With just two rounds remaining in the National Football League after today, this weekend’s results will have a huge bearing on what teams are in the promotion hunt and on course for spots in the respective league finals.
At the other end of the scale, there are now teams in deep relegation trouble. With all this in mind, here are five take-aways from the weekend.
Dublin keep unbeaten run going (just about)
A crazy defensive error gifted Dublin a draw in Tralee against old rivals, Kerry. In a tough, physical game, it was a tired pass out from the back which intercepted and cost Kerry the win.
The draw also puts Dublin in the strange situation of being unbeaten, despite only winning two of their five games to date. For Kerry, they will be frustrated at throwing away the win, but will be content with their performance in this 0-13 apiece draw.
Do big games need small stadiums?
Staying with the big game from Saturday night, one standout feature was the atmosphere in Austin Stack Park. Would it be a worthwhile venture to play more games in smaller venues to get a buzz around the place?
Particularly in the championship, where you have All-Ireland qualifiers in big grounds with nobody there to watch them and, more worryingly, a distinct lack of atmosphere for All-Ireland quarter-finals where you could have 20,000 people spread out in Croke Park.
It’s something to consider anyway…
Cavan get crucial win
Cavan defeated Mayo 1-14 to 0-15 in Castlebar to keep their hopes of staying up alive. Cavan got their goal right on the stroke of half time and it ended up being the crucial score in this two-point win. Having dominated large parts of the first half, Mayo will rue conceding the goal in the last play of the first period and will look to bounce back in their final two games.
Armagh win top-of-the-table clash
There was a bit of excitement around the meeting of Louth and Armagh as they played out their key Division 3 game.
The Ulster side flew out of the blocks and into a 1-3 to no score lead after 10 minutes with Ciaran McKeever scoring their first goal. Niall Rowland added a second goal soon after as Armagh won the game won the game 3-15 to 0-11 with a late Jamie Clarke goal from a penalty securing the comfortable win.
Wexford secure promotion
Wexford footballers followed the example set by the county’s hurlers by achieving promotion. They did so by defeating London 0-15 to 0-9 today however, they trailed at the break and were made to fight for the win.
Given the high-profile nature of the hurlers’ campaign, the Yellow-bellies have been able to go about their business under the radar to a certain extent as their championship preparations look set to intensify over the next few weeks.