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Where it went wrong for the 6 relegated teams in the Allianz Football League

Tyrone, Derry, Westmeath, Kildare, Louth and Wexford were all relegated this year

Mickey Harte's Tyrone were relegated from Division 1 of the Allianz Football League
Mickey Harte's Tyrone were relegated from Division 1 of the Allianz Football League
Image: Presseye/Russell Pritchard/INPHO

SIX COUNTIES HAVE been relegated from Divisions 1, 2 and 3 of the Allianz Football League and now face the prospect of dropping down a tier for the 2016 campaign.

Ulster heavyweights Tyrone and Derry were the top-flight casualties, Leinster duo Westmeath and Kildare went down from Division 2 and another Leinster pair, Wexford and Louth, bid adieu in Division 3.

Here, we take a look at where it went wrong for the doomed sextet:

1. Tyrone

With boss Mickey Harte recovering from a surgical procedure, Tyrone’s relegation wasn’t confirmed until the final day, when a draw with Kerry confirmed their fate. But the Red Hands were always in trouble from the moment they suffered a seven-point defeat to Monaghan on the opening weekend.

Victory in Mayo had Harte’s men right back on track before draws with Derry and Dublin, the latter a dour affair at Croke Park. A narrow one-point defeat to Cork followed before Tyrone were demolished by Ulster champions Donegal, losing by ten points in Ballybofey. And so while Tyrone lost the same number of games (three) as Monaghan, Donegal, Mayo and Kerry, a record of just one win from seven games cost them dearly.

Mickey Harte Not even Mickey Harte's managerial prowess could stave off relegation for Tyrone Source: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

2. Derry

Brian McIver’s Derry salvaged some pride from their League campaign with a final day victory over Cork, who were already safely through to the semi-finals. But it’s that much talked about snoozefest with Dublin sent them down to Division 2, as the Oak Leafers scored just four points against the Sky Blues at Croke Park in a grim affair that left the doomsdayers crying out for change.

Derry managed to score just 2-60 in six games before registering 2-15 against Cork last Sunday. That chronic inability to score, coupled with a run of five defeats from seven matches, were the main reasons why they will play Division 2 football next year.

Brian McIver Brian McIver's shot-shy Derry struggled to score enough in Division 1 Source: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

3. Westmeath

Tom Cribbin has had plenty to say about his Westmeath players following their drop to Division 3. Defeat to Roscommon last Sunday left Cribbin deeply frustrated and lamenting a lack of leadership from more senior players. Victory would have kept Westmeath up but they went down for a second successive year after losing five times in seven games.

Westmeath kicked off their campaign in style with a six-point victory over Laois before producing another creditable display against Galway, scoring 2-12 and losing by just a point. Victory over Kildare had Westmeath looking up the table and eyeing promotion but then the wheels came off with defeats against Meath, Down, Cavan and Roscommon. In those final four games, Westmeath scored just 1-36.

Tom Cribbin Tom Cribbin lashed his Westmeath players after relegation was confirmed on Sunday Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

4. Kildare

Relegation to Division 3 just wasn’t in the script for Jason Ryan and Kildare after last year’s drop from the top flight. But it’s been an abysmal Spring for the Lilywhites, who conceded 7-100 in seven games, or an average of 1-14 per match. Kildare leaked 3-13 to Down and 3-12 to Galway but the concession of 0-24 against Roscommon was the most concerning statistic to emerge.

There were two encouraging victories over Cavan and Laois but not even that late Emmet Bolton goal that handed them a lifeline in the Laois game could rouse Kildare from their slumber. Ryan, a highly-rated coach, now faces the biggest test of his career to date as he attempts to lift spirits ahead of the championship.

Jason Ryan Jason Ryan has presided over successive relegations with Kildare Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

5. Louth

Another season, another relegation for Louth. After dropping from Division 2 last year, the Wee County will now ply their trade in Division 4 next season. Sunday’s defeat to Limerick consigned Louth to the bottom tier but on paper at least, they’ll still fancy their chances of getting past Westmeath and Wexford to reach the Leinster semi-finals.

Louth lost five of their seven Division 3 games but it looked good for boss Colin Kelly when his charges bounced back from their opening day defeat to Fermanagh to register successive victories against Clare and Wexford. It was all downhill from there, however, as Louth leaked a massive 2-26 against Sligo and suffered further losses against Tipperary, Armagh and Limerick.

Colin Kelly Colin Kelly and Louth's time in Division 3 is at an end Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

6. Wexford

Wexford’s fate was sealed before last Sunday’s visit to Tipperary but there was still enough from their second half performance against the Premier County to suggest that boss David Power might yet enjoy a productive summer. Wexford managed to arrest a series of second half calamities to come from eight points down after half-time against Tipp to win by three.

But relegation to Division 4 is hardly ideal championship preparation and while Power is working with a very young squad, his League tenure got off to a nightmare start when Wexford were trounced by 0-5 to 1-16 on the opening day. Armagh hit 2-13 against the Slaneysiders before Louth inflicted a third straight loss. Fortunes improved with a narrow win against Limerick but more heartbreak followed at the hands of Sligo and Fermanagh.

David Power David Power and Wexford found the going tough in Division 3 Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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