Colm O’Rourke: Croke Park beckons for Cavan in my 6/1 GAA fourfold

The round robin phase of the league towards a finish and the GAA great gives us his tips

With just one Leitrim Junior D medal between the lot of us, we felt we needed someone who knows GAA better. So we rung up Colm O'Rourke

We only know two things for certain in the Allianz League Division One. Dublin are in the semi finals and Down have been relegated.  Apart from that, there’s a load at stake in the final round of games in all divisions. I’ve put together a treble of Antrim, Kerry, Meath and Cavan all to win on Sunday which will come up at odds of 6/1.


Monaghan vs Donegal – 2pm Sunday in Castleblayney

Monaghan must beat Donegal or they are almost certain to be relegated. It’s a bit strange in the league, if two teams finish on the same points then it’s head to head which decides who goes down/up. But if three or more teams finish level, then it goes to score difference.

Donegal technically aren’t safe yet either and will be brought into the scrap should they lose, Mayo win and Cork avoid defeat.

These three have split the  last three Ulster Championships between them and we could well see a rehearsal for the Championship meeting between them in the summer. But Monaghan’s form has dropped alarmingly. Back Donegal to win at

Roscommon vs Dublin – 2pm Sunday in Dr Hyde Park

Roscommon have been really impressive in this league campaign but it’ll mean nothing unless they repeat their form in the summer. Conditions in Dr Hyde Park for their key game against Mayo were brutal and it cost them.

Dublin are guaranteed to top the table as they continue their dominance of Gaelic football. No matter what team they put out anymore they seem to be able to get a win. Under pressure last week against Donegal and without half of their main team, they still won comfortably. Expect them to do it again on Sunday. Dublin win at

Mayo vs Down – 2pm Sunday in McHale Park

They look happy in that picture, but Mayo fans should be concerned at the way this league has gone. We’re never certain how seriously the bigger teams take it, but four defeats from six is not good for any side regardless of quality.

Down are Down but will attempt to drag the Connaught champions with them. But they’re not going to do so. They just have not shown enough to convince me any different and will peter out of a poor start to the season with a whimper. Mayo win at

Kerry vs Cork – 2pm Sunday in Austin Stack Park

Cork have given the Kingdom a pasting in the last two league meetings, and aren’t safe from relegation yet. Nor are Kerry confirmed for the semi finals despite having 8 points. Another pasting and Kerry could well be taking a longer break than expected before the Munster Championship. A draw or better though and they’re confirmed in the last four.

Cork have recovered slightly under Peader Healy and will always be a danger for whoever meets them in June. But their form has been dipping, and Kerry’s is the opposite. David Moran is back for them and he is key to a home win. My banker for the week is a Kerry win at


Division 2

The situation is a little clearer in Division 2. Tyrone are unbeaten and will be promoted as table toppers. Cavan play Galway in a straight shootout to see who will join them in Division 1 in 2017. The losers of Meath and Laois will be relegated to Division 3. A win for Armagh over Derry should be enough to ensure safety, although Fermanagh aren’t safe yet either.

Laois vs Meath – 2pm Sunday in O’Moore Park

As I mentioned, it’s loser goes down. There is a permutation where the winner could get relegated as well. These sides drew last year, a result which this campaign could send both back to Division 3. But I still think my home county are more attractive. They were brilliant in the draw up in Derry last week and could’ve won the game had it not been for a late equalizer in injury time. If they repeat half of that performance, they’ll win to survive. Meath win at

Cavan vs Galway – 2pm Sunday in Breffni Park

At the opposite end of the table, a place in Division One in 2017 and a Croke Park meeting with Tyrone awaits the winner of Cavan and Galway. Cavan went to Salthill and beat Galway by two points last season.

If the Tribesmen can get revenge, they’ll be back in the top tier for the first time since. But Cavan only need a draw and have won the last four games. They’ve showed real grit particularly in Navan when they scored 1-15 in the second half. Cavan win at

Armagh vs Derry – 2pm Sunday in The Athletic Grounds

Neither team are mathematically safe but it’s by far the home side who need the two points more. Defeat and they’re down but anything better could bring Fermanagh into the fight. Victories for Fermanagh, Meath and Armagh would cause Derry some worry as they could then go down on score difference. They were slack in the game against Meath last week, and can’t afford to be on Sunday either. This one is too close for me to call.

Fermanagh vs Tyrone – 2pm Sunday in Brewster Park

I really like the look of Fermanagh but not for this game. They should come good in the summer after their impressive performance in the All Ireland series last year. But we know that Tyrone are up as division winners and will want to preserve their unbeaten record. Tyrone win at

What do you think?