Westmeath v Derry (Cusack Park, Sunday, 2.30pm )
With the final round of national football league games down for decision this weekend there are many possible permutations as regards promotion and relegation. Currently there are four teams in division two (Meath, Monaghan, Louth, and Westmeath ) stuck on four points. For Pat Flanagan’s men however the job is very straightforward. A win guarantees division two status next year while defeat to Derry consigns them to division three. If Westmeath draw we would need Tyrone to collect both points against Monaghan and hope for either team to win the Meath/ Louth match. If all three games end in draws, score difference will see Westmeath relegated.
A bit like Westmeath, Derry have blown hot and cold in this league campaign. Galway had five points to spare over them in the opening round and in their last outing they could only manage a draw at home to Louth. They have been without a host of key players throughout the league with the likes of Conleith Gilligan, Eoin Bradley, and Joe Diver on the injured list. Eoin Bradley is however expected to see action at some stage in Cusack Park on Sunday.
Pat Flanagan will be hoping that injuries to Gary Connaughton, Kieran Martin, and Michael Ennis will have cleared before Sunday.
Most pundits gave Westmeath no chance of survival in division two before a ball was even kicked. Now they have 70 minutes to prove the pundits wrong. Based on the Kildare performance one could easily dismiss our chances against Derry on Sunday.
However Westmeath showed against Galway and especially against Monaghan the type of football they can produce when they hit form in Cusack Park. Provided the injuries have cleared there is every reason to be optimistic of securing division two football for next year. It won’t be easy though.