Allianz Football League Round-Up

Deputy Sports Editor, Torna Mulconry

After five rounds of Allianz Football League action and three more to play, competition is hotting up in all four grades.

Division 1

New Manager Mickey Hart has navigated an almost perfect start to the league for Derry with four wins from five as the Oak Leaf county sits atop division one with eight points and an almost guaranteed a league final place. Fine performances from leading men like Brendan Rogers, Conor Glass and poacher supreme Shane McGuigan has led to victories over Kerry, Tyrone, Monaghan and Galway before a second-string side recorded their first loss of the campaign in Dublin this week who sit in second.

Kerry and Mayo are as of now behind Dublin only on point difference as all three counties have six points and look to find themselves in a league final. Dublin however, look dangerous and poised to claim a league final place following two strong wins against Kerry and Derry in the last two rounds. At the bottom of the table, it is Roscommon on three and Monaghan on two points respectively, who look likely to drop to Division Two this year. Monaghan does possess an outside shot at survival with Tyrone and Mayo as their last two fixtures as both sides have produced mixed performances this year.

Division 2

Division two is of course the Grade with the most jeopardy as failure to maintain your status at this level will see you drop to the Tailtean Cup provided said county doesn’t reach a provincial final.  In the case of Donegal and Armagh, this stipulation will not apply as each county have won all their fixtures except their round four clash where they played out a stalemate. 

This leaves each side high and mighty on nine points with only the surprise package of Division Two, last year’s Division Three winners Cavan in hot pursuit on seven points. Looking to avoid the drop are Kildare on zero points, Louth on two and Fermanagh on three. Taking into account Kildare’s score difference of minus 28 and the noise from supporters and local journalists, it is likely the Lilywhites will be playing Division Three football next year.

Division 3

Looking to qualify for the All-Ireland Senior Championship and Division 2 are Down and Westmeath who are faultless so far in this year’s campaign. However, it is an advantage for Westmeath at the top spot as they host Down in Cusack Park for round six in what is a crucial game for both sides’ promotion hopes. The Banner County lurk just behind in third which is an impressive feat considering a number of recent high-profile retirements including legendary manager Colm Collins. Division Three is still very much all to play for at the top, unfortunately for Wicklow and Limerick who both sit on zero points it looks like a swift return to Division 4.

Division 4

Laois look likely to escape Division Four with five from five possible wins as they look to rebuild following a number of below-par years. While Leitrim, Longford, Carlow and Wexford all sit on six points. Head-to-head battles will likely decide second place in Division 4 but Wexford look in poll position to claim second place as they play a struggling Tipperary side and host Longford in a do-or-die final game. Don’t count out Carlow who in recent years have spent much of their time operating at division three.

Deputy Sports Editor, Torna Mulconry