Thursday 19 April 2018

All to play for at both ends in hurling and football leagues

Wexford manager Liam Dunne (SPORTSFILE)
Wexford manager Liam Dunne (SPORTSFILE)
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

No fewer than 19 counties will be battling to take semi-final places, win promotion or avoid relegation in the final round of the Allianz Football League divisional games tomorrow.

It's a big weekend in hurling too, with quarter-finals and relegation games on the schedule.

In football, Dublin, who have qualified for the semi-finals and Down, already doomed to relegation, are the only counties in Division 1 for whom tomorrow's games have no real significance.

Roscommon and Kerry are well-primed to join Dublin in the semi-finals while there's a real scrap at the bottom of the division where Mayo and Monaghan are among the big powers in relegation trouble.

The winners of the Cavan-Galway clash will join Tyrone on the promotion trail out of Division 2 (a draw would suffice for Cavan) while Laois, Armagh, Meath and Fermanagh are in danger of relegation.

Kildare have already secured promotion from Division 3, with Clare best-placed to join them, although Longford, Offaly, Sligo and Tipperary have a chance too.

Limerick will be relegated from Division 3 while Westmeath need at least a draw from their game with Longford to have any chance of dropping from Divisions 1 to 4 in three successive seasons.

Antrim and Louth are already guaranteed to be promoted from Division 4.

All 12 Division 1 hurling counties will be in action - eight in quarter-finals and four in relegation play-offs.

The biggest crowd of the day is expected in Ennis, where Clare host Tipperary. It's Kilkenny v Offaly in Nowlan Park while the Liam Dunne controversy during the week has added to the intrigue of the Wexford v Waterford clash in Innovate Wexford Park.

This evening's Dublin v Limerick match is a repeat of last year's quarter-final, which Ger Cunningham's men won easily.

Cork or Galway will drop out of 1A after tomorrow's relegation clash, while it's Kerry v Laois in the 1B relegation play-off in Tralee. ning.

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