Down closing in on return to Division One

Down's Mark Poland in action against Monaghan
Down's Mark Poland in action against Monaghan

Down have performed strongly in Division Two this season having been relegated last season, and a win over Meath on Saturday would leave them close to promotion ahead of their final round clash against Laois on Sunday week.

However, as attacker Mark Poland urged following the win over Donegal, James McCartan’s side need to take their chances when they come.

“It could be said that Meath and Laois are finding it difficult in the league, but these are teams that on any given day can beat any other side,” he said.

“It’s important that we take our chances.”

In Division One, Tyrone travel to Cork while Derry entertain Kildare on Sunday.

Both Cork and Tyrone are very much in the mix to reach the semi-finals of the League this year and their meeting in Cork on Sunday is likely to be crucial in determining how the top of the table shapes up.

Mickey Harte has made two changes to the Tyrone team, with Tiernan McCann replacing the injured Conor Clarke in defence, while the in-form Darren McCurry returns from U21 duty in place of Conan Grugan.

Conor Gormley and Justin McMahon return to the Red Hands’ squad for the first time in 2014 and are named among the subs.

Derry, meanwhile, are also closing in on a semi-final berth. A win over Kildare will almost certainly secure Derry’s place in the Division One semi-finals.

Derry manager Brian McIver is very wary of Kildare and their desperate need for points to stave off relegation.

“Kildare have lost to Tyrone and Kerry just recently and they will come to us feeling they have ground to make up,” said McIver.

“That will make them a dangerous animal and we have to be on our guard. Everyone must remain on their toes.”

Derry have very few injury concerns ahead of the game, with James Kielt and Emmet McGuckin among those back in contention after recent complaints. McIver will be looking for strong performances once again from Mark Lynch and Fergal Doherty, both of whom have been outstanding so far in the league.

Div 2: Meath v Down

Div 3: Cavan v Roscommon


Div 1: Cork v Tyrone, Derry v Kildare

Div 2: Donegal v Louth, Galway v Armagh, Monaghan v Laois

Div 3: Fermanagh v Wexford

Div 4: Antrim v London