Mayo make unlikely bid to move NFL Division 1 final to Saturday as schedule is set for deciders

Mayo manager Kevin McStay in Castlebar yesterday. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Colm Keys

Mayo’s request for a Saturday Division 1 league final is unlikely to be granted.

The weekend schedule of finals is set, with the Division 1 and 2 finals set for Sunday afternoon billings in Croke Park.

Mayo have a Connacht quarter-final seven days later and sought an extra day for recovery from a league final that will be against their neighbours and great rivals Galway.

But the original schedule looks like sticking with Division 3 (Cavan and Fermanagh) and Division 4 (Sligo and Wicklow) finals on Saturday.

Yesterday, Monaghan, the great survivors of Division 1, pulled off another rescue act when their win over Mayo in Castlebar secured top-flight status for a 10th successive year.

It lifted Monaghan to six points and with Tyrone beating Armagh by two points in Omagh, Armagh remained on five points and dropped back to Division 2, having been promoted in 2021.

Another heavy defeat for Donegal, this time to Roscommon (0-21 to 0-9), where Aidan O’Rourke and Paddy Bradley had stepped up as managers after Paddy Carr’s midweek departure, confirmed their relegation.

Further down, Dublin, as expected, joined Derry in this weekend’s Division 2 final, securing a quick return to Division 1 with a seven-point win over Louth, while Derry dropped their first points with a draw away to Cork.

The Division 2 relegation places had already been decided, but Kildare jumped over Meath to confirm fifth place in the division, giving them greater insulation from potential provincial finalists from Division 3 or 4 that might emerge to displace them in the Sam Maguire round-robin later in the summer.

Meath, however, will be looking over their shoulder to see if Leinster, Ulster or Munster finalists from either of the bottom two divisions push them out of the last Sam Maguire spot they are currently clinging to.

Cavan were already in the Division 3 final and were joined by Fermanagh, who beat the Breffni men in their final-round fixture, securing a return to Division 2 after two seasons in Division 3.

The greatest drama was in Division 4, where Sligo’s late win over Leitrim saw them top the group on 12 points and, with Wicklow beating Waterford to get them to 10 points, they go up too, courtesy of their earlier win over Laois on the head-to-head rule. Laois had beaten London in their last game.

LEAGUE UPS AND DOWNS

Division 1: League final – Mayo v Galway. Relegated – Armagh and Donegal.

Division 2: Promoted and league final – Dublin and Derry. Relegated – Clare and Limerick.

Division 3: Promoted and league final – Cavan and Fermanagh. Relegated – Longford and Tipperary

Division 4: Promoted and league final – Sligo and Wicklow.