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Four Ulster counties will play in National League Division One next season

Four Ulster teams will play their football in National League Division One next year.

Sunday's one-point win for Monaghan secured their place in the Division Two final, when they will meet Donegal on April 27 in Croke Park, a repeat of last year's Ulster final, when the Oriel county upset the odds and dethroned the then-reigning Ulster and All-Ireland champions.

Tyrone's failure to get a point from Dublin leaves them in fifth place in Division One, and while Derry's shadow side may have lost to Mayo, it is a prelude to another meeting between the two next Sunday in the league semi-final in Croke Park.

Westmeath and Kildare knew they were dropping out of the top flight before the final round of fixtures but Kildare won yesterday's encounter and one of their finest-ever players, Johnny Doyle, announced his retirement after the game.

Armagh manager Paul Grimley said last week he wished to bear the responsibility of their relegation should it happen, and that scenario unfolded before him yesterday. They could not get a result in their home game against already-promoted Donegal and, meanwhile, Laois defeated Down.

That left Armagh level on five points with Galway and, by virtue of the Tribesmen's win over Armagh last week in Tuam, Grimley's side are looking at Division Three football next year.

There will be speculation about Grimley, given that he said last week, "I'm not sure what way it would be viewed in relation to my position within the county but I'm sure, and I know, that I would want to be held accountable for that. If we go down to Division Three, it will cost me my job."

Aidan O'Rourke's Louth also fall through the Division Three trap door.

Cavan were promoted with two games to spare and now faceRoscommon in the Division Three final, with Longford relegated for the second successive season, going to Division Four with Offaly.

Tipperary and Clare will come up from Division Four.

Belfast Telegraph


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