. With London on the last day, they’ll get at least two. The rest of the teams in Division 4 will be using the remaining games to prepare for the championship. They’ll hope that a good summer will follow a disappointing spring.