Thursday 15 November 2018

League finale may suffer if Dubs-Galway axis continues

'Dublin, who host Kerry in Croke Park, and Galway, who play Monaghan in Pearse Stadium, have both won their first four games, leaving them two points ahead of Monaghan and four clear of Kerry' (stock photo)
'Dublin, who host Kerry in Croke Park, and Galway, who play Monaghan in Pearse Stadium, have both won their first four games, leaving them two points ahead of Monaghan and four clear of Kerry' (stock photo)

Martin Breheny

The GAA's power-brokers won't be wishing any ill will on Dublin and Galway but they would certainly prefer if both were beaten next Sunday.

If both win, it's highly probable that they will book a place in the Division 1 football final, leaving relegation as the only important issue to be settled in the two final rounds. That would have a negative impact on attendances, leading to a smaller financial share-out for all counties.

Dublin, who host Kerry in Croke Park, and Galway, who play Monaghan in Pearse Stadium, have both won their first four games, leaving them two points ahead of Monaghan and four clear of Kerry.

So if Dublin and Galway both win on Sunday, they will be four points ahead of Monaghan, who would then be the only county with a mathematical chance of catching one of them (Galway and Dublin have still to play each other in Round 6).

Galway face Kildare in the final round in Newbridge on March 25, with Dublin playing Monaghan in Croke Park on the same day.

Technically, Monaghan would still be in contention for a place in the final if they lost to Galway but would need to beat Donegal and Dublin in the final two rounds to have any chance.

They would also need Galway to beat Dublin so as to get ahead of Jim Gavin's men on the head-to-head rule if they both finished on the same number of points. A Galway win over Monaghan would be enough to book a place in the final.

Dublin and Galway last met in a league final (home) in 1967 when the Tribesmen, who were then treble All-Ireland champions, won by a point before losing the final outright to New York over two legs in Gaelic Park.

Dublin are bidding for their fifth league title in six years while Galway's last Division 1 success was in 1981.

Irish Independent

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