By Shaun Casey
SUNDAY was set to be the day that Donegal’s relegation to Division Two was officially confirmed but it takes added significance after the shock resignation of Paddy Carr on Wednesday afternoon.
At the time of going to press, it was unclear who would be in charge of the side for their round seven trip to Roscommon. Given the off-field issues with the county’s academy and recent resignations, it is truly a period of uncertainty for the Tir Chonaill County.
But they still have a game to play and, technically, can survive. For that to happen they’d need to win, see Armagh lose to Tyrone and hope that Mayo and Monaghan ends in a draw. Even then, they’d need to leave the Hyde with a huge winning margin. In short, it’s not happening.
After their opening round exploits, Roscommon sat at the top of the table with victories of Tyrone, Galway and Armagh, but the wheels have come off slightly since then.
In fact, however unlikely, they can still be relegated, although it would take a series of unlikely results to make that happen.
Plus, Donegal would have to win, which they haven’t been in the habit of doing recently. Since their incredible opening round win over All-Ireland champions Kerry, they have picked up just one point in five games.
Even the mythical record they hold in Ballybofey, where they beat the Kingdom, wasn’t enough to withstand the Mayo onslaught last weekend. Donegal went down without a whimper, losing by 11 points in the end.
Roscommon, who have former Donegal star and 2012 All-Ireland winner Mark McHugh in their management team, will want to finish the league on a high ahead of their upcoming Connacht championship campaign.
For Donegal, a win may be needed now more than ever – just to give their downtrodden fans something to smile about.