This year’s Division Two of The Allianz National League is probably even more competitive than any of the other divisions. Before a ball was thrown in at least six out of the eight teams in the division would have fancied their chances of competing for promotion while the other two would have been fairly confident of securing enough points to avoid relegation.
As each round of the league has passed however, the situation and circumstances of each team seem also to have changed. Donegal for example are now the front runners for promotion following three very convincing wins away to Tyrone, Meath and Derry. However the week before they defeated Tyrone in Omagh several friends of mine from Donegal were bemoaning the team’s poor display against Sligo and were of the opinion that the only way they would leave Division Two was through relegation.
Derry and Tyrone have also seen their fortunes, and prospects, change dramatically over the past couple of weeks. Derry suffered two heavy defeats at home to Laois and Donegal and their league campaign seems to have lost its momentum. Tyrone on the other hand have bounced back from two opening defeats and have played some inspired football of late. Momentum, confidence, self belief and that sense of comradeship that comes with winning are all very much in evidence presently in the top teams.
I would doubt if there were too many people in Tyrone who expected their side to be pushing for promotion after the opening two games in this year’s league. However three wins in a row and a few favourable results and suddenly the landscape changes. Mickey Harte’s men have two very difficult games left at home to second placed side Kildare and away to Seamus Mc Eneaney’s Meath. Neither of the two matches will be easy but should Tyrone take four points from these fixtures and they could not only gain promotion, they might even win the league