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19/10/2021

Derry and Offaly set for Croke Park date

The NFL Division 3 final will take place on Saturday

Croke Park

Derry will face Offaly at Croke Park on Saturday.

Derry will face Offaly at Croke Park on Saturday in the NFL Division 3 Final.

The game takes place at 5.00 and will be screened live on TG4.

The Oakleafers sealed promotion with victory over Limerick.

Offaly beat Fermanagh in the other semi-final, but with their Leinster SFC clash with Louth set for eight days later, it was originally expected that the league final wouldn't take place.

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

“I don’t mind (if the final is played). If we’ve another game, we'll play it and probably use it as an opportunity to play a few (squad) players but if there’s not there’s not," said Derry manager Rory Gallagher after Saturday's win over Limerick.

"We have had four tough games, and we'd a challenge game (against Monaghan) before that.  It was a tough run of five games and we are starting to pick up an odd wee niggle, like other counties, so maybe a weeks rest wouldn't be a bad thing."

Conor McCluskey's substitute appearance on Saturday brought the total of players to have seen game time in the league to 25. 

"We got Clucky back today and that is a massive lift to us in the wee bits and pieces he played, he played really really well,"  Gallagher said of the Rossa defender's input in Carrick on Shannon.

Karl McKaigue played his third game for Slaughtneil in their defeat to Newbridge on Sunday evening and came through unscathed on his recovery from an Achilles injury. 

Patrick Kearney kicked a point after coming on as a substitute in Swatragh's defeat to Coleraine earlier in the afternoon.  On Saturday evening, Ronan McFaul - who is also on Paddy Bradley's U20 squad - played the full hour at full-back in Bellaghy's one-point win over Glen.

Derry will play in Division 2 next season for the first time since 2017 and are out in the Ulster SFC on Sunday, July 11 against the winners of Down and Donegal who meet in the preliminary round.

For more on Rory Gallagher's reaction to promotion and his thoughts of the clash with Offaly, get a copy of Tuesday's County Derry Post.

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