Football rankings: Donegal and Roscommon continue to rise

June 21, 2019

The Sam Maguire Cup. ©INPHO/Donall Farmer.

Here is the latest instalment of our football rankings.

1. DUBLIN (up 1)

During a month where most of their main challengers appear to have gone backwards, the five-in-a-row seeking Dubs ease back to the top of the pile. Have sauntered through to the Leinster final and should collect the Delaney Cup for a ninth successive season on Sunday.

2. DONEGAL (up 3)

Proved far too strong for Tyrone in their much-anticipated Ulster semi-final clash last Saturday week and, with Michael Murphy in magnificent form, currently look like the side best equipped to test Dublin later in the year.

3. ROSCOMMON (up 4)

Marshalled by Anthony Cunningham, the Rossies enjoyed wonderful victories away from home against Mayo and Galway to capture their second Connacht SFC in three years and are the only side guaranteed a place in the Super 8s at the time of writing.

4. KERRY (down 1)

The Kingdom’s sole outing in this year’s championship to date saw them hobble past Clare but they’ll surely improve as the season goes on and will be in the thick of things come the All-Ireland series.

5. CAVAN (up 4)

Excellent victories over Monaghan and Armagh mean the Breffni County will contest their first Ulster final in 18 years on Sunday. They’re playing brilliant football and can grow more and more into this year’s championship.

6. MAYO (down 5)

The league winners are taking the scenic route again after suffering a sobering Connacht semi-final defeat to Roscommon in Castlebar. That display means their prospects as prospective All-Ireland champions need to be seriously reappraised.

7. TYRONE (down 3)

The Red Hands looked surprisingly flat and clueless against Donegal. It was a worrying display and result but they do seem to have a knack of reinvigorating themselves via the Qualifiers.

8. MEATH (up 2)

Nobody is giving the Royals a chance against Dublin in Sunday’s Leinster final but they’ve improved steadily over the course of their three outings to date this summer and – regardless of what transpires at Croke Park this weekend – have a great opportunity of lining out in the Super 8s.

9. CORK (up 10)

While it’s pointless getting carried away by a victory over Limerick, the Rebels did deliver a stirring performance in their Munster semi-final success. After a miserable year prior to then, they’re suddenly going into Saturday night’s provincial final showdown with Kerry with a bit of a spring in their step.

10. KILDARE (up 6)

After seeing off Wicklow and Longford, the Lilywhites were well beaten by Dublin – as most teams are. Cian O’Neill’s charges are notoriously unpredictable but might go on a Qualifier run.

11. GALWAY (down 6)

Looked like a junior ‘B’ team in the second half of the Connacht final and have a lot of soul searching to do ahead of their Round Four Qualifier, where the Tribesmen will be hoping for a favourable draw to extend their summer.

12. ARMAGH (no change)

Missed out on the Ulster final when losing to Cavan after a replay but the Orchard County have shown real flashes of quality in their three championship outings so far and have the ammunition to trouble Monaghan this weekend.

13. MONAGHAN (down 5)

Have failed to recapture the highs of 2018 and look like a team very low on confidence at present. The Farney County’s displays against Cavan and Fermanagh were decidedly poor and it’s hard to see where an improvement might come from.

14. LAOIS (down 1)

Battled thorough to the last four in Leinster but didn’t have enough for Meath and now face a struggle to breath new life into their year.

15. DOWN (up 5)

Since being lucklessly edged out by Armagh, the Mourne County ended Tipperary’s season but they have drawn the short straw in the second round of the Qualifiers and will need something special to overcome Mayo in Newry.

16. LONGFORD (up 6)

Considering that they are in the midst of an injury crisis, the midlanders have acquitted themselves extremely well to date this summer, almost beating Kildare and easing past Carlow to set up a massive home Qualifier against Tyrone.

17. DERRY (no change)

Home advantage gives the Oak Leaf County a realistic chance of advancing beyond Laois. Proved way too good for Wexford but can’t look beyond this weekend.

18. FERMANAGH (down 4)

Two outings in the championship and defeat was Fermanagh’s lot on both occasions, albeit against sides that most teams would struggle to make an impression against.

19. WESTMEATH (down 8)

The Lake County fluffed their lines against Laois but, after another favourable draw, have a straightforward second-round Qualifier against Limerick to look forward to and could rebuild momentum.

20. CLARE (down 2)

Reasonable display against Kerry, even though they never looked like winning. Facing an interesting test in Carrick-on-Shannon this weekend.

21. ANTRIM (up 9)

The Saffrons announced their arrival into the summer season with a brilliant victory away to Louth in the first round of the Qualifiers. Kildare at Corrigan Park could be a step too far, however.

22. OFFALY (down 1)

Having pushed Meath all the way, the Faithfuls got the job done against London to take their place in the second round of the back-door series.

23. SLIGO (up 6)

Didn’t come close against Galway but the Yeats men are still in the championship.

24. LEITRIM (no change)

Terry Hyland’s charges are still standing following victory over Wicklow and will have a rousing reception for Clare on Sunday.

25. LIMERICK (down 2)

Failed to raise a gallop against Cork and their season looks set to end in Mullingar this weekend. But that victory over Tipperary will live long in the memory.

26. TIPPERARY (no change)

Tried valiantly to rebound from their shock defeat to Limerick but were pipped to the post by Down in Newry.

27. LOUTH (down 12)

The hammering at the hands of Dublin left the Wee County demoralised and they were bitterly disappointing as they crashed out of the championship at home to Antrim.

28. WICKLOW (down 1)

Pushed Leitrim all the way but the Garden County’s year ended in Carrick-on-Shannon.

29. CARLOW (down 4)

There were mitigating circumstances of course but in many ways the ten-point home defeat to Longford was a fitting end to Carlow’s year to forget.

30. LONDON (up 2)

It’s all over for the Exiles but they were impressive against Galway and scored 1-11 in Tullamore.

31. WATERFORD (down 3)

Were no match for Westmeath but did test Clare prior to that.

32. WEXFORD (no change)

The home defeat to Derry in the first round of the Qualifiers was not what the doctor ordered.

33. NEW YORK (no change)

Didn’t get an opportunity to redeem themselves in the Qualifiers.

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