FIXTURES

SATURDAY 29 MAY

Allianz FL Division 1 North
Armagh v Donegal, Athletic Grounds, 7:30pm
Tyrone v Monaghan, Healy Park, 7.30pm

Allianz FL Division 3 North
Cavan v Derry, Kingspan Breffni, 3pm
Fermanagh v Longford, Brewster Park, 3pm

Allianz FL Division 3 South
Wicklow v Limerick, Aughrim 3pm
Offaly v Tipperary, Bord Na Móna O Connor Park 3pm

Allianz FL Division 4 South
Carlow v Wexford, Netwatch Cullen Park, 5pm

ONLINE
Live blogs on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app.

RADIO
Live commentaries on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.

TV
Live coverage of Cavan v Derry on TG4 from 2.30pm, and Armagh v Donegal on eirSport from 7pm. All games are available to watch live on GAAGO.

Highlights on Allianz League Sunday, RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, 9.30pm.

WEATHER
It will be a very mild or warm day with good sunny spells breaking through. However, isolated showers will develop too. Highest temperatures will range 15 to 20 or 21 degrees Celsius, best values inland. Winds will be just light variable, though local sea breezes will develop. For more go to met.ie.

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FINAL ROUND PERMUTATIONS


All to play for

Seven games down for decision and not a dead rubber in sight. Ideal preparation for championship, and something for the CCCC to ponder when looking at future formats for the league. All teams are guaranteed another game after this weekend, with the possibility that some could contest divisional finals if not involved in a championship opener.

Crowds are back with 500 in attendance for games in the six counties. 100 of that 500 will be to accommodate extra panel and backroom members and others associated with both teams. And so the home side will have 400 fans in attendance to cheer them on. Not everyone his happy, with Donegal GAA chairman Mick McGrath saying that Armagh will have an "unfair" advantage for the clash at the Athletic Grounds.

The GAA have made it clear, following guidelines on cross-border travel being discouraged, that no tickets will be available to fans in the south. This, according to McGrath is at variance with the 32-county Allianz Football League. Speaking in the Irish Independent, he said: "It started off under certain regulations, but if the regulations change one side of the divide or the other, it shouldn't affect the regulations of a competition. Equality must be maintained

"Armagh have an advantage, a rightful advantage of having a home game, but to give them a further advantage by allowing in 450 people to 50 people from Donegal, that’s an unfair advantage."

McGrath feels that the regulations of the competition should not be changed at this point, though he does add that presence of Armagh fans in the stands is "not an issue for the players and management".

Division 1 North - Ulster thrills so far

Some referred to it as the 'Dr McKenna Cup on steroids'. Indeed, will we ever see the Dr McKenna Cup again?

Whatever way you wish to categorise this Ulster quartet, the fare served up so far has been eye-catching. Speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast, Pat Spillane waxed lyrical about Tyrone v Donegal on the opening weekend, while Tomás Ó Sé believes an evolving Red Hand side have the tools to credibly contend for an All-Ireland this year.

"If you're looking further down the line and I'm thinking who would be the best team to put it up to Dublin or Kerry, I said at the start of the year I thought Tyrone. I still think that," he said.

"And we haven't seen McShane yet. I think that opens up a whole new line of possibilities for Tyrone who are already, as you can see, evolving.

"But I think throwing (Cathal) McShane in there and I think Tyrone will be a very dangerous animal."

Last Saturday, Monaghan, courtesy of a hat-trick of goals from Conor McCarthy, looked to be on their way against Donegal. Nine points up at one stage and with Michael Murphy going off early with a hamstring injury, victory was well within their grasp. However, Donegal's composure shone through in Ballybofey and helped by eight points from Patrick McBrearty, they forced a draw.

A draw against the Orchard County would be enough for Declan Bonner's side to reach the semi-final. Such an outcome could also see the Orchardmen reach the semis, provided Monaghan get the better of Tyrone in Omagh.

Expect two full-blooded encounters, with the pair that do end up facing a relegation semi-final no doubt confident that they can survive that do-or-die scenario.

Division 3 North - Derry awakening

A score difference of +35 after Longford and Fermanagh were brushed aside with the minimum of fuss now leaves Derry well placed to book their promotion semi-final spot. With Shane McGuigan, Ethan Doherty, Gareth McKinless, Conor Glass and Conor Doherty showing the way, the Oakleafers are displaying some early season intent. Reaching Division 2 would be another confidence booster ahead of a potential Ulster quarter-final against Donegal.

Fermanagh boss Ryan McMenamin was in no doubt as to the conditioning of the Derry lads after last weekend's game.

"Derry are a very, very fit team. Very, very fit. A very, very fit team," he told the Irish News.

Conor Doherty

The successful underage sides of recent years - the 2017 minor All-Ireland finalists and 2018 U20 Ulster winners - have produced a couple of graduates, Padraig McGrogan and Conor Doherty, the latter especially impressive last weekend.

Cavan know that anything less than a win against Derry could see them in a relegation scrap, particularly if Fermanagh can do the business at home to pointless Longford.

Division 3 South - The Maughan rebuild continues

Offaly haven't been in the top 16 in the Allianz League for a long time but remain on course to be in the Divsion 2 promotion shake up. Wins in their opening two games leave them two points ahead of Limerick and Tipperary, with Wicklow still to pick up a point.

A draw against Tipperary would be enough to take John Maughan's side into the semi-finals. If Tipperary and Limerick win, they will be level on points with Offaly, leaving scoring difference to decide the placings.

Offaly’s current scoring difference is +6; Tipp are +1 while Limerick are 0

Wicklow, who were promoted this season, need to beat Limerick by a big margin to have any chance of avoiding a relegation play-off.

Division 4 South - Wexford's last shot

No London, so just a trio of contenders here. Waterford have completed their programme. Their two points coming against Wexford last weekend. Carlow lead the standings and know that a draw would see them top the group. The Slaneysiders need a win against Niall Carew's outfit to ensure that they can continue to look upwards.

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