AFL Division 4
Tipperary v London
Throw in : 7 p.m. Location: FBD Semple Stadium.
London’s early wave has died down and now they face Tipp’s late run for the strip, which will see victory promote them.
Cavan v Waterford
Throw in : 6 p.m. Location: Kingspan Brieffni.
High versus low, but Cavan’s form has wavered a bit lately. Still, they might even lose and not necessarily fail to come back up, which takes the pressure off a bit.
Carlow v Wexford
Throw in : 1 p.m. Location: Netwatch Cullen Park.
Two sides with little to play, but Wexford look more likely given Carlow’s status as the league’s most elusive defense.
AFL Division 1
Donegal v Armagh
Throw in : 1:45 p.m. Location: Letterkenny
All the mind games are here, given the date of the Counties Championship in four weeks. The venue comes with its own dismal freight for the home side: 15 years since their last Division 1 victory here and six consecutive defeats. More pressing on a final day when they can still go down for the second time since 2018, Donegal’s form has been poor – with only the comeback win over Tyrone making the blood run. Armagh, for a team that was shortlisted to retire, have had an encouraging campaign and could still qualify for the final, although speculation is that they would rather not under the circumstances. If Armagh is in any way ambivalent, Donegal can break the curse of Letterkenny.
Kerry vs. Tyrone
Throw-in: 1.45h. Location: Fitzgerald Stadium
Another speculative conundrum. Considering it’s dead rubber, already-qualified Kerry can afford to hand panelists plenty of points as the All-Ireland champions need a win to break free of relegation, but is that the way of Jack O’Connor? They have plenty of time before making a serious commitment to the Championship and an unbeaten streak is an ideal stepping stone to both a league final and what lies beyond. A heated brawl in Armagh tended to underline the importance of David Clifford – as of course did last year’s All-Ireland semi-final between the counties. Will he be rested or sprung like last week? It’s not like Kerry or their manager needs motivation. Tyrone improved last week but Mayo was slow. If Kerry goes, they should win.
Mayo v Kildare
Throw in : 1:45 p.m. Location: Before Money Páirc Seán MacDiarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon
As Lee Keegan pointed out during the week, it wouldn’t be polite for Mayo to scoff at silverware so they welcome Kildare to another of their temporary homes with the apparent intention of advancing to the final. James Horan’s team selection is further proof that County are serious about ending a two-game losing streak. Kildare have had a good campaign, culminating in a good beating handed over to Monaghan last week. The away form, however, has not been as productive.
Monaghan v Dublin
Throw in : 1:45 p.m. Location: clones. On TV: Live on TG4.
Monaghan has a fine record against Dublin, who haven’t won this game since 2017, which encompasses the last three encounters. Even in Gavin’s time, Monaghan troubled Dublin in the league. One might add that at the same time, the Dubs never needed a win to stay afloat in the Premier League. Dessie Farrell’s side got restless last week and winning here would probably (but not certainly) preserve their status. It’s basically a relegation playoff. The home side were unlucky early in the campaign but looked very shaky at times, with heavy defeats to Kerry and Kildare suggesting metal fatigue was setting in. They may have a challenging last bet in mind, but there’s a good chance it will be a checkmate.
AFL Division 2
Down vs. Clare
Throw in : 2 p.m. Location: Pairc Esler.
Down has been weighed down by a sense of pessimism from the start, which duly played into his relegation which was confirmed last week. It was another great feat from Colm Collins’ side in preserving their place in Division Two (not absolutely confirmed but they would lose in traumatic fashion). Instead, they hope to sign with a win.
Meath v Derry
Throw in : 2 p.m. Location: Pairc Tailteann.
After the stress of the early season struggle, Meath came clear last week – one of the narrowest wins over Clare joining an injury-time draw with Offaly, as sources of three points on the board – and don’t feel any pressure here. Derry, however, are and their exposure to other top teams in the division has been grueling. Hammered by Galway last week – in the absence of Shane McGuigan – and hopelessly shaken at Roscommon, the previous game left them needing Galway to do them a favour.
Offaly v Cork
Throw in : 2 p.m. Location: Edge of Móna O’Connor Park.
The most important game in the division – or even the league – will decide who will accompany Down on the relegation journey and, in all likelihood, in the Tailteann Cup. The two beat Down, Cork most recently. Cork’s litany of injuries and other departures led to poor performances while Offaly, not without his own struggles, exceeded expectations. Huge game.
Roscommon v Galway
Throw in : 2 p.m. Location: Doctor Hyde Park.
A dead rubber for the dominant Galway side, whose promotion was sealed a week earlier. How they approach this game is key for their opponents – and Derry, who need Roscommon to drop points if they are to reclaim promotion. Considering the Counties could meet again in the Division Finals, a lot of smoke and mirrors can be expected. Conclusion: Roscommon must win.
AFL Division 3
Antrim v Westmeath
Throw in : 2 p.m. Location: Corrigan Park.
At best, Westmeath should have promotion sealed. Instead, there’s that tricky final against Antrim, tied with them in joint third. The home advantage gives Enda McGinley’s side an advantage against erratic opponents.
Laois v Longford
Throw in : 2 p.m. Location: MW Rental O’Moore Park.
There is a way out for Longford. Win this and they win the head-to-head with their opponents unless Wicklow also wins and the score difference takes over. I think it will be academic.
Limerick v Fermanagh
Throw in : 2 p.m. Location: TUS Gaelic Land.
Big chance for Limerick and entirely in their hands if they can win this. But for a disputed point, Fermanagh would switch places with Westmeath. They haven’t and will be under pressure here.
Wicklow versus Louth
Throw in : 2 p.m. Location: Increase.
Wicklow bounced back from the abyss last week to snatch a win, but that only gives a theoretical chance of survival as they need to close a 30-point differential on Laois. Mickey Harte timed Louth’s run perfectly and they’ll be expecting to seal the promotion here.
AFL Division 4
Sligo v Leitrim
Throw in : 1 p.m. Location: Markievicz Park.
The counties most affected by an unlikely mistake from Tipperary on Saturday, Sligo and Leitrim have a better score difference than any other team in the division. Sligo looked over but Leitrim’s Keith Beirne is the league’s top scorer.