Tensions high at top and bottom of table

Arles-Killeen remain in the hunt for a place in the semi-finals of the ACFL Division 1, as an impressive nine point win over Timahoe drew them level on points with four other clubs.

Arles-Killeen remain in the hunt for a place in the semi-finals of the ACFL Division 1, as an impressive nine point win over Timahoe drew them level on points with four other clubs.

The game, played in Timahoe, was marred by an ugly brawl midway through the second half, with three players (two from Timahoe, one from Arles-Killeen) given straight red cards. The repurcussions on the league table, however, are that four clubs are now vying for two semi-final places.

Arles-Kilcruise, Graiguecullen, Arles-Killeen and Timahoe are all on 12 points, with Arles-Kilcruise still to play their re-fixed game against St Joseph’s. Should they either draw or win that game, it will secure them a place in the last four, with the other three clubs left to await their fate. Scoring difference cannot be used to separate them, as Arles-Killeen were given a walkover by Portlaoise earlier in the year, so it may come down to head-to-head records.

In the other ACFL Division 1 game played last week, Stradbally rubber-stamped their place in the top Division for 2013 with a comprehensive 14 point win over a injury-ravaged O’Dempsey’s side. Goals from Derek Beale and Cormac Delaney (2) had Stradbally firmly in control, and it leaves three clubs mixed up in the relegation battle.

Ballylinan are already down, with just three wins from their eleven games meaning they can do no better than second from bottom of the table. The Heath, who have been on the bottom of the table for the last month or so, were awarded a walkover by O’Dempsey’s in their game which was to be played on Monday night, meaning they now move to within two points of St Joseph’s.

The Kellyville outfit still have to play The Heath in their final game, but if they could earn either a draw or victory against Arles-Kilcruise last night (Tuesday), then it would consign The Heath to the bottom two.

As it stands, The Heath cannot be relegated regardless of what happens, as their second team competes in ACFL Division 2, and a club cannot field two teams in the same competition. It was under this rule the club survived in Division 1 last year, and it remains to be seen whether that will be the case again this year, or whether the Laois CCC will opt to over rule that decision, which they have the right to do. If The Heath do finish bottom of the league and the rules are enforced as they currently stand, then only one team will be promoted from ACFL Division 2.