Football League set for dramatic day of ups and downs

By John HaugheyBBC Sport NI
Tyrone looked relegation candidates after taking only one point from their opening three games but have regrouped magnificently
Tyrone stunned Dublin last weekend to give themselves a chance of reaching the Division One final
Football League round seven
Date: Sunday, 24 March Throw-ins: All games start at 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Ulster Medium Wave and the BBC Sport website from 13:30

Tyrone's transformation from relegation candidates to Division One Football League finalists could be completed in Sunday's final round of round robin fixtures.

It still represents a long shot for Mickey Harte's side as they need relegation-threatened Monaghan to beat Mayo in Castlebar in addition to the Red Hands overcoming Galway at Healy Park.

But while Mayo go into the MacHale Park contest buoyed following their impressive win in Kerry, Monaghan may need a victory to guarantee their Division One status.

It's hard to believe Malachy O'Rourke's side find themselves in this predicament after their stirring opening win over Dublin - although that result was put in some context by the All-Ireland champions' subsequent defeats by Kerry and Tyrone.

A reverse in Roscommon then started a run of four successive Farney defeats which was only halted by their nervy home win over Cavan last week.

Division One
TeamPlayedWinsDrawsLossesPts DiffPts
Kerry65011110
Galway640208
Mayo640278
Tyrone631257
Dublin6303176
Monaghan6204-74
Roscommon6114-203
Cavan6105-132

Monaghan fans will recall their opening 2017 league win in Castlebar although Mayo avenged that at Clones last year.

After Tyrone's impressive win at Croke Park last weekend, it's difficult to imagine them slipping up against Galway in Omagh although the Tribesmen know victory will guarantee them a final spot.

At the bottom of the table, Cavan, mathematically, could still avoid relegation but it looks a forlorn hope.

To survive, Mickey Graham's side need to beat a Dublin side surely still smarting from last weekend in addition to Roscommon's home game against Kerry ending in a draw - plus a Mayo victory over Monaghan.

That would leave all three bottom sides on four points with Cavan hoping to have overhauled the six-point scoring difference advantage which the Farney county currently have over them.

Division Two picture even more intriguing

The Division Two picture heading into the final round of games is even more intriguing with leaders Meath, Fermanagh, Donegal and Kildare all still in with a chance of promotion.

After slipping to their first defeat in Crossmaglen last weekend, Fermanagh head to Navan knowing that even victory may not be enough to secure a Division One spot.

The Ernemen are two points behind Meath in the table but the Royals have an 18-point scoring difference lead over Rory Gallagher's side.

Wins for Fermanagh and Donegal will move them to 10 points alongside Meath which would leave the two counties with the best scoring averages securing promotion in addition to places in the Division Two final.

Division Two
TeamPlayedWinsDrawsLossesPts DiffPts
Meath65012010
Donegal640258
Fermanagh632128
Kildare631277
Armagh622256
Clare6114-83
Tipperary6114-93
Cork6114-223

However, Kildare will pip both Ulster counties for promotion if they beat Donegal in Ballyshannon and Meath secure a home victory.

Now-safe Armagh host Cork at the Athletic Grounds with the Rebels needed to win to have any chance of producing an unlikely escape act as the other teams on three points, Tipperary and Clare, are in opposition in a relegation shoot-out at Semple Stadium.

For Cork to survive, they need to win and hope that Tipperary are victorious at Thurles. That would leave them both on five points as the Rebels would survive having beaten the Premier County in their fixture.

Down still have work to do in Division Three

Despite their five successive wins following the opening home defeat by Laois, Down go into their final home game against Louth still needing to avoid defeat to be absolutely certain of promotion.

Under new manager Paddy Tally, the Mournemen have shown tremendous resilience and nerve so far during the campaign in grafting to a series of narrow wins.

The latest one came against Carlow last weekend but there is still work to do against a Louth side who also remain in promotion contention.

Division Three
TeamPlayedWinsDrawsLossesPts DiffPts
Down65011410
Laois6402118
Westmeath5311117
Longford631247
Louth5302196
Carlow6213-15
Offaly6114-113
Sligo6006-470

With their game against fellow contenders Westmeath having to be postponed last weekend, Louth go into the Sunday's match on six points from five games and two closing wins would see them finishing on 10 points alongside Down.

Laois will move to 10 points if they record a home victory over Carlow, who were sent back into the relegation mix by their defeat by the Mourne County.

A Carlow defeat in Portlaoise plus an Offaly win over already-relegated Sligo would leave Carlow and Offaly both on five points and needing scoring difference to decide the second team who makes the drop.

With the Division Four promotion issues long settled, promoted teams Derry and Leitrim are both in action on Saturday with the Oak Leafers facing Wexford at Bellaghy and Leitrim hosting Waterford at Carrick-on-Shannon.

Antrim's campaign, meanwhile concludes with Sunday's contest against Limerick in Kilmallock.

Division Four
TeamPlayedWinsDrawsLossesPts DiffPts
Derry66003312
Leitrim65011710
Waterford630316
Wexford6303-216
Antrim620494
Limerick6204-54
Wicklow6204-174
London6105-172

WEEKEND ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE FIXTURES

SATURDAY - 16:00 GMT

Division Four
DerryvWexfordBellaghy
LeitrimvWaterfordCarrick-on-Shannon

SUNDAY - 14:00 GMT

Division One
CavanvDublinKingspan Breffni
MayovMonaghanCastlebar
RoscommonvKerryDr Hyde Park
TyronevGalwayHealy Park
Division Two
ArmaghvCorkAthletic Grounds
DonegalvKildareBallyshannon
MeathvFermanaghNavan
TipperaryvClareThurles
Division Three
DownvLouthNewry
WestmeathvLongfordMullingar
LaoisvCarlowPortlaoise
SligovOffalyConnolly Park
Division Four
LimerickvAntrimKilmallock
WicklowvLondonAughrim