Laois move up to Division Two courtesy of their 1-15 to 1-12 victory over Carlow at O’Moore Park.
While the result guarantees the O’Moore County a top-two finish and a place in the Division Three final as well as back-to-back promotions, defeat for Carlow relegates them back to the bottom tier on the head-to-head rule.
They finish level with Offaly on five points (Sligo coming bottom with none) but go down because they lost to the Faithful County in Round Four at Tullamore.
Donie Kingston netted for Laois in the first half this afternoon and Evan O’Carroll slotted eight points, the Barrowsiders having enjoyed a dream start when corner back Conor Lawlor palmed to the net in the fifth minute.
Meanwhile, Louth and Westmeath also both won today, which means their Round Six meeting which was postponed last weekend is now going to be a straight shoot-out for the second promotion spot. A draw will be enough for the Lake County.
That rearranged clash is scheduled for Drogheda next Saturday at 2pm, with the Division Three final against Laois to take place at Croke Park over the first weekend of April, the club-only month.
Louth's James Craven has Down's Caolan Mooney for company.
The Wee County kept their hopes alive and knocked Down out of the promotion race in the process when inflicting a 0-10 to 1-6 defeat on the Mourne County at Newry, Declan Byrne knocking over what proved to be the winning point at the three-quarters stage.
The Wee County made a decisive burst with eight unanswered points either side of the break, full forward Sam Mulroy bagging half their tally, all five of his points coming from frees during that purple patch, with midfielders James Califf (2) and Tommy Durnin also registering.
At Mullingar, meanwhile, Ronan O’Toole netted in the eighth minute as Westmeath moved up to third with a 1-14 to 1-10 victory over neighbours Longford. The Lake County led by 1-6 to 0-7 at the break but Michael Quinn’s goal offered Longford a lifeline and they led by 1-9 to 1-8 after 48 minutes.
O’Toole, John Heslin and Ger Egan (4) got Jack Cooney’s charges over the line as they set up next weekend’s winner-takes-all tussle with Louth, the losers’ Donal McElligott red-carded in injury time.
In one of the most dramatic finishes of the day, substitute Mark Abbot fisted a massive last-ditch winner for Offaly as they edged out already-relegated Sligo by 1-11 to 1-10 at blustery Connolly Park – a win which sees the Faithful County retain their third-flight status by the skin of their teeth.
Sligo, who finish the campaign pointless, had key man Niall Murphy sent off for a second yellow card offence 20 minutes from the end. They led by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break and looked set for a share of the spoils until Abbott's telling intervention with Gerard O'Kelly-Lynch their goalscorer after Niall McNamee (1-6) had netted for the visitors early in the second half.
Laois - G Brody; S Attride (0-1), M Timmons, D Booth; T Collins, R Pigott, G Dillon; K Meaney, K Lillis (0-1); E Lowry (0-1), C Boyle (0-1), M Scully; E O’Carroll (0-8, 6f), P Cahillane (0-2f), D Kingston (1-0). Subs: B Quigley for K Meaney, R Munnelly (0-1f) for E Lowry, S O’Flynn for D Booth, C Murphy for D Kingston, P O’Sullivan for E O’Carroll.
Carlow - R Sansom; Chris Crowley, S Redmond, C Lawlor (1-0); B Kavanagh, E Ruth (0-1), C Moran; B Murphy, S Murphy; J Morrissey (0-1), S Gannon, D O’Brien; P Broderick (0-6, 5f), D Foley (0-3, 2f), D St Ledger. Subs: Conor Crowley (0-1) for D O’Brien, J Murphy for C Moran, S Clarke for B Kavanagh.
Referee - M McNally.
Louth - F Sheeky; F Donohue (0-1), E Carolan, J Craven; A Williams, B Duffy, J Clutterbuck; T Durnin (0-1), J Califf (0-2); C Brannigan, C Downey, J McEneaney; A McDonnell, S Mulroy (0-5f), D Byrne (0-1). Subs: D Maguire for J Clutterback, E Duffy for C Brannigan, C Early for J Califf, C McKeever for A McDonnell, R Burns for J McEneaney.
Down - R Burns; R McAleenan, R Wells, K McKernan; D O'Hagan (1-1), C Flanagan, P Laverty; C Mooney (0-1), J Flynn; D Guinness, C Poland (0-1), R Johnston (0-1); B O'Hagan, D O'Hare, J Johnston. Subs: P Devlin (0-1) for C Flanagan, C Quinn for J Johnston, D McKibbin for P Laverty, B McArdle for R Wells, C Harrison (0-1) for B O'Hagan.
Referee - J Hickey.
Westmeath - E Carberry; K Daly, R Wallace, B Sayeh; K Maguire, F Boyle, J Dolan; S Duncan, D Corroon; J Gonoud, J Heslin (0-3), J Smith; R O’Toole (1-2), K Martin, G Egan (0-9, 7f). Subs: N Mulligan for J Gonoud, T McDaniel for J Smith, N O’Reilly for K Daly.
Longford - P Collum (0-1f); P Fox, A Farrell, B O’Farrell; B McKeon, D McElligott (0-1f), D Quinn (0-1); D Gallagher (0-2f), M Quinn (1-0); P Lynn (0-1), J McGivney, D Mimnagh (0-3); D Doherty (0-1), C Berry, L Connerton. Subs: J Hagan for D Doherty, N Rabbitt for L Connerton, I O’Sullivan for P Lynn.
Referee - S Lonergan.
Offaly - P Dunican (0-1f); D Hogan, E Rigney, D Dempsey; C Donohoe, J Moloney, P McConway; E Carroll, C Mangan; N McNamee (1-6, 0-3f), P Cunningham (0-1), N Darby; B Allen (0-1), A Sullivan, R McNamee (0-1). Subs: S Tierney for R McNamee, M Abbott (0-1) for N Darby.
Sligo - E Kilgannon; P McNamara, P Laffey, E McHugh; D Cummins (0-2), A McIntyre, M Gordon; P O’Connor, G O’Kelly Lynch (1-2); N Ewing, N Murphy (0-3, 1f), K McKenna; S Carrabine (0-1), P Hughes (0-1), A Marren (0-1f). Subs: L Gaughan for E McHugh, L Gilmartin for K McKenna.
Referee - E O’Grady.Tweet