A lot can happen in Round Five of the Allianz Football League as a county’s entire season can sway on one result this weekend.
Round Four saw some classy performances. Peter Harte was majestic in Tyrone’s win over Monaghan, Evan Comerford came of age and Donal O’Hare fired Down to the top of the league with a hat-trick.
The leagues began to take some shape following last weekend’s results, but there is still so much to play for across all four divisions.
Come to the business end of the league the stakes are high, while players are going hammer and tongs in a promotion/relegation battle, the other permutation is that Championship is now right around the corner and for many of them, these final few games will be a good indicator of whether they are going to make that Championship XV.
Here are our picks for the players to watch in Round Five of the Allianz Football League.
Conor Moynagh (Cavan)
Cavan blew the top-tier division wide open last week with their first win of the season against Roscommon. The result means that only a point separates the bottom four teams in Division One heading into the final two games.
The Cavan forwards rightly picked up the plaudits following a long-awaited win over the Rossies with Conor Madden bagged two well-taken goals in the win. However, veteran defender, Conor Moynagh was excellent at the back last weekend and really drove on the Cavan men.
Strong in defence, Moynagh was also able to help out going forward, chipping in with a point on the day.
Cavan welcome Tyrone on Saturday night in what many expect to be a teak-tough, typical relegation dogfight. If they are to come out on top, they will need another big performance from the Drumgoon man.
Ciaran Corrigan (Fermanagh)
Fermanagh have proved the surprise package of the league in 2019. In what is an extremely tough second division, the Erne County were many people’s favourites for relegation, but here they stand with two games to go and promotion to Division One is well within their grasp.
Rory Gallagher’s men recorded a fantastic come from behind victory over promotion favourites Donegal last weekend with Ciaran Corrigan proving influential in the second half.
The Maguiresbridge man scored four points from half-back as Fermanagh put themselves in an extremely strong position heading into the home stretch.
Fermanagh are at home to Clare this weekend in a game that they will really fancy their chances in. Corrigan seems to have hit form at the right time and expect him to have a big say in the next few weeks.
Donal O’Hare (Down)
A topsy-turvy kind of league campaign for Down thus far, but Paddy Tally will be happy enough with how it’s gone. The Mourne men sit joint top of Division Three with Louth following a strong win over previous leaders, Longford last weekend in Pearse Stadium.
Donal O’Hare scored a hat-trick on the day and it proved to be the real difference in the eight-point win.
The Burren man has long been recognised as one of the top forwards in Down, if not Ulster and he comes from good stock being Armagh legend, Oisin McConville’s, cousin.
Down host an Offaly side who picked up their first win of the campaign last weekend. Expect a tough game as John Maughan’s side scrap for survival.
Fearghal O’Cuirrin (Waterford)
There is a battle of the basement of Division Four as no team wishes to finish the league campaign bottom of the nation. With London’s improved form it looked as though Waterford were going to be that team languishing at the bottom.
That was until last weekend’s win over Wexford. The Déise proved goal-hungry in the sunny south east as the put five past the Yellowbellies on the way to a shock victory.
Centre-forward, O’Cuirrin was instrumental in his side’s victory and the host Antrim on Saturday in a game that they will be very confident going into.
A win over the Ulster men will propel them up the table and give the Waterford footballers a huge boost heading into the Championship.