The Carlow Senior footballers are out for their final game in this year’s national football league campaign on Saturday when they take on Wexford in Netwatch Cullen Park from 1 pm.
Carlow has only won one from their six games so far, Wexford has won two, and all that sits below them is Waterford with no wins.
The local lads beat Wexford by a point last year and will be hoping to finish out in front of a home crowd with the win.
There is still a lot to decide next weekend in the final round of divisional games in the Allianz Football League. Therefore, it promises to be one of the most exciting in many years.
Sunday afternoon will certainly be a day full of twists and turns. This is because the drama unfolds at the various venues before final pairings and promotion and relegation places are determined.
Kerry has advanced to the Division 1 final; Galway will be promoted from Division 2 while Down will be relegated. Everything else is up for grabs.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 1: SEVEN COUNTIES HAVE IT ALL TO PLAY FOR
Sunday (1.45): Donegal v Armagh, Letterkenny; Kerry v Tyrone, Fitzgerald Stadium; Mayo v Kildare, Avant Money Sean Mac Diarmada; Monaghan v Dublin, Clones.
Kerry (11pts) are through to the final but it’s extremely tight elsewhere, with only three points separating the other seven teams. It offers a lengthy list of possibilities in the concluding round of what has been a fascinating campaign. Mayo or Armagh (7pts each) are best placed to join Kerry in the final, while Kildare, Donegal, Tyrone (5pts each), Dublin, Monaghan (4pts each) are in danger of relegation.
If Mayo and Armagh both win, Mayo will qualify for the final, having won the head-to-head clash with Kieran McGeeney’s men. However, if both lose, Kildare, Donegal, and Tyrone could all be in contention for a place in the final.
The losers of Monaghan v Dublin will be relegated. Even the winners aren’t guaranteed safety as Kildare, Donegal and Tyrone are a point ahead of them going into the final round.
Armagh and Donegal drew in last year’s Allianz League. Kerry beat Tyrone by 16 points in last year’s League semi-final but the Ulstermen avenged that defeat in the All-Ireland semi-final, winning by a point in extra-time. Monaghan and Dublin drew in their last League clash two years ago while Mayo beat Kildare by seven points in their last League meeting in 2018.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 2: DERRY AND ROSCOMMON IN RACE FOR SECOND PROMOTION SLOT
Sunday (2.0): Down v Clare, Newry; Meath v Derry, Pairc Tailteann; Offaly v Cork, Bord na Mona O’Connor Park; Roscommon v Galway, Dr. Hyde Park.
Galway (12 pts) are already guaranteed promotion and will be joined by Roscommon (10pts) or Derry (9pts).
Roscommon host Galway while Derry travels to Navan to take on mid-table Meath (6pts), who aren’t in the promotion race while being free of relegation worries.
Galway beat Roscommon by six points in last year’s Allianz League (Div 1) and by five points in the Connacht championship. Derry and Meath last met in the League in 2017 when the Royals won by 15 points.
Down (one point) cannot avoid relegation and will be joined by the losers of Offaly v Cork (3pts each). Technically, Clare (4pts) are still in the relegation mix as a draw between Offaly and Cork would take them to four points. Clare would remain on four points if they lost to Down but have a much better scoring difference (-7) than Cork (-27) and Offaly (-34) so they would have to lose very heavily on Sunday to be relegated.
Clare beat Down by two points in their last League clash in 2018 while Cork beat Offaly by seven points in their last League meeting (Div 3) two years ago.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 3: LOUTH WELL-PLACED FOR SUCCESSIVE PROMOTIONS
Sunday (2.0): Antrim v Westmeath, Corrigan Park; Laois v Longford, MW Hire O’Moore Park; Limerick v Fermanagh, TUS Gaelic Grounds; Wicklow v Louth, Aughrim.
Mickey Harte’s first season as Louth manager last year yielded promotion from Division 4 and they are now poised to move up another notch. Leading Division 3 on nine points, a win or draw against Wicklow would see them promoted. Louth beat Wicklow by ten points in their last League meeting in 2016.
Limerick (8pts) will be promoted if they beat Fermanagh but a defeat would open the way for Antrim or Westmeath (7 pts each), who meet in Corrigan Park. Fermanagh beat Limerick by nine points in their last League clash in 2015.
Two from Longford, Wicklow (3pts each) and Laois (5pts) will be relegated. Laois play Longford in what will be the first League clash between the counties since 2019 when the O’Moore men won by two points.
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 4: FAVOURITES LOOK LIKELY TO TAKE PROMOTION PLACES
Saturday: Tipperary v London, FBD Semple Stadium, 7.0
Sunday (1.0): Carlow v Wexford, Netwatch Cullen Park; Cavan v Waterford, Kingspan Breffni; Sligo v Leitrim, Markievicz Park.
Cavan and Tipperary, respective Ulster and Munster champions in 2020, were pre-season favourites to be promoted and with both at home in the final round they are well-placed to reach their first target of the season.
Cavan (10pts) hosts bottom-of-the-table Waterford (one point) while Tipperary (9 pts) hosts London. Tipp beat London by 12 points in their last League clash in 2014 while Cavan beat Waterford by a point in their last League meeting in 2011.
The battle for third place is between Connacht rivals, Sligo and Leitrim, both of whom are on eight points. Sligo beat Leitrim by seven points in last year’s League. Carlow beat Wexford by a point last year.