GAA football league: Why the stakes are so high in Division Two this season

The final two rounds of the league could have big implications for the rest of the season.
GAA football league: Why the stakes are so high in Division Two this season

Michael Bolton

With just two rounds left of the Allianz Football League, the stakes couldn't be higher in division two, with some county's entire season at stake.

Derry and Dublin are likely to be promoted, with Derry laying down a marker as potential All-Ireland winners with their narrow victory over Dublin last weekend.

Behind them, is Cork and Louth on six points, with another victory for both sides possibly enough to secure their All-Ireland status.

For Clare, Meath, Kildare and Limerick however, the next two weeks could have huge implications for their season.

Championship structure

The new structure for this season's championship meant sides had to hit the ground running in division two.

This year's championship will be a round-robin system made up of four groups, each containing four teams.

In each group will be the winners of each provincial championship, followed by the finalists, and last year's Taliteann Cup winners Westmeath.

The rest of the places will be made up of the next best placed league sides. However, this could make things difficult for sides in division two.

In Connacht, one of Sligo, Leitrim, London and New York will make it to the Connacht final, with all sides currently in division four.

This could see teams in division two miss out, with their championship fate out of their hands if they finish outside the top four.

In Munster, Cork will face Clare in the Clare in the Munster quarter-final, with the winners facing Limerick, who are currently staring in the face of relegation. Ray Dempsey's side will likely have to reach a second successive provincial final to reach the championship.

The same could also be said for Meath, who could face Micky Harte's impressive Louth side in a Leinster semi-final, if both sides overcome Westmeath and Offaly respectively.

Should one of Cavan, Fermanagh, Down or Antrim reach an Ulster final, it would also mean another side from division two would be at risk for the championship.

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