Intermediate Champions Aughnasheelin ended a great year on a sour note after they were relegated last Saturday following their four point loss to Division One Finalists Melvin Gaels.
With intense relegation battles in both Division One and Two, next weekends games will be closely watched as St. Marys must gather at least three points to go above Carrigallen in Division One while Division Two sees an almighty battle to avoid the drop with eight teams all capable of making the drop to Division Three depending on the results next weekend.
St. Marys, however, are facing a doomsday situation as their teams in Divisions Two, Three and Four would all be relegated, regardless of where they finish, if their First team are relegated from Division One. It is a situation that would be welcomed in quite a lot of Divisions as only one other team would therefore make the drop.
Marys must pick up three points against Allen Gaels and Melvin Gaels but they can also stay up if they improve their Scóring difference by seven points or more to go above Carrigallen in the Scóring averages.
However, that will be a very tough task as Allen Gaels have been rejuvenated since the return of Adrian Cullen and have been the form team in Division One recently while Melvin Gaels booked their place in the Final with a 0-13 to 1-6 win over Aughnasheelin last Saturday.
The Kinlough men recovered from a four point halftime deficit to win by four points, a result that condemned Aughnasheelin to the drop. The Intermediate champions can still end up with six points if they win their remaining two games but they cannot over-take two teams to avoid the drop.
Melvin Gaels trailed 0-5 to 1-6 at the break but the dismissal of an Aughnasheelin midfielder for a second yellow card handed the impetus to Melvin Gaels who scored seven unanswered points to take the win.
What makes the win all the more notable is that the Gaels achieved it without Emlyn Mulligan as Conor Sheridan, Paul Og Ferguson and Brendan Brennan scored three points apiece.
Carrigallen ensured they would make it very difficult for St. Marys when they defeated Annaduff 0-12 to 1-6 in Annaduff on Saturday. Four unanswered points in the first half from Ciaran Flynn (3) and Eoin Ward put Carrigallen in the driving seat and another four without reply in the second half from Ciaran & David Flynn, Eamon OMalley & Eoin Ward extended the lead.
Carrigallen led 0-12 to 0-4 after 50 minutes and seemed to be cruising but they were put under pressure in the closing minutes with points from Brendan Guckian and David McHugh and a goal from sub Derek Cox.
Kiltubrid, who had started the day under threat, secured their Division One status with a 0-9 to 2-3 draw against Mohill last Saturday, a point that lifted them out of the relegation zone. The draw, however, has dented Mohills chances of making the League Final as Glencar/Manor, with three games to play, are only a point behind.
Glencar/Manor were due to play Bornacoola but the game fell victim to the weather, the only one on the day.
The postponement almost definitely means another delay in the completion of Division One.
Division Two remains a complete minefield as only finalists Sean OHeslins and Aughawillan are completely safe mathematically.
Ballinaglera would have been relegated had they lost to Dromahair last weekend but a 1-11 to 0-8 keeps their survival hopes alive and drags Dromahair back into it, although the superior Scóring average of the north Leitrim men should mean they are safe.
The big game is the clash of Aughavas and Fenagh St. Caillins – Fenagh simply have to win as their poor Scóring average means they cannot rely on Scóring difference to stay up. Both teams are on six points and a draw will not suffice for Fenagh who have minus 53 points as their difference.
Glenfarne/Kilty & Cloone are two teams anxiously looking over their shoulders – the north Leitrim side take on Drumkeerin needing at least a point to survive while Cloone need to defeat Dromahair to stay up in what should be an exciting relegation battle.
This full report is available thanks to John Connolly and Leitrim Observer
– its available in this weeks
14-Nov-08 by Leitrim Observer.ie