Fermanagh face Cavan in derby as battle to avoid drop to tier two continues

Cavan boss Mickey Graham celebrates with Padraig Faulkner after last weekend's win in Laois
Mickey Graham's Cavan side earned an impressive and surprise win in Laois last weekend
Allianz Football League coverage
Dates: Saturday and Sunday, 22-23 February Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Ulster MW, BBC Sport website, app and BBC Sounds Saturday from 18:45 GMT and Sunday 13:30

Another week of Football League action sees the almighty battle to avoid the dreaded drop to tier two continuing in Divisions Two and Three.

Saturday evening sees a huge Division Two derby as Fermanagh face a seemingly rejuvenated Cavan at Enniskillen.

After being nailed on favourites for relegation, Cavan instead find themselves in a promotion spot after wins over Westmeath in Laois.

Fermanagh are on two points but only two points separate all eight teams.

So the importance of the Brewster Park contest cannot really be overstated.

Fermanagh manager Ryan McMenamin
Another defeat would leave Ryan McMenamin's Fermanagh side in a degree of trouble

Fermanagh slipped up in Westmeath

After being narrowly beaten in their opener at Newbridge, Fermanagh earned a stirring comeback home win over Roscommon only to slip to a hugely disappointing 0-10 to 0-8 defeat against Westmeath - another team that had been tipped as likely relegation candidates.

Another reverse will leave Ryan McMenamin's Erne side in a degree of trouble and would leave Cavan on the brink of safety in terms of avoiding the drop to tier two - in addition to putting them in position to make an immediate return to Division One.

Like Cavan, Armagh will also have the opportunity to move away from the tier-two debate when they face Westmeath in Mulligar on Sunday.

Kieran McGeeney's side regrouped from a dismal display against Laois to produce a dominant display against Kildare at the Athletic Grounds.

Armagh's inconsistency must be a concern to the boss but his side will go into Sunday's game as favourites even though Westmeath are also on four points after winning two of their three games.

Division Three action just as important

The action is just as important in Division Three as Down are Derry both face crucial games.

Down's hopes of staying in contention for tier one status almost certainly rest on avoiding defeat against second-placed Longford at Newry on Saturday evening.

Longford go into the contest on five points - one behind pacesetters Cork who are living up to their status as promotion favourites following three openings wins including their success over Down last time out.

A Down home defeat would drop them four points behind Longford - and possibly five adrift of Cork if the Rebels win in Tipperary on Saturday night - thus leaving the Mourne County's hopes of tier-one status hanging by a thread.

Like Down, Derry are on three points from their opening three after a 0-10 to 0-6 home win over Tipperary last time out kept alive their promotion hopes.

Derry manager Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher's Derry side will be expected to account for Louth

Derry host Louth at Owenbeg

Rory Gallagher's Oak Leafers have another home contest as they face bottom-placed Louth although the venue moves from Celtic Park to Owenbeg.

Derry should be good enough go chisel out a victory against a Louth side who have lost their opening three games.

In Division Four, Antrim will aim to maintain their promotion hopes by earning victory over Carlow in Glenavy.

The Saffrons go into the game on four points - two behind leaders Limerick - with Wicklow, Sligo and Wexford also on four points after three rounds.

After beating Paul Galvin's Wexford 3-10 to 0-13 in their opener, Antrim were edged out by a point in Sligo before regrouping to defeat London by four points in Ruislip.

Despite Michael McCann's return to the Saffrons squad, he has not been named in Lenny Harbinson's starting line-up.

Carlow beat Wicklow 0-11 to 0-9 in their opening but were beaten 2-10 to 1-6 by Wexford in their second game before suffering a frustrating one-point home defeat by leaders Limerick last time out.

Cavan (v Fermanagh): R Galligan; P Meade, P Faulkner, K Brady; G Smith, C Brady, O Kiernan; T Galligan, C Conroy; E Doughty, G McKiernan, M Reilly; O Pierson, J Smith, B Magee. Subs: L Brady, L Fortune, P Gilcreest, S Murray, R Connolly, L Buchanan, B Kelly, C Madden, S Smith, S Cadden, P Graham.

Down (v Longford): R Burns; P Fegan, P Murdock, R McAleenan; G Collins, D O'Hagan, B McArdle; J Flynn, C Poland; B O'Hagan, C Doherty, L Kerr; D O'Hare, O McCabe, C Quinn.

Antrim (v Carlow): A Hasson; P Gallagher, R Johnston, M Gardiner; D Lynch, J McAuley, P Healy; C Duffin, M Jordan; D McAleese, P McBride, N Delargy; P Cunningham, R McCann, C Murray.


Saturday - 19:00 GMT unless stated

Division One
DublinvDonegalCroke Park
Division Two
FermanaghvCavanBrewster Park
Division Three
DownvLongfordPairc Esler
Division Four
SligovWaterfordMarkievicz Park, 14:00

Sunday - 14:00 unless stated

Division One
KerryvMeathKillarney, 13:00
Division Two
Division Three
Division Four
WexfordvLondonWexford Park, 12:00
AntrimvCarlowGlenavy, 14:30

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