What an amazing day in the Allianz Leagues with Kerry and Mayo qualifying for the Division 1 football final, while Waterford took down Galway to set a meeting up with Limerick in the hurling decider.
There was drama from start to finish on Sunday afternoon. Cork won in Armagh but it still wasn’t enough to save them, while Fermanagh fell at the final hurdle in their bid for promotion.
Meath kept their gravy-train rolling and will now meet a rejuvenated Donegal in next week’s Division 2 final.
Defeat for Down means they narrowly miss out on promotion back to Division 2 and now next week’s re-fixture between Louth and Westmeath is effectively a league semi-final with the winner gaining promotion and meeting Laois in the final.
Here is our full and comprehensive round-up from what was a thrilling day of Allianz League action.
Allianz Football League Division 1
Cavan 1-10 Dublin 1-16
The Breffni men battled bravely but were unable to stop Dublin coming away with two points on a grim day for Cavan football that sees them relegated for the second time in three seasons from Division 1.
Dublin led by one at the break 1-4 to 0-8 with Cavan’s goal coming through Dara McVeety. Paul Mannion netted for Dublin int he second half.
Tyrone 3-15 Galway 1-14
Mickey Harte’s men came from seven behind to win by seven this afternoon in Healy Park.
It marks Tyrone’s fourth win in a row in Division 1, however, they just miss out on qualification for the league final.
Five points from Shame Walsh plus a goal from Danny Cummins had Galway leading at half-time 1-11 to 0-7 but Tyrone rallied in the second half with goals from Peter Harte, Mattie Donnelly and Conall McCann.
Roscommon0-13 Kerry 2-17
Kerry solidified their place in the Division 1 league final with a comprehensive 10-point victory over Roscommon that condemns the Rossies to Division 2 for the second time in three seasons.
David Clifford hit 0-5 for the visitors on his return from injury and Kerry fans will be delighted that he is officially back ahead of their league final.
Sean O’Shea has made plenty of headlines this season with his point-scoring exploits, but it was his goal today that helped Kerry lead by three at the break 1-8 to 0-8.
Stephen O’Brien scored Kerry’s second goal after the break as they cruised into next week’s final where they will take on Mayo in Croke Park.
Mayo 3-15 Monaghan 1-18
James Horan marks his return to the Mayo set-up by qualifying for a first Allianz Football League final in seven years following a win over Monaghan in Castlebar.
It looked as though Mayo were cruising, however, Monaghan refused to give up and kept fighting which made for a tense finish.
Kevin McLoughlin was the hero on the day for mayo scoring 2-2, just as he was the hero on the final day last season when his last-gasp point saved Mayo from relegation. Following an impressive cameo last week, Fergal Bolan was rewarded with a start and scored 0-3 from play.
Conor McManus and Jack McCarron hit 0-15 between them for Monaghan with their goal being scored by Darren Hughes.
Tyrone’s win over Galway ensures that mayo progress to a league final meeting with Kerry next week, while Monaghan narrowly survive the drop.
Allianz Football League Division 2
Tipperary 1-19 Clare 3-15
In what was effectively a relegation playoff, Clare rallied late one to save themselves at the expense of Tipperary whose two-season stint in Division 2 comes to an end.
Despite not scoring for 27 minutes in the second half, Clare scored 1-2 in the dying minutes to snatch victory.
Allianz Football League Rd 7
Clare retains Div 2 status
— Clare Gaa (@GaaClare) March 24, 2019
Tipperary scored 1-11 from play int he first half with the magnificent Conor Sweeney accounting for 1-6 of that. However, goals from Gavin Cooney, David Tubridy and Keelin Sexton helped Clare to a dramatic win.
Tubridy was the hero on the day for Clare, scoring 1-3, including a late point that got them over the line in what was a cracking game of football.
Meath 2-12 Fermanagh 0-11
Andy McEntee’s side rubberstamped their promotion back to the top-flight for the first time in 13-years following a win over Fermanagh that sees them narrowly miss out on promotion themselves.
Meath started slowly as Fermanagh raced into an early lead, however, 11 first half wides would prove to be vital come to the end.
Goals from Barry Dardis and James McEntee helped Meath on their way as the officially sealed promotion to Division 1 and a league final meeting with Donegal next week.
A tough one to take for Rory Gallagher’s side who for a few weeks looked like they were going to gain promotion, but they can take a lot of positives from a strong league campaign.
Armagh 1-14 Cork 3-9
Kieran McGeeney’s men recovered from two early goals to fight their way back into the game at the Athletic Grounds but Cork held on for a one-point win.
However, the win wasn’t enough to save Cork who now drop into football’s third tier in 2020.
National Football League Round 7
Cork : 3-9(18)
Armagh : 1-14(17) pic.twitter.com/SplDJCIb6o
— Cork GAA (@OfficialCorkGAA) March 24, 2019
Cork led by six at half-time following two goals from Brian Hurley before Kevin Crowley added a third in the second half. Jamie Clarke netted for Armagh from the penalty spot as Kieran McGeeney’s men round off an indifferent league campaign in fifth position.
Donegal 1-20 Kildare 0-10
The Tir Conaill men romped home to victory over Kildare in Ballybofey to secure promotion back to Division 1 at the first time of asking.
Donegal led by 12-points at half-time as Kildare struggled to match their intensity, scoring just a single point.
Led by the brilliant Michael Murphy, Donegal can now look to a league final meeting with Meath next week in Croke Park.
Allianz Football League Division 3
Sligo 1-10 Offaly 1-11
John Maughan’s Offaly side saved themselves from promotion to Division 4 following a one-point win away to Sligo who failed to pick up a single point in this seasons league campaign.
— Official Offaly GAA (@Offaly_GAA) March 24, 2019
Westmeath 1-14 Longford 1-10
Westmeath struck a couple of late points to keep their promotion hopes alive and end Longford’s in the process at Cusack park this afternoon.
Ger Egan was the star of the show for Westmeath hitting 0-9 for them on the day while their goal was scored by Ronan O’Toole.
— westmeathgaaofficial (@westmeath_gaa) March 24, 2019
Mickey Quinn – our weekend interview subject – netted for Longford in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line.
The result here and Down’s loss to Louth means that the re-fixture between the two sides is now effectively a league semi-final.
Down 1-6 Louth 0-10
Louth kept their promotion hopes alive with a one-point win over Down in Newry.
Sam Mulroy was the hero on the day for Louth hitting 0-5 while Down netted through Darren O’Hagan.
Allianz Football League Division 3
— Louth GAA (@louthgaa) March 24, 2019
The result means that Down remain in Division 3 despite looking odds on to top the league at the start fo the weekend. Louth re-fixture with Westmeath is now effectively a league semi-final.
Laois 1-15 Carlow 1-12
Scenes of celebration in O’Moore Park as Laois secured promotion to Division two following a three-point win over Carlow.
The ever-excellent Evan O’Carroll hit 0-8 points for the home side with their goal coming from Donie Kingston.
Congratulations to our Senior team and Management on a fantastic win to gain promotion for the second year in a row. League final is fixed for weekend 6/7 April . Great to see Brendan Quigley return and Ross make another record of 102 league appearances . #laoisabu19 pic.twitter.com/fORb7StG0a
— Laois GAA (@CLGLaois) March 24, 2019
Carlow corner-back, Conor Lawlor netted for them in the first half but they were unable to get a much-needed two points and ultimately were relegated to the fourth division having been top of the league at one point.
Allianz Football League Division 4
Leitrim 1-20 Waterford 2-9
The rising got back on track as Leitrim bounced back from defeat to Derry last week by defeating Waterford by eight points in Páirc Seán MacDiarmada.
— Leitrim GAA (@LeitrimGAA) March 24, 2019
Ryan O’Rourke grabbed Leitrim’s goal in ten minutes before the break to put them 11-points ahead at the half. Dylan Guiry and Michael Curry struck second-half goals for Waterford but the result was never in doubt.
Derry 3-21 Wexford 4-16
The Oak Leaf County finish off the league with a 100 per cent winning record in Division 4 after staving off a second-half comeback by Wexford in Bellaghy.
One point game again as Jonathan Bealin's shot goes over. Conor Doherty gets one for @Doiregaa and it's all over. @Doiregaa 3-21 @OfficialWexGAA 4-16. Safe home to all those who attended today's game. #AllianzLeagues #CandC
— Derry GAA (@Doiregaa) March 23, 2019
Early goals from Benny Heron, Enda Lynn and Ryan Dougan had Derry leading by nine points at the break 3-11 to 1-8. Kevin O’Grady started the comeback five minutes after half-time when he slotted home a penalty before goals from Barry O’Connor and Ben Brosnan set up a nervy finish.
Wicklow 0-8 London 0-6
The Exiles fell to a two-point defeat this afternoon in Aughrim. It is a result that confines them to the bottom of Division 4.
Allianz Football League Div 4
All over and Wicklow finish with 6 points in Division 4 and above London
Cill Mhantáin 0-08 v Londain 0-06#CillMhantáinAbú #ImWithWicklow #AllianzLeagues #Renault
— Official Wicklow GAA (@wicklowgaa) March 24, 2019
Wicklow’s third win of the campaign sees them finish the league in fifth position.
Limerick 1-11 Antrim 2-12
Ryan Murray and Matthew Fitzpatrick netted for Antrim in their win over Limerick this afternoon with the result seeing them finish in third spot.
GOAL Ryan Murray pic.twitter.com/28xpw2OsZM
— Antrim GAA (@AontroimGAA) March 24, 2019
The loss means Limerick finish the league second from bottom.
Allianz Hurling League Semi-Finals
Limerick 1-19 Dublin 1-16
Dublin battled hard but they could not stop this Limerick juggernaut who qualify for their first league final in 13 seasons.
Seamus Flanagan entered the fray to score Limerick’s goal on a day where Diarmaid Byrnes scored 0-5, while Cian Lynch proved influential at midfield.
A tough one to take for Mattie Kenny’s side who can be proud of a very successful league campaign.
Galway 0-19 Waterford 1-18
Waterford qualifies for the league final following a two-point win over a fancied Galway side in Nowlan Park.
Stephen Bennett unsurprisingly netted for Waterford to help them on their way.
They will now meet Limerick next Sunday in Croke Park at 2pm.