Derry and Offaly WILL meet in Division Three final in Croke Park

Derry will meet Offaly in Croke Park next Saturday in the Division Three League final, the only football league final likely to take place in 2021.

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 4:21 pm

The 'Journal' understands positive talks took place following Offaly's semi-final defeat of Fermanagh on Saturday night, a result preceded by Derry s victory over Limerick in Carrick-on-Shannon.

With the Faithful County scheduled to meet Louth in their Leinster Championship opener on Sunday, June 27th, and Croke Park having decreed that every county would have at least two weeks to prepare for championship, it was believed the final would not take place. However, following their 1-14 to 0-12 victory over the Erne County, Offaly indicated they wished to play the final and Derry agreed.

Speaking after watching his team secure promotion on Saturday, Derry managers Rory Gallagher had said he may use any potential final to rotate his squad and get minutes into player who have not featured as much as he would have liked ahead of their own Ulster Championship date with Donegal or Down on July 11th.

Benny Heron scores a superb point during the first half of Saturday's Division Three semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. (Photo: Stefan Hoare)
Benny Heron scores a superb point during the first half of Saturday's Division Three semi-final in Carrick-on-Shannon. (Photo: Stefan Hoare)

“I don’t mind (if there is a final). If we’ve another game, we play it," explained the Derry manager, "(We'll) probably use it as an opportunity to play a few (squad) players but if there’s not there’s not.

"We’ve had four tough games and a challenge match. It’s tough run and we’re starting to pick up a few niggles so maybe a week’s rest wouldn’t be the worst thing."