Looking at the layout of the remaining fixtures in the National Football League – something that’s easy given the revamped GAA website’s nifty fixture page – it’s possible to map out what Waterford need to do to finish in the top two in Division Four. At the time of writing, Waterford lie a point behind Wicklow. Let’s assume both counties will beat Kilkenny, which isn’t a great leap even for a hopeless fatalist like myself. That means if Waterford beat Wicklow today in Dungarvan, they (seems a bit presumptuous to think of the footballers as ‘we’) are guaranteed to finish ahead of the Garden County. If Limerick lose next week to currently unbeaten Clare, then Waterford will go into their final game against the Banner with promotion guaranteed. On the other hand, should Waterford lose to Wicklow, they would need to hope Limerick beat Clare, hope Leitrim beat Limerick, then beat Clare in the final round in Dungarvan – note that a cricket score against Kilkenny would not be necessary as Waterford would finish ahead of Clare by dint of having beat them.
In other words, Waterford really could do with winning today. No expectations. Good luck to all concerned.
Update: and it came to pass that when the pressure was on, the Waterford footballers delivered the goods with a thumping nine point win over Wicklow. If Waterford can beat Kilkenny they then have no fewer than three chances to get promoted – either Limerick fail to pick up maximum points from their two remaining fixtures, or Waterford get a point against Clare. It’s been a few years coming but they’re almost there.