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There are only three games going ahead in the Division 4 National League this weekend due to London’s continued unavailability. All games have an important say in who will be promoted though. Firstly, the winner of Wexford vs Wicklow will secure themselves a Division 3 place. Next, Limerick will join them if they overcome Sligo. However, if the Connacht side win, they have an outside chance of squeezing into the top two. Likewise, Antrim are in the hunt for promotion but need to beat Waterford.
Last weekend, Wicklow were emphatic against Antrim. Their seven-goals was enough to win a game in itself. As a result, they are tied top of Division 4 and need one of the favourites for promotion.
But, Wexford returned to action with a win of their own. Despite going to Limerick with a depleted squad, they ran out three-point winners. That was a much-needed confidence boost for a team that has been shrouded with uncertainty. Paul Galvin stepped away as manager just a month before the restart. Then, four positive Covid-19 tests ruled out a host of players for Galvin’s replacement Shane Roche. With this in mind, Wexford’s win last weekend is even more impressive. If they can carry that momentum into round 7, they will see themselves in Division 3 next season.
Limerick could have sealed promotion with a result over Wexford. Instead, they need to defeat Sligo to go up to Division 3. They hit just three first-half points against Wexford. In fact, it took a triple substitution at the midpoint to give the Munster men a boost. Billy Lee will be keen to ensure his team start quicker this time around.
Sligo will relish the battle with Limerick. In their own restart, they lost to Carlow at the death. As a result, their promotion hopes have thinned. Yet, a win over Limerick would give make it possible. Paul Taylor’s side face Galway in the Championship two weeks later. A promotion would provide his team with much-welcome encouragement heading into this one. They have nothing to gain from a draw. So, expect them to play off the cuff.
On Thursday morning, Waterford issued a lengthy statement announcing their concession of the round 7 game against Antrim. The statement cited players’ concerns over needing to isolate after travelling north of the border as the reason. However, Antrim have since offered to sacrifice their home game in order to fulfil the fixture.
As a result, the game will now take place in Dundalk. Antrim could have taken the two points from Waterford without even playing. But, they instead stated their desire to win the game in a deserving manner: “We believe that the integrity of the league needs to be upheld. If we are good enough to collect two points we will do it in a fair and manly manner on the field of play.”
This game is effectively a dead-rubber for Waterford. Still, it is an opportunity to get some match practice ahead of the Championship. They play Limerick the following week in the Munster quarter-final.
A victory for Antrim will put them in the promotion mix. It’s a big ask though as other results also need to go their way. Last week, their thrashing at the hands of Wicklow left much to be desired.
Division 4 National League: (All games throw-in at 2pm on Saturday, October 24th)
Wexford vs Wicklow (Chadwick’s Wexford Park).
Sligo vs Limerick (Markievicz Park).
Antrim vs Waterford (Dundalk).
FIXTURES THIS WEEKEND
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIV4 | RD7
Wexford v Wicklow
2pm | Saturday October 25th | Wexford
This game is scheduled to be streamed live on GAAGO pic.twitter.com/5uZ9rHYeVy
— Official Wicklow GAA (@wicklowgaa) October 19, 2020