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Head-to-heads key in countdown

CROKE Park have clarified that scoring difference will not be used to separate counties when just two teams finish on the same number of points at the end of the National League, writes Conor McKeon.

Instead, the result of the fixture between the same counties is the first mechanism for deciding table placements. The rule has major implications for Dublin who, if they beat Galway on Saturday in the NFL, will have ten points, with Mayo and Cork - who have also accumulated eight points so far - still to play each other.

Mayo play Monaghan in Castlebar on Sunday but even if they win and lose to the Rebels in their final game, Dublin will qualify for a league final with one more win on account of having beaten John O'Mahony's men already in the league.

Conversely, if Mayo were to win their final two games and Cork finish on eight points, the Rebels would edge Dublin out after their victory in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.

The same criterion applies in hurling. However, scoring difference will be applied in a case where more than two counties finish on the same number of league points.