Lim­er­ick have the qual­ity but can learn from Gal­way model

Irish Examiner - Sport - - GAA -

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.

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