The group stages are over and all there is left to play for in the Allianz Football League is silverware this Saturday and Sunday.
Seven tough rounds of games have come and gone and while the winners are yet to be determined we know the six counties who have been condemned to the drop.
While relegation doesn’t necessarily always translate into a poor Championship campaign, there can be no denying that it’s a tough blow to take. However, what may be even tougher to take is those teams who had promotion within their sight and let it slip away with one game to go.
Here are our winners and losers following the final round of the Allianz Football League.
After back-to-back defeats against Dublin and Galway, James Horan’s charges looked further away than ever from football’s top table. However, a win over Kerry followed by Monaghan means that Mayo can now look forward to their first Allianz Football League final since 2012.
The fact that they have already beaten Kerry – albeit in horrendous conditions – will fill them full of confidence heading into this weekend’s decider against the Kingdom.
Similar to Mayo, all looked lost for Donegal following back-to-back defeats in the third and fourth round. However, they rallied to win their final three games to gain promotion back to the top-tier.
Donegal are a dark horse heading into the Championship, however, you get the sense that had they missed out on promotion it could have had a damaging effect on the Tir Conaill men.
However, they are back in the top-tier and looking forward to a league final this Saturday against Meath in Croke Park.
Back-to-back promotions for John Sugrue’s side. Their win over neighbours Carlow ensured that they topped Division 3 just as they had done in Division 4 last season.
They are now back in the second tier, a level that most would agree they are probably at and will enter the Championship season buoyed by yet another successful league campaign.
They can relax this weekend as Westmeath and Louth are still to play each other in what has effectively become a league semi-final before facing the winners in the Division 3 final, probably two weeks from now.
It’s back to Division 2 for the Rossies following a final day defeat to Kerry.
It’s their second relegation from the top flight in three years and will come as a huge blow psychologically to Anthony Cunningham’s side. While they put in some good performances throughout the seven league games, little mistakes and bouts of indiscipline cost them greatly in the end.
Roscommon are arguably in that top eight bracket considering their recent Connacht successes, however, their Division 1 form in both 2017 & 2019 suggests that they are a long way off the games top teams.
It all looked so promising for Down heading into Round Seven of the Allianz Football League. They topped Division 3 and looked to be going straight back up into Division 2 for 2020.
However, a one-point defeat to Louth ensured that Paddy Tally’s men have to endure another season in Gaelic football’s third division.
It’s a disappointing end to the league for the Mournemen who were many people’s favourites for promotion. Their fans will be hoping that they can re-group ahead of their crunch Ulster Championship tie with Armagh.
The Carlow Rising has fallen off the wagon somewhat in Gaelic football.
Turlough O’Brien’s men started the league campaign very well and sat in second place after a couple of rounds of games, however, the wheels well and truly came off the train and now they find themselves back in Division 4 ahead of next season.
A bitter pill to swallow no doubt.