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14th Jun 2021

Offaly and Derry decide to restore some pride into the National League

Lee Costello

Derry will take on Offaly for the first chance of silverware this season

In a weird structure of the league, we have a collection of “joint winners” which makes about as much sense as having your nose sticking out of your mask when you go shopping – pointless.

As Pat Spillane mentioned on The Sunday League, Kerry were league champions last year even though they lost a game, while this year they didn’t lose a single game and are somehow only the joint champions?

Everyone wants to see Kerry and Dublin play each other, regardless of the circumstance. It’s box office; the two biggest hitters in the sport putting their talents on display for everyone to enjoy, so to rob GAA fans of it is wrong.

However, Division Three winners Derry and Offaly, have chosen to play their league final, even though both are guaranteed a spot in Division Two next year.

So it means they’re playing for nothing, right?

Wrong. Anytime there’s a chance to win silverware, it should mean that everything is on the line. Especially for the teams who may not be considered front-runners for the All-Ireland.

The Derry and Offaly players don’t put in any less effort or time in than other counties, so whenever they get the chance to play in Croke Park in front of their fans, with the chance to walk up those steps and hoist a trophy above their heads, they should be allowed to do so.

The final will be televised live on TG4 this Saturday at 5pm in Croke Park. This will be Derry’s last game before they begin their Ulster Championship campaign, taking on the winners of Donegal v Down.

Offaly defeated Fermanagh in their league semi-final, but with their Leinster SFC clash against Mickey Harte’s Louth set for eight days later, many assumed that the final wouldn’t be happening.

However, Offaly later requested the final be played and both counties agreed to go ahead with the match.

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