THE PENULTIMATE ROUND of games in the National Hurling League has cleared up a lot of the outstanding questions about the promotion and relegation races in the top divisions.
Our finest statisticians are all away this week, but we’ve had a stab at the different permutations anyway. Here goes…
Semi-finals: Four teams are still vying for Division 1A’s three semi-final places, but unless Galway can beat Kilkenny, it will be the Cats, Cork and Tipperary who fill the spots.
The winner of Cork v Tipperary knows that they are guaranteed to go through, but a win for Galway opens up the battle for the other two spots, depending on how many points they win by.
Relegation: Despite getting a late draw against Tipperary on Saturday, Dublin are definitely in the relegation play-off. Waterford are their most likely opponents, although they can guarantee survival at Galway’s expense if they beat Dublin on the final weekend and Galway lose to Kilkenny.
Promotion: Clare are definitely in the Division 1B final with Offaly, Limerick and Antrim still in the running to join them. Offaly play Clare on the final weekend knowing that a win should be good enough to see them through, barring a massive swing in points difference.
Relegation: Wexford (2pts) and Laois (0pts) will meet in the relegation play-off.
Promotion: Nice and easy here — Carlow and Westmeath will play-off for promotion in the Division 2A final.
Relegation: Down know that they will definitely be in the relegation play-off. They play Wicklow, unless the Garden County can beat Carlow in their final game; if they manage that, Derry could still drop into the bottom two. Kerry are safe.
Promotion: Kildare have already booked their place in the Division 2B final where they will play either Meath (5pts), London or Armagh (both 4pts).
Relegation: There is no relegation from Division 2B or promotion from Division 3A, so no difficult sums to work out.