Offaly safe from danger as Derry come to town

Offaly’s place in Division 3 of the Allianz Football League is secure as they prepare to face Derry in the final round on Sunday at Bord na Móna Park, Tullamore (2pm).

As always when teams are close on points towards the end of the league, the permutations involved are complicated. But the fact that Leitrim gave Down a walkover, in their game which was scheduled to take place in Newry last Saturday, is a further complicating factor.

If there are walkovers involved in a league campaign, the head-to-head result is still the first determining factor when two teams are level on points. But if more than two teams are involved, only the results from the games involving those teams are taken into consideration in deciding score difference. This is a consequence of a motion passed at the 2020 GAA Congress.

To have any change of staying up, Leitrim need to defeat Tipperary in Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday. If Leitrim beat Tipp and Offaly lose to Derry, three teams would finish level on five points.

But no matter what margin of victory Leitrim may achieve against Tipperary, Offaly’s scoring difference (from the games involving the three teams) cannoy end up being the worst of three. Louth have no points from their six games and are already relegated.

Offaly defeated Leitrim (2-16 to 0-14) earlier in the campaign while John Maughan’s charges lost to Tipperary by 1-16 to 0-16 in Thurles on Sunday last.

So with Offaly safe from the threat of relegation, Sunday’s game against Derry will serve as useful preparation for the Leinster championship opener against Carlow on Sunday, November 1.

Provided below are both the Offaly and Derry teams for Sunday's game, which will take place behind closed doors due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Longford have informed the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) that they won’t be fulfilling their Division 3 fixture with Cork this weekend. Cork have already secured promotion and Longford are safe from relegation on seven points, so there is nothing tangible at stake in this game.

Offaly team v Derry

1. Paddy Dunican (Shamrocks)

2. Declan Hogan (Tullamore)

3. Eoin Rigney (Rhode)

4. Niall Darby (Rhode, captain)

5. Eoin Carroll (Cappincur)

6. Johnny Moloney (Tullamore)

7. Joseph O'Connor (St Rynagh's)

8. Aaron Leavy (Tullamore)

9. Jordan Hayes (Edenderry)

10. Shane Horan (Kilmacud Crokes)

11. Ruairí McNamee (Rhode)

12. Cathal Mangan (Kilclonfert)

13. Cian Farrell (Edenderry)

14. Peter Cunningham (Bracknagh)

15. Bernard Allen (Tubber)

Derry team v Offaly

1. Odhrán Lynch

2. Paul McNeill

3. Brendan Rogers

4. Conor McCluskey

5. Ethan Doherty

6. Christopher McKaigue

7. Padraig McGrogan

8. Ciaran McFaul

9. Conor Glass

10. Danny Tallon

11. Enda Lynn

12. Padraig Cassidy

13. Paul Cassidy

14. Shane McGuigan

15. Niall McLoughlin