GAA: Where, when and what's at stake in this weekend's fixtures?

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Gaa: Where, When And What's At Stake In This Weekend's Fixtures?
Kerry's David Clifford with Dublin's Michael Fitzsimons during the counties' Division 1S clash last weekend. Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr
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Muireann Duffy

The National Football League has reached the last batch of group fixtures, meaning plenty of battles are in-store as counties attempt to slip away from the grasps of relegation play-offs, towards promotion and division semi-finals.

Finals, relegation and promotion is slightly different in the football this year, with the top two counties from each north/south group meeting in their division's semi-finals. From there, both teams who make it to the final in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 will gain promotion for next season, and the winner will be crowned division champion.

On the other end of proceedings, Division 1, 2 and 3 will see the bottom two placed teams in each north/south group entering into relegation play-offs. The two losers of these games will be relegated for next season.

Division 1N

  • Armagh v Donegal, Saturday - 7.30pm, Athletic Grounds. Live on Eir Sport 1 from 7.10pm
  • Tyrone v Monaghan, Saturday - 7.30pm, Healy Park. Live on GAAGO.

Monaghan have a big task ahead of them if they are to avoid the relegation play-offs. Having claimed one league point from their draw against Donegal, they need to beat Tyrone to have any chance of staying away from the danger zone, and even at that, they'll need a helping hand from Declan Bonner and his side, requiring them to beat Armagh.

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A win for Donegal will see them sail through to the Division 1 semi-finals regardless of the Healy Park result, but it's not a done deal as a win for Armagh and Tyrone could snatch that opportunity away and have them trudging through the play-offs.

Division 1S

  • Roscommon v Kerry, Sunday - 3.45pm, Dr Hyde Park. Spórt TG4, with deferred coverage on TG4 from 5.35pm.
  • Galway v Dublin, Sunday - 3.45pm, Tuam Stadium. Live on TG3 from 3.30pm.

No win for Roscommon has firmly booked them into the relegation play-offs, but their Division 1S companion remains undecided.

A win for Galway could shake things up, putting Dublin into the red-zone, but a win for Dessie Farrell will see them take the second semi-final slot alongside Kerry.

Division 2N

  • Mayo v Meath, Sunday - 1.45pm, MacHale Park. Live on GAAGO.
  • Westmeath v Down, Sunday - 1.45pm, Cusack Park, Mullingar. Live on GAAGO.

This weekend's Division 2N fixtures are all but irrelevant as Mayo and Meath's four points each in the league table against Westmeath and Down's two zeros means the latter pair will head to the relegation play-offs, while the former two are into the semi-finals.

Division 2S

  • Laois v Kildare, Sunday - 1.45pm, O'Moore Park. Live on GAAGO.
  • Clare v Cork, Sunday - 1.45pm, Cusack Park, Ennis. Live on TG4 from 1.15pm.

Clare have put themselves in a strong position to hold onto their Division 2 status and vie for promotion following their wins over Kildare and Laois.

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Facing Cork this weekend, a win for the Banner will make that appearance in the semi-finals automatic, but a series of unfortunate events could send them tumbling down the table.

If Cork beat Clare and Kildare beat Laois, three teams will be tied on four points, in which case it will come down to points difference to decide the two going on to fight for promotion to Division 1. No points for Laois puts them in hot water, needing a win themselves and a loss from Cork in order to have points difference decide who's heading to the relegation play-offs.

Division 3N

  • Cavan v Derry, Saturday - 3pm, Breffni Park. Live on TG4 from 2.30pm.
  • Fermanagh v Longford, Saturday - 3pm, Brewster Park. Live on GAAGO.

Derry are also in a strong position coming into this weekend, with two wins in the bag. A win or a loss against Cavan would see them through to the Division 3 semi-final so long as Fermanagh also lose, but if Fermanagh get the win, it'll be down to points difference once again.

Equally complicated at the bottom of the table, Longford are staring down the barrel of the relegation play-offs, even if they win on Saturday. If they do win, a loss for Cavan would bring three teams to two points, meaning the two play-off spots would be decided by points difference.

Division 3S

  • Offaly v Tipperary, Saturday - 3pm, O'Connor Park. Live on GAAGO.
  • Wicklow v Limerick, Saturday - 3pm, Aughrim. Live on GAAGO.
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Division 3S finds itself in the same position as its northern counterpart, with Offaly out in front with four points, followed by Limerick and Tipperary, both with two points, while Wicklow has none.

As with the northern group, if Offaly win, they're in the Division 3 semi-final, if Tipperary and Limerick win it's a three-way tie for those two spots, and if Tipp and Limerick both lose it's a three-way tie for the two relegation play-off slots.

Division 4N

  • Antrim v Leitrim, Sunday - 3pm, Corrigan Park. Live on GAAGO.
  • Louth v Sligo, Sunday - 3pm, Dundalk. Live on GAAGO.

As Division 4 is the lowest, there's no relegation.

Antrim's narrow wins over both Louth and Sligo mean regardless of this weekend's results, Enda McGinley's men will be moving onto the semi-finals - the Dundalk game will simply decide who's going with them.

Division 4S

  • Carlow v Wexford, Saturday - 5pm, Cullen Park. Live on GAAGO.

With only three teams in Division 4S and again, no relegation, this weekend's proceedings could be very straight forward.

If Carlow beat Wexford, they go onto the division's semi-finals and bring Waterford with them, but if the Yellow Bellies take their first win of the season, it'll be even-stevens for all three counties, and the two going through will be decided by, you guessed it, points difference.

*The GAA has stipulated that two-way ties are decided based on the county who won their group fixture. For three-way ties, it first goes to points difference, calculated by subtracting their points conceded from their points scored. If this does not separate the teams, the county with the highest total score comes out on top, and failing that, a play-off game must take place.

Hurling

  • Sligo v Longford (Division 3A), Saturday - 3pm, Markievicz Park.
  • Monaghan v Armagh (Division 3A), Sunday - 2pm, Inniskeen.
  • Kilkenny v Wexford (Division 1B), Sunday - 3pm, Nowlan Park. Live on GAAGO.

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