In Division 1 it’s now confirmed that Galway and Dublin will do battle in this year’s Allianz Football League final after their exciting draw in Pearse Stadium last Sunday. Meanwhile, Roscommon and Longford now look like sides aiming for promotion, but possibly the biggest achievement of the weekend was Carlow guaranteeing promotion into Division 3.
Here are the main talking points as the football league turns for home…
Are Galway now a side who can challenge the Dubs?
Kevin Walsh decided not to start his strongest players last Sunday, resting the bigger players in Damien Comer, Eamonn Brannigan and Johnny Heaney. Considering the Tribesmen still need to welcome back the Corofin contingent and Young Footballer of the Year nominee Michael Daly, they will be huge additions to his squad.
Not many teams could cope with the Dubs in the league and Galway snatched a late equaliser courtesy of Johnny Heaney so it just shows the never say die attitude within in this group. April 1st will be an interesting date for the Tribesmen to see can they cope with potentially the likes of Niall Scully, Diarmuid Connolly and Con O’Callaghan in a more dangerous Dublin attacking unit.
Worrying signs for Mayo
Mayo were defeated at the hands of Tyrone by 12 points. Stephen Rochford will be worried that his forward unit only contributed three points from play. Two major blows will be the fitness of Cillian O’Connor (hamstring) and Lee Keegan (shoulder). A lengthy ban could be facing Andy Moran for touching an official.
Mayo now have a must-win game against Donegal this weekend in Balleybofey with the winner retaining their Division 1 status for 2019 and the loser being relegated to Division 2.
Longford and Roscommon now aiming for promotion
In a vital Division 3 game between Westmeath and Longford, Longford came out on top defeating Colin Kelly’s side by 1-16 – 1-12. They now head for a winner-takes-all clash with Fermanagh with promotion to Division 2 on the line. Dennis Connerton’s side are now gathering momentum and it’s no shock with a strong forward unit of Conor Berry, David McGivney and Robbie Smyth.
There were mixed signs for Roscommon heading into last Sunday’s game with table-toppers Cavan. Kevin McStay’s team showed resilience towards the end with Ciaran Murtagh on the money through placed balls. The Rossies promotion hopes are now in their own hands with a home tie against the Rebels.
Carlow going up!
Carlow made history by securing promotion for the first time in over 33 years in a slender three-point victory over Antrim. You could see how much promotion meant to the people of Carlow and a strong summer last year from Turlough O’Brien’s side has been backed up. Watch this space.