Dunloy, Ballymena

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Approaching the Business End of the Derry ACFL

With just a few rounds to go the pace-setters in the Derry ACFL are bracing themselves for a late push from the chasing pack in all divisions. The action continues this weekend.

In Division 1A the battles begin on Saturday afternoon. As with last week, Slaughtneil can move top of the pile with a win over Ballinderry at Shamrock Park. The hosts have been in determined mood recently and find themselves sitting in 4th place with three games remaining.

Should Emmet’s take the points they will go ahead of their neighbours Watty Graham’s, who will travel to Dungiven on Sunday to face a St Canice’s side scrambling for points at the foot of the table and looking over their shoulder at an improving Banagher. A Glen win would ensure they remain top after the weekend.

St Mary’s themselves will face a home tie against the Loup as they look to reel the Loughshore men into the relegation battle while Lavey and Ballinascreen lock horns in what looks to be a six-team battle for 4th place.

County champions Eoghan Rua will welcome Bellaghy to Portstewart as they too battle among the chasing pack.

Steelstown and Drumsurn get the weekend’s Division 1B action underway on Friday night as they meet in Drumsurn. The hosts can go 4th with a win, at least temporarily.

The team that St Matthew’s can displace with a win, Foreglen, will have the chance to regain their position on Sunday when they travel to meet Castledawson, who themselves will be looking to climb into the top half of the table.

Newbridge moved top with a win over Glenullin on Wednesday evening, but Claudy will have a chance to restore their position at the summit as they take on Ballymaguigan on the same afternoon while 3rd placed Greenlough can move within a point of that coveted 2nd position with a win at home to Kilrea.

At the bottom, there is a huge encounter between Na Cúnna and Faughanvale in Limavady. A win for the hosts would see them draw level on points with Glenullin and sit just one behind St Mary’s as all three battle furiously against relegation to Division 2.

Despite the ongoing Junior Football Championship, one game does go ahead this Sunday in Division 2. Doire Trasna will host St Michael’s Lissan knowing that a win would send them top of the league with only one game remaining.

The win would also guarantee the club promotion as Desertmartin in 3rd would no longer be in a position to catch either of the top two. Promotion is already assured for Slaughtmanus, but a Doire Trasna win would rack up the tension for the final fixtures.

St Mary’s face a home tie with Moneymore while Doire Trasna face the arguably trickier tie at home to Ballerin. Either way, if the city men win on Sunday they’ll know that their title ambitions are in their own hands.