Football rankings: Mayo move to the summit
Limerick climb eight places
See the latest football rankings:
1. MAYO (up 2)
The westerners won the national football league since we last put a list together and look like they are going to take serious stopping this summer. They couldn’t have done much more than what’s been asked of them so far in 2019 and deserve to be rated top guns at present.
2. DUBLIN (down 1)
All Dublin’s focus this year is on the championship and their bid to win a fifth successive All-Ireland title. Thus, they showed indifferent form during the league. Even though Jim Gavin’s charges are clearly the team to beat in the race for the Sam Maguire Cup, the fact that they have been inactive since March means it would be somewhat peculiar to rank them first.
3. KERRY (down 1)
Peter Keane’s new-look charges were highly impressive during the league, winning six of their seven Division One games and losing only to Mayo during the Spring campaign. They’ll ease through the Munster championship to take their place in the Super 8s, but will they have the measure of either Dublin or Mayo in Croke Park when it really matters?
4. TYRONE (no change)
It was no major surprise to see the Red Hands battle past neighbours Derry in the preliminary round of the
Ulster SFC. Cathal McShane’s presence close to the square has given Mickey Harte’s men another dimension
and the beaten 2018 All-Ireland finalists look sure to be in the shake-up for major honours again this year.
5. DONEGAL (up 1)
Captured the Division Two title with an excellent comeback against Meath at Croke Park and are due to open their Ulster defence against Fermanagh this weekend. The absence of Odhran MacNiallais is a huge blow to Donegal’s chances of challenging for the All-Ireland, but Declan Bonner’s team should not be dismissed lightly. Their impending showdown with Tyrone – should it come to pass – will be an interesting pointer.
6. GALWAY (down 1)
Made a stuttering start to their Connacht SFC campaign in Ruislip, where London rather amazingly matched the Tribesmen for long spells. But Galway can only improve and will dispatch Sligo on Sunday to reach yet another provincial decider. After that, who knows? On their day, they can match most teams.
7. ROSCOMMON (up 2)
While relegation to Division Two represented a big disappointment for the Rossies, it has to be remembered that they were crippled by injury throughout the league. Really caught the eye with their demolition of a confident Leitrim combination last weekend. Taking on Mayo is a tall order but Anthony Cunningham’s men will be optimistic about their prospects for the summer as a whole.
8. MONAGHAN (down 1)
Haven’t played since March but, crucially, lost the inspirational Darren Hughes to injury during the club-only month. Saturday’s trip to Breffni Park has potential banana skin written all over it. Will be in Division One again next year but Monaghan’s summer could go either way.
9. CAVAN (up 1)
Cavan move up one place without playing, partly due to the fact that they appear to be in fine fettle going into this weekend’s home Ulster SFC quarter-final meeting with Monaghan – choosing from a full deck – and partly due to Meath’s poor performance against Offaly.
10. MEATH (down 2)
After they gained promotion to Division One of the league, the signs looked encouraging for the Royal County. It was largely expected that Andy McEntee’s men would ease past Offaly and Carlow into the last four in Leinster. But, judging by the below-par display in squeezing past the Faithful County on Sunday, the talk of a Dublin-Meath Leinster final may have been premature.
11. WESTMEATH (up 3)
With the O’Byrne Cup and Division Three titles secured, Westmeath have so far done everything that’s been asked of them under Jack Cooney. Stunned Laois in the league final, but can they see off the O’Moore County again in Leinster? The Lake County would then probably have to face Meath – and they’d relish that.
12 ARMAGH (down 1)
Can the Orchard County finally deliver a decent Ulster SFC performance under Kieran McGeeney? We’ll find out on Sunday when they take on Down at Newry.
13. LAOIS (up 3)
The midlanders have been moving in the right direction under John Sugrue and we’re bumping them up three places as the championship looms.
14. FERMANAGH (down 2)
The Ernemen have established themselves as a Division Two side but, for all their defensive solidity and tactical nous, they could struggle this summer due to a lack of dynamic attacking options (not that many other teams don’t have the same problem, mind you!).
15. LOUTH (up 3)
After the disappointment of being pipped to promotion to Division Two, the Wee County regrouped to record an excellent Leinster championship victory over Wexford, finishing last weekend’s game with considerable swagger. Their reward is a trek to Portlaoise to play Dublin.
16. KILDARE (down 3)
Got the better of Wicklow to set up a Leinster quarter-final date with Longford, but the Lilywhites were pushed all the way by a Division Four team and will have to improve dramatically going forward.
17. DERRY (up 5)
Even though they played in Division Four this year and are heading for the Qualifiers, Derry could still have a very good summer. Came through the league with a 100% record and led Tyrone in Omagh on Sunday with less than ten minutes remaining. Will be a tough nut to crack.
18. CLARE (down 3)
Failing to impress, the Banner County fell over the line against Waterford but will still advance to the third round of the Qualifiers following their Munster SFC semi-final against Kerry.
19. CORK (no change)
Limerick’s shock victory over Tipperary means that it’s the Treaty County who now stand in the way as Cork bid to reach the Munster final. The Rebel County would then have two shots at qualifying for the Super 8s.
20. DOWN (no change)
The Mourne County host neighbours Armagh in a crunch Ulster SFC quarter-final on Sunday and will shoot up the rankings if they win that.
21. OFFALY (up three)
Having only narrowly retained their Division Three status, John Maughan’s men produced a spirited display in their Leinster opener against Meath at Navan last weekend and were decidedly unlucky not to advance.
22. LONGFORD (down one)
The midlanders haven’t kicked a ball competitively since March but they will be very confident of eliminating Kildare from the Leinster championship.
23. LIMERICK (up 8)
Stunning victory over Tipperary in the Munster SFC to advance to a semi-final against Cork. Billy Lee’s men are the biggest movers, having made a mockery of their league standing with an exceptional championship display.
24. LEITRIM (down 1)
It looks like promotion to Division Three could be the only success Leitrim are going to enjoy this summer. Their championship defeat to Roscommon was disheartening and Terry Hyland has a job on his hands to get his team re-motivated for the back door.
25. CARLOW (no change)
Could well find themselves on the receiving end of a Meath backlash on Saturday week. The suspensions saga surrounding midfielder Brendan Murphy, manager Turlough O’Brien and coach Steven Poacher can surely only be detrimental to their prospects.
26. TIPPERARY (down 9)
One minute Tipperary were being talked up as potential Munster SFC finalists, next thing they were Qualifier-bound after suffering a shock loss to Limerick.
27: WICKLOW (up 3)
As they head for the back door, the Garden County can hold their heads high following a battling effort against Kildare.
28. WATERFORD (up 1)
Came within a point of Clare in a tense Munster SFC quarter-final that could have gone either way.
29. SLIGO (down 3)
It’s hard to make a case for the Yeats County against Galway this weekend, or indeed in the championship beyond that.
30. ANTRIM (down 3)
Facing Tyrone in your first championship outing is the stuff of nightmares, especially after the Red Hands have already had the benefit of an outing to shake off the April cobwebs.
31. WEXFORD (down 3)
The Model County were in a winning position going up the home straight against Louth but ran out of steam.
32. LONDON (no change)
The Exiles weren’t a million miles away from shocking Galway in the opening round of the Connacht SFC, but defeat was still their lot.
33. NEW YORK (no change)
Didn’t play in the league and suffered a landslide championship defeat to Mayo at Gaelic Park.