THINGS are getting very serious at both ends of the Division One table as we head into this weekend’s round of fixtures.
Last weekend, we saw high-flying Roscommon being brought back down to earth with a bang after Monaghan turned in a fantastic display. It has left things at the bottom end of the table really interesting, to say the least.
At this stage it’s fair to say that there are four or five teams who are still under a little bit of pressure to make sure they stay out of the drop zone.
Monaghan did wonders for their chances of survival by grabbing two points from their Clones win over the Rossies, and I’m sure confidence will be high for them again this weekend against the Tribesmen and another win would almost guarantee them survival.
Donegal and Galway playing out a draw means that both teams are still floating around the bottom end of the table. Now, in reality, their destiny will probably not be known until the final round of fixtures given where they sit at the table at this moment in time.
After their impressive performance against Donegal two weeks ago, Tyrone’s league campaign has been on the slide ever since and after another heavy enough defeat against Mayo, there are serious question marks over the team and management at this moment in time.
I watched the game last Saturday night and to the outsiders looking in, it just doesn’t seem to be gelling at all for them this season and they look a little disjointed if I’m being completely honest. They are a pale shadow of the team who lifted Sam two years ago and it’s going to take an awful lot for them to enable them to turn their season around even at this early stage.
Elsewhere, Kerry grabbed two much-needed points with a hard-fought win against an extremely well set up Armagh side.
Great credit to Kerry they stuck to the plan and hung in there with their substitutes off the bench proving the difference. but make no mistake about it Armagh will have a big say in the championship this season.
Not a lot of teams can travel to Kerry and deliver that kind of performance so for me they are definitely one of the teams to watch now as the weeks progress.
This weekend we have a number of massive games taking place in all divisions but obviously as a Donegal man I will be keeping an eye on how things develop at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday because anything less than a win for Donegal may signal the end of our Division One participation.
Last weekend I thought Paddy Carr’s young Donegal team were unlucky and they definitely had enough chances to win the game against Galway, which would have been a massive boost to the squad but unfortunately for them they just failed to convert some of the chances that they created.
If Donegal could somehow manage to win on Saturday night then I think that there is enough talent within the squad to keep them up, and that would be a great start to the year.
Elsewhere, possibly the biggest game of the weekend will take place in Derry as the highflying Ulster champions welcome the Dubs.
Derry are absolutely flying at the moment and I will go as far as to say that they are the best coached team in the country at the minute.
This will be a massive task for Dessie Farrell and his team considering how the Dubs are playing at the minute. Last year was massive for Derry but knowing Rory Gallagher( left) and the kind of character that he is, his sights will be set far higher this year so watch this space.
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