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Omens point to Royal rule

MEATH v LOUTH

(Navan, Tomorrow, 2.30)

SEAMUS McEnaney has been in this position before. And whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for Meath is open to debate.

In each of his last two years as a manager -- first with Monaghan and then the Royals -- he has escaped the clutches of relegation on the final day of the season by the slimmest of margins.

Fortunately, the margins for error don't seem so tight tomorrow. Firstly, historically, Meath always beat Louth when it counts. And secondly, even an unlikely defeat might not be enough to send the Royals into Division 3.

Either way, four defeats on the spin isn't the sort of backdrop 'Banty' would have hoped for his players but they're good enough and experienced enough to pull it off, thus sending Louth down.

ODDS: Meath 4/9, Draw 15/2, Louth 9/4

VERDICT: Meath

WESTMEATH v DERRY

(Mullingar, Tomorrow, 2.30)

CONCEDING that late equaliser to Louth two weeks ago might yet have more detrimental consequences than Derry would have feared. Yes, they are a point ahead of their fellow relegation question marks but a defeat against a resurgent Westmeath could send them down.

We say 'resurgent' but we mean all bar their most recent hammering at the hands of Kildare. Two games in, the Lakelanders were certain for the drop so to be even in a position where their survival rests largely in their own hands constitutes something of a resurgence.

It's just that they're too prone to the bad stuff to have any confidence.

ODDS: Westmeath 13/8, Draw 15/2, Derry 8/13 VERDICT: Derry

TYRONE v MONAGHAN

(Omagh, Tomorrow, 2.30)

NOT a lot to play for for Tyrone bar the maintenance of a pristine League record, the only one across the four football divisions.

Monaghan need a win to secure survival but with a strong Red Hand line-up containing the likes of Seán Cavanagh, Owen Mulligan and Stephen O'Neill up front, it won't be so forthcoming.

ODDS: Tyrone 1/4, Draw 9/1, Monaghan 15/4

VERDICT: Tyrone



Banner set to seal success

LIMERICK v CLARE

(Gaelic Grounds, Today, 6.0)

FORGET Division 1B silverware, forget a spot in the Division 1 semi-final and forget local bragging rights -- this match is about one thing: promotion to the top flight.

And forget John Allen's assertion that the pressure is all on Clare.

The tension is split evenly between both teams for whom yet another season in the second rung would represent something akin to staring into a black hole.

Clare's form has been much better, though, and even in the Gaelic Grounds, they look more likely winners.

ODDS: Limerick 6/5, Draw 10/1, Clare 3/4

VERDICT: Clare

- COMPILED BY CONOR McKeon


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