STILL ALL TO PLAY FOR AS FINAL ROUND OF NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE DRAWS NEAR

29 March 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Elder readers will remember World of Sport on Saturdays on ITV. It was on that programme that former Tottenham and England striker Jimmy Greaves coined the phrase ‘football is a funny ol’ game’.
Over the years, Greaves’ adage has almost evolved into a truism. Certainly, it’s a saying that rang true following on from Monaghan’s 0-7 to 0-8 NFL Division Three defeat to Roscommon last Sunday in Dr. Hyde Park.
Funny, last week when the Northern Standard put it to Roscommon manager John Evans – in the course of previewing the penultimate round league match – that the Rossies had a chance against Monaghan, Evans wondered aloud whether the NS had actually seen Monaghan play. Period.
When the Kerry native was asked whether he had seen Monaghan play, he, similarily, replied in the affirmative but, quizzed further, wouldn’t say where or when he had seen the Oriel play. Curiously, he asked, did it matter?
Moments later when it was suggested to Evans that a win for Roscommon last Sunday would catapult them right back in the race for promotion, he hung up the phone.
Anyway, on the back of the funny old game that took place at Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon can join (most likely) Fermanagh in Division Two next year if results elsewhere go their way next time out.
Cavan, though, on home ground should have sufficient hunger, class and scoring power to allow the Rossies nab another unlikely victory.
Terry Hyland’s charges maintained their claim on a promotion spot with a hard-fought but ultimately comfortable 0-14 to 0-11 victory in Aughrim; a place not, as they old cliche goes, an easy place to pick up a win.
Promotion is out of Cavan’s hands though as they’ll need second-placed Monaghan to slip up at home to Antrim for their promotion hopes to have a happy ending.
The news relayed by the broadcast and social media channels to Cavan fans on the way home from Wicklow will have them thinking that Kingspan/Breffni Park on April 7th might well be party-central.
There was no party in Aughrim and no fireworks either in a rather lack-lustre game but of all the six games played to date by Terry Hyland’s side this season, last weekend’s performance was perhaps the players’ most gritty, sleeves-rolled-up display.
Table-toppers Fermanagh are flying and they have their destiny in their own hands thanks, in the main, to their latest win which was a 0-15 to 0-9 victory over Sligo last weekend.
“We will be going down to Navan for the final game with Meath with nothing to fear, but that game will be a great test for us,” the Ernesiders’ boss Peter Canavan cautioned.
Doubtless Monaghan, Cavan and Roscommon would love to be in such a pole-position.
Meanwhile Antrim, Ulster’s lowest placed team in the NFL, saw their game with the Royal County snowed off which was snow fun whatsoever for either camp, one suspects.
Antrim boast just four points and are third from the bottom of the table but they’re not the Ulster team with most to worry about. No that dubious honour is Down’s.
The Mournemen are in the basement bottom position in Division One with only two points to their …

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