Derry v Westmeath
This game sees the top two sides in the division meet. Westmeath are already promoted and in the Division 2 final, Derry will join them with a draw. Derry could get promoted even if they lose. If Laois win and Galway lose or draw then Derry and Laois would both have 9 points with Derry winning out in head to head. If Laois and Derry lose and Galway win then Galway would edge out Derry on head to head record. If all three finish on 9 points then it will come down to score difference. Derry currently have +23, Laois +13 and Galway + 1. It would then depend on how much Derry would lose by and Laois and Galway won by to see who comes second. It is very much in Derry’s hands and although Westmeath are unbeaten, it is Derry who have something to play for. That, plus home advantage should see Derry end Westmeath’s unbeaten record.
Louth v Longford
Longford are already relegated but would hope to get some points from their time in Division 2. They have played well in a number of games and a points return would be fitting for them. Louth are a point clear of safety and would seal their place in the division with a win. A draw would keep them safe as they would edge out Armagh in any head to head as they beat Armagh. If Armagh, Louth and Wexford all finished on 6 points they would win out on the score difference decider. If Louth lose and Armagh draw they would stay up due to the same rules as previously mentioned. If they lose, Armagh win and Wexford lose then they would lose out to Wexford based on head to head. If Louth lose and Armagh lose then Louth will be safe. Many variations of results could mean different things but the clearest thing for Louth is win and they are safe. At home and with survival on the line they should be able to seal their own fate and stay in the division.
Wexford v Laois
Laois still have a chance of promotion. To do so they need Derry to lose and Galway to win as they can only get promoted in a three way decider on score difference as they would lose the head to head with Derry. It is possible they could make up the 10 point differential on Derry, if Derry lost by 5 and Laois won by 6 then that is an 11 point swing for example. Laois could put up a big score on Wexford. But any hope of promotion does hinge on Derry losing and Galway joining them on 9 points.
For Wexford survival is the prize on offer. With a win they will guarantee their safety in the division. If they were to draw and so did Louth and Armagh win then they would be relegated on scoring difference. If Armagh win and both Wexford and Louth lose then Wexford will stay up based on beating Louth in their meeting. If Wexford lose, Louth win or draw and Armagh draw then they would be level with Armagh on 5 points where score difference would relegate them as both sides drew in the league. If Wexford lose and Armagh lose then Wexford will be safe. Wexford have their fate in their own hands but may rely on results from elsewhere to stay up.
Armagh v Galway
Galway have a chance of promotion if things were to go their way. First off they need Derry to lose against Westmeath. If Galway win and Laois don’t while Derry lose then they would be promoted based on the fact that they beat Derry and would edge them out on head to head. If Derry lose and Laois and Galway win then Galway could get promoted on score difference. That would require Galway to beat Armagh by a considerable margin as they currently trail Derry and Laois by 22 points and 12 points respectively.
For Armagh they must get something out of the game to stay up as they currently sit second last, trailing Louth and Wexford by a point. If they were to draw and Louth and Wexford lose then they Wexford would be relegated on score difference. If they draw, Louth lose and Wexford get something from their game then Armagh would be relegated on head to head against Louth. If they draw, Louth get something from their game and Wexford lose, they would edge Wexford in head to head. If Armagh win but so do Wexford and Louth then they would be relegated.
There is a lot to play for both sides but they can only focus on their own game. Galway have shown themselves to come up short in tough encounters and this will be one of those in Armagh.
Predicted Promoted Teams: Derry & Westmeath.
Predicted Relegated Teams: Longford & Wexford.