Leitrim GAA Championships – Possible Group Outcomes
The final round of group games takes place this weekend in the Connacht Gold Senior Football Championship and Smith Monumentals Intermediate Football Championships and the number of possible permutations is mind boggling. I’m gonna try and break it down for you group by group to make it a little easier to get your head around the possible finishing positions and the resulting quarter final shakeups.
I’m assuming that you probably know by know that the team that finishes first in a group will face the fourth place side on the other side while second will face the third place side in the opposite group to make up the quarter final draw. The semi final pairings will be an open draw made after the quarter finals have been completed. If you didn’t, now you do. The existing tables can be seen here: https://www.leitrimgaa.ie/competitions-clubs/
Connacht Gold SFC Group 1:
Aughawillan: Somewhat surprisingly the 2018 champions have already been eliminated before their final game against Mohill this weekend. They will be looking to restore some pride particularly at home. No result will change their final position in 5th place and participation in the relegation playoff.
St. Marys: The next clearest position is that of the championship’s comeback kings. No game this weekend as they’ve played all their fixtures and having lost to both Fenagh and Mohill in the opening rounds they will remain in fourth position with one exception. A defeat for Sean O’Heslin’s at home to Fenagh and Mohill avoiding defeat in Aughawillan would see them move ahead of Sean O’Heslins on head to head basis into 3rd place in the group. All other combinations of results see them finish 4th in the group.
Sean O’Heslins: The possibility of finishing anywhere from the top spot to 4th place is a reality for the early pace setters in this group. Any victory over Fenagh would ensure top spot in the group having the head to head over Mohill. Defeat to Fenagh would see them drop to fourth place should Mohill avoid defeat. A draw with Fenagh would see them finish behind their neighbours on scoring difference across the entire group. Whether they finish as the top 2 or 2nd & 3rd would depend on the result for Mohill. Two draws would see them finish in the following order: Mohill, Fenagh, Sean O’Heslins.
Mohill: Their win over St. Mary’s and large scoring difference advantage mean, that barring a total scoring collapse (losing by 27 points), they can’t finish 4th in the group table. A win against Aughawillan will ensure top spot unless Sean O’Heslins win their game which will edge the Ballinamore side to first place on head to head results. A draw on Saturday would put them in second place behind the winner of the SO’H and Fenagh clash. A draw in that other game would put Mohill into 1st place on scoring difference.
Fenagh: Defeat to Sean O’Heslins would see them finish in 3rd place on head to head with St. Mary’s. A win or draw for the Fenagh side would see them hit top spot if Mohill fail to at least match their result. Mohill matching their results or two draws would see them finish in second spot.
Connacht Gold SFC Group 2:
Drumreilly: Anything but a victory at home against Allen Gaels will condemn them to the bottom of the table and a relegation playoff against Aughawillan. Victory would move them to the quarter final spot from fourth place in the group.
Allen Gaels: Almost identical to Drumreilly although a draw would work in their favour. Avoid defeat on their travels this weekend and they will secure fourth place in the group. A defeat would see them leapfrogged by their direct opponents and they would be facing Aughawillan in the dreaded playoff.
Melvin Gaels: The Kinlough side have bounced back from an opening day defeat to sit on top of the group albeit with their entire set of fixtures played. They must rely on the result from Manorhamilton this weekend to establish their position in the table. A Glencar/Manor victory would see James Phelan’s side remain on top of the group because of their victory in the clash between the two sides last weekend. Any other result sees them finish in second place.
Glencar / Manorhamilton: The defending champions will finish either 2nd or 3rd in this group. Their defeat to Melvin Gaels will ensure they can’t top the group, but a victory against new boys Leitrim Gaels would see them secure second place in Group 2. Defeat or a draw would mean 3rd place anda theoretically a more difficult quarter final clash.
Leitrim Gaels: The only unbeaten side remaining in the championship have a fantastic opportunity to hit top spot by avoiding a defeat to the defending champions tomorrow evening. Losing the game would see them drop to 3rd place. Funnily enough they can’t finish in 2nd place in the group.
Smith Monumentals IFC – Group 1
Drumkeerin: Last year’s finalists have secured top spot with a game to play, after last year’s fourth place finish they will be very happy with that result. No results this weekend can change their finishing position although there are local bragging rights at stake against Ballinaglera. Coupled with the opportunity to knock their neighbours out of the championship there won’t be any let up from Drumkeerin this weekend.
Bornacoola: Their mid week victory over Aughnasheelin has confirmed their passage to the quarter final. Currently in second place but with all their games played, they will fancy their chances of holding that position in the group table. Holding head to head advantage over Eslin and Aughnasheelin only two scenarios exist where they might drop a place to 3rd or even two to 4th. A Ballinaglera win and a draw between Eslin and Aughnasheelin would see them drop to 3rd place behind Ballinaglera on head to head. A heavy Ballinaglera victory along and a big winner in Aughasheelin would leave 3 teams level on 4 points. In this case Bornacoola would drop a position each if Ballinaglera win by 7 clear points or if either of Eslin or Aughnasheelin win by a margin of 12 or 17 respectively.
Ballinaglera: It’s a big weekend for Ballinaglera who would have been fancied after their run to the semi final last term. They face a big challenge this weekend which is entirely of their own making this weekend. The head to head loses against Aughnasheelin and Eslin may show their real cost this weekend. If Ballinaglera lose to Drumkeerin they will finish in fifth place and the relegation playoff, a draw would guarantee they progress from fourth place in the group. Both of those outcomes would be unaffected by the result in Aughnasheelin. A win would secure their qualification and may even see them finish as high as second, if the other game finishes level or they win by 7 points and either side win in Aughnasheelin. Points difference could also see them finish 4th if they have a small win and Eslin or Aughnasheelin win by six or eleven points more than them.
Eslin: Anywhere from 2nd to 5th is a possible finish for Eslin this weekend. Avoiding defeat will guarantee a Quarter Final spot for them as they will at least finish ahead of Aughnasheelin on scoring difference in the case of a draw. A victory over Aughnasheelin would put them level with Bornacoola who they enjoy a head to head advantage over. If Ballinaglera don’t win it would see Eslin finish 2nd. A Ballinaglera victory too would ensure scoring difference would decide 2nd to 4th place and Eslin currently are behind both Ballinaglera and Bornacoola on that metric. Defeat to Aughnasheelin would level them in trouble of relegation, although a Ballinaglera loss would save them on the head to head result from earlier in the championship.
Aughnasheelin: As if you aren’t completely confused already. Very simliar to Ballinaglera’s outcome although they have an inferior scoring difference. Win and they continue to the knock out stages but a lot depends on the result of the Ballinaglera result. If Ballinaglera lose their game Aughnasheelin will automatically qualify for the quarter finals regardless of how they do in their own fixture. The worst outcome for Aughnasheelin would be where both games finish level, they would be in out of the championship and face the relegation playoff. Scoring difference may be crucial in deciding this group.
Smith Monumentals IFC – Group 2
Kiltubrid / Carrigallen: This one is really simple, almost old school knockout here with the winners securing 4th place and the losers facing a playoff for survival. Kiltubrid hold the advantage on scoring difference going into the final game so a draw puts them through.
Dromahair: The North Leitrim side have completed their series of games with only a single defeat to Gortletteragh. They currently sit in second place in the group and will stay there unless Annaduff beat Gortletteragh and join both teams on 6 points. Then it will come down to scoring difference between the sides. If Annaduff’s winning margin tomorrow is between 7 & 10 points Dromahair would move to top spot in the group, other wise second place will remain their prize for a solid season.
Gortletteragh: Having set the pace for the majority of the group Gortletteragh will fancy their chances of securing top spot with another win. In reality anything better than a 6 point defeat to Annaduff will see them hold on to top spot in the group, a 7 or 8 point defeat would see them drop to second place behind Dromahair while a 9 point deficit tomorrow evening would see them finish in 3rd place in the group on scoring difference.
Annaduff: finally we finish on a relatively simple and straightforward situation. Anything but a victory for Annaduff sees them finish in 3rd place in the group. With three sides all on 6 points in that scenario scoring difference will come into play. A 9 point victory over Gortletteragh tomorrow will see them jump to second place, while an 11 point victory will see them finish on top of the pile.
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