After Antrim did Offaly a favour by beating Kerry in Tralee, the Faithful County looked after their end of the bargain by cutting through Wicklow with ease in the second half of their clash at Tullamore.
It was a very different story early on when Andy O’Brien led the way for Wicklow as they came from 0-3 to 0-1 behind to lead by 0-8 to 0-4. Thomas Geraghty’s goal edged Offaly in front by half time however and Michael Fennelly’s charges moved through the gears in the second half with Colm Gath, Peter Geraghty, and Jason Sampson raising green flags.
Eoghan Cahill ended the day with 0-17 for the winners, who now need to beat Antrim next Sunday in Tullamore to edge out Kerry for a league final place.
Mayo needed a 22-point win over Meath at Navan to avoid relegation and that was never going to happen, but going into stoppage time they did lead by 0-17 to 0-14. Heartbreak was to be their lot however as Jack Regan netted a penalty for the Royals and further points from Padraic O’Hanrahan (two) and Damien Healy sealed a win.
Two points each for Conor Woods and Oisín McManus in the closing stages of Down’s clash with Kildare at Leitrim mean that the Ulster county have locked down their place in this year’s Allianz League Division 2B final, with Kildare and Derry now set to face off in what is effectively a semi-final clash at Celtic Park next Sunday afternoon.
Brian Byrne, Jack Sheridan and James Burke were all on the mark as Kildare moved 0-8 to 0-4 ahead early on, but Down took control in the third quarter. A goal from Shea Ryan rocked them back on their heels before Woods and McManus pushed them over the line, 0-19 to 1-14.
Derry had Cormac O’Doherty to thank for their 0-16 to 0-10 win over Roscommon in dismal conditions at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan. O’Doherty shot 0-12, including nine frees and one sideline cut, with the best of his hurling done in the second half when Derry built on their 0-8 to 0-4 interval lead to move nine points clear.
Danny Magee’s late equaliser gave Armagh a place in this year’s Division 3A final, after he split the posts in the third minute of stoppage time at the Athletic Grounds to ensure it finished 3-16 to Tyrone’s 0-25. Magee also fired in two fires half goals, either side of a Dean Gaffney penalty, to keep Armagh in the hunt while Tyrone were very much on top.
Declan Coulter, Lee Henderson and Sam Doherty were all in good scoring form for Donegal as they secured the 0-19 to 0-13 win they needed against Longford at Longford Slashers GAA club, so they will meet Armagh in the final, while Monaghan struck two late goals to take the honours in the relegation showdown at Inniskeen Grattans, where they ran out 3-12 to 1-10 winners over Louth.
Meanwhile, in Division 3B, Sligo crushed Cavan by 4-20 to 3-10 in Cavan, while at Abbotstown, Colm Moreton and Gavin O’Hagan scored a couple of points each as Leitrim came from a draw game at the three-quarter mark to secure a 2-13 to 1-11 win over Lancashire.