By Shaun Casey
THINGS are fairly simple for Down this weekend as they head south to take on Kildare. Win, and they remain in the Joe McDonagh Cup for another season but lose, and they’re guaranteed relegation.
A draw won’t do for Ronan Sheehan’s men has the Lilywhites have the upper hand in terms of score difference. So, it’s all on the line for the Mourne men, who have been struggling for form all year long.
The concession of goals has been their undoing as Laois put seven past them while Carlow took them for six. Down have lost all their championship outings, as have Kildare, so it’s winner takes all on Saturday afternoon.
Tyrone can shoot to the top of the Christy Ring Cup table this weekend if they win against Meath, and if other results go their way. London and Meath are currently the top two, while Tyrone sit second from bottom, but have a better score difference than both.
The Red Hands suffered a heart-breaking one-point loss to Sligo the last day out, so will look to get back to winning against a Meath side that stumbled past Derry two weeks ago.
Derry can do Tyrone a favour if they travel to London and earn a result. League leaders London lost their opening round game to Sligo but bounced back with eye-catching victories over Meath and Mayo.
After facing back-to-back defeats to the top two teams in the Nickey Rackard Cup, Donegal and Wicklow, Armagh will hope to get back to winning ways when they make the short trip to Fermanagh on Saturday.
The Orchard conceded six-goals, three in each game, following their surprising opening round win over Roscommon.
Fermanagh on the other hand have had a torrid time, and sit joint-bottom, alongside Louth, with one-point to show for their efforts.
They’ve put in some really good displays and were much closer to both Donegal and Wicklow than Armagh were before picking up their only point in a 3-17 apiece draw with Louth.
Donegal host the Wee County this weekend and based on form and recent results, it should be a routine victory for Mickey McCann’s unbeaten side.
Cavan are involved in a top of the table clash in the Lory Meagher Cup as they take on neighbours Longford, with both sides tied on four-points.
Both teams lost their first games but bounced back to win two in a row. Monaghan can keep in the conversation for a final spot if they overcome Lancashire on Sunday.