Limerick have the quality but can learn from Galway model
AAt the Sunday Game production meeting last week, we were discussing the new championship proposals, which are up for debate at Special Congress in three weeks. One of the lads was totally against any change. ‘What harm if they show 20 football matches to just three hurling late on in the season? If the three hurling matches are epics, they will still blow the football out of the water.’
As I was going off afterwards to get my suit on, I was wondering if I should have contributed more to the meeting. When the new football Super 8 proposals were introduced last February at Congress, I felt it was a negative for hurling, with the lack of matches compared to football.
When these new hurling proposals were later floated before championship, I was all for them, where the provincial championships are played on a round-robin basis, with a final to decide who progresses to the semi-finals. The runners-up and third-placed teams in Leinster and Munster then head to the quarter-finals.
However, I like the look of Cork’s proposed motion, which wishes to protect the provincial championship structure and replicate the Super 8 football format.
I see the merit of not having a round robin in Munster and Leinster but you’d reach a stage where you’d have the top eight teams fighting it out at the high point of the season. It is nearly a second competition but at least we’d have the Munster championship as we’ve always known it.
The home-and-away arrangement for the Central Council round-robin proposal was a big attraction, but the more I thought about that set-up, the more I wondered about it. How would the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh look for a Cork-clare game? Would the Clare crowd really travel? Would many Limerick fans go to Walsh Park for a game where, apart from pride, little or nothing was on the line?
I just feel the Cork proposal would work better. It would give us an elongated season, which many of us are already concerned about with the All-ireland finals being moved to August. A round robin in July would be cut-throat from the get-go. I don’t see too many dead-rubbers in that set-up.