Tuesday 23 January 2018


Ten years ago, four Connacht teams -- Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo -- contested the Division 1 semi-finals; by the end of April, it's possible that the west will have no representatives in the top flight.

Galway are booked for Division 2 already. Even if they won their last two games against Armagh and Dublin -- most unlikely -- they would be on four points but since their scoring difference is -29pts, it's impossible to see how they could escape the drop, especially since Mayo (3pts) and Monaghan (2pts) still have to play each other.

As for Mayo, it's likely that their survival will depend on how they fare away to Monaghan in the final round. It would be a damaging hit to Connacht morale if they were to have no representation in Division 1 but, as of now, Mayo are the only real hope.

Sligo are in the relegation mix in Division 2 but have a decent chance of survival in what is now a head-to-head battle with Meath (Antrim look doomed). Consolidating themselves in this group would be a solid performance for Sligo after successive promotions.

Roscommon might argue that it's better to be going well in Division 4 than struggling in Division 3, as they were last year, but this is not where Connacht champions should be.

Roscommon's promotion prospects are still very much in their own hands but that could change tomorrow if they lose to Wicklow, who will try to exploit the 'Aughrim factor'.

Irish Independent

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