The last chance saloon beckons

8 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Kevin Carney

Methinks, there’s barely an octave between songs of joy and a grave lament. And by close of business next Sunday, it may be that scoring differences will be all that separates the losers from the winners in division one of this year’s NFL.
Confusion doth reign though among the masses. Last Sunday, the dogs in the street were barking out the message that if Monaghan lost to Kerry and Mayo beat Cork, then the Oriel would be relegated. Not so apparently.
The upshot of last weekend’s results in division one is that Monaghan must beat Mayo this Sunday and other results must work in their favour.
The only thing Monaghan fans will want to hear, as the long whistles sound at the end of the week, is that Monaghan are safe; that the Oriel will be playing in division one in 2012.
Mayo are safe and that’s a big bonus for Monaghan. But Monaghan’s fate isn’t in their own hands and that’s the problem.
If Armagh spring a surprise and beat Cork down in the deep south or even get a draw, it will render the Monaghan result irrelevant. Monaghan will be relegated.
Glorious success or terrible disappointment lies in waiting for Monaghan. Only time will tell what fate will befall them.
Cavan are a tad better off in their fight to stave off relegation to division four, a home they’ve never called their own before.
If the blues conquer Tipperary at Kingspan/Breffni Park on Sunday, they will survive the drop and even a draw may see them escape ignominy.
Going into the last round of NFL fixtures, the Cavan faithful have also been heard whistling doleful tunes past the graveyard.
The county’s hopes of staying in division three for 2011 got a timely filip last Saturday evening when they overcame a limp Louth side by 0-11 to 1-5.
Louth were lack-lustre in the extreme and went from the 19th to the 57th minute without raising a flag.
The Wee County were their own worst enemies at times and had corner back Declan Byrne dismissed for a second yellow card five minutes into the second half.
The Breffni blues weren’t flattered by their three point winning margin but owed a lot to Under 21 stars Gearoid McKiernan and Niall McDermott who each scored three points.
Louth introduced some of their big guns as they looked to eat into Cavan’s 0-6 to 0-3 interval lead but then came Byrne’s rather harsh dismissal.
Still, Cavan never looked at ease although a brillant brace from McKiernan hoisted them into a 0-9 to 0-3 lead after 50 minutes.

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