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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

Up and down: what each county needs from the final round of the National Football League

We do the sums so you don’t have to.

Can Donal Vaughan and Mayo grab a place in the semis?
Can Donal Vaughan and Mayo grab a place in the semis?
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

THERE’S STILL A huge amount to play for across the divisions as we get down to the business end of the league season.

Are your county still gunning for promotion or looking over their shoulder for fear of relegation? Or is the season’s climax shaping up to be a bit of a dead rubber, for whatever reason?

Here’s how the standings look at present.

Division 1

Semi-final places: Kerry (10 pts) are the only team guaranteed to finish in the top four and take their place in the semi-finals; for the rest, eight points is the magic number, although that much might not even be necessary depending on how results pan out.

Cork (7 pts) only need a draw against Dublin (6pts) this afternoon, and could even go through if they lose, while last weekend’s mauling in Castlebar means that the Dubs need to win to be sure of a place in the final four.

Wins for Mayo and Down (both 6pts) away to Kerry and Laois respectively would see them through to the semi-finals as well.

Relegation: The loser of Donegal (4pts) v Armagh (5pts) will definitely be relegated to Division 2, as will Laois (4pts) unless they can beat Down (6pts) in O’Moore Park.

Division 2

Promotion: With six wins from six, Tyrone know that they’ve already wrapped up a place in the Division 2 final and their promotion, regardless of their result against Monaghan today.

They will be joined by either Kildare (8pts) or Galway (7pts), who meet in a straight promotion shootout in Tuam later this afternoon. A draw will do for Kildare, while Galway know that they need to win.

Relegation: The battle to avoid relegation to Division 3 is wide open, with five teams still mathematically in danger of the drop. Derry are best placed to survive with five points while Meath, Monaghan, Louth and Westmeath are all on four and separated only by points difference.

Division 3

Promotion: Mercifully, matters are a lot more straightforward at the top of Division 3. Longford and Wexford are both guaranteed promotion, regardless of the result when they meet this afternoon in what will amount to a dress rehearsal of the Divison 3 final.

Relegation: With five defeats and a draw from their six games so far, Tipperary will be playing Division 4 football next season. They will be joined there by Offaly, unless the Faithful can beat Tipp today and Cavan lose to Antrim.

Division 4

Promotion: There are still two rounds of games to play in Division 4, but Fermanagh (11 pts) and Clare (10 pts) are odds-on favourites to finish in the top two and secure promotion.

Reasons to be cheerful: Laois taking the positives out of tough campaign

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Niall Kelly

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