Contrasting fortunes for Armagh and Down
● Allianz N.F.L.
Near neighbours and fierce football rivals Armagh and Down could yet swap their respective Allianz National Football League Divisions for 2019. Armagh head for a Division Three League Final against Fermanagh next Saturday at Croke Park with the two Ulster rivals already assured of Division Two football next year. Down on the other hand are in real relegation trouble following their fourth League defeat 4-14 to 1-14 away to Meath who leapfrog them by a point in the League standings as the Mournemen slip into the second relegation place with Louth already doomed to Division Three.
The CCC decision to play the final round of fixtures before playing the previously postponed penultimate round fixtures certainly fell their way, in terms of keeping the four respective League finals fixtures schedule on track but showed no regard for the teams battling against relegation.
In Division Two the Down v Tipperary and the Louth v Meath postponed games should have been played before the Clare v Louth and the Meath v Down games. You see prior to the postponed games Down were a point ahead of Meath and a home win over Tipperary coupled with a home win for Louth over Meath would have put Down 3 points clear of Meath leaving their round 7 last match against the Royals irrelevant in terms of Down getting relegated.
Having had to go with the unfair CCC decision the pictures for the respective counties who have only 6 of their 7 games has changed dramatically. Relegated Louth face a Meath side who need only a draw to retain their divisional status whilst Down must win against Tipperary and hope that Louth do them a huge favour by beating Meath which is the only way Down can avoid relegation to Division Three. The remaining pair of Division Two fixtures will no doubt be fixed by the said same CCC for Easter weekend so as to be able to implement the newly imposed “Month of April County Free Zone”