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  • GAA

Tipperary to come out against round-robin Munster Hurling Championship

Wednesday, 27th September, 2017 2:18pm

Story by Shane Brophy
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Tipperary to come out against round-robin Munster Hurling Championship

A James Barry.jpg

Tipperary to come out against round-robin Munster Hurling Championship

A James Barry.jpg

Tipperary delegates came out favourably against the GAA's Ard Comhairle motion proposing a round-robin provincial format for next years All Ireland Championship.

Ahead of Special Congress this Saturday, club had their say at last nights county board meeting in Thurles and while no vote was taken, all those who spoke were against the proposal from Croke Park and suggested that if Tipp's own motion of a back door/losers group in the provincial championships was unsuccessful, that the current championship format should remain.

County Secretary Tim Floyd said the reason they put forward their own motion in opposition to Croke Park's proposal was to provide some gaps for club games in the early summer which wouldn't be there if the round-robin format comes into being.

CCC chairman John Devane said there are pros and cons to each of the four motions going before Special Congress on Saturday (appendix below), but commenting on the Ard Comhairle motion, he said while it would include a 4 week gap between the end of the National League and the first round of the provincia; championship in which club championship games could be played, but once the inter-county championship starts, there won't be gaps to play club championship games until Tipperary were eliminated from the championship.

Football board chairman Joe Hannigan felt the whole debate was mute as after bringing through the Super 8 into football, starting next year, this was the next part of the GAA's process, to restructure the hurling championship, and that enough carrots had been dangled to counties, in terms of guaranteeing home games, for the Ard Comhairle's motion to get the 60% support it needs to be passed on Saturday.

He also wondered what monetary benefit would Tipperary county board get from playing more championship games in hurling and football as panels would need to be bigger to come with the increased number of games in a sport space of time.

Arravale Rovers Jerry Ring felt clubs would suffer greatly if the Ard Comhairle motion is passed while Shannon Rovers Liam Hogan wasn't happy that the months of May and June would have no championship games for club players.

St Patrick's Nicholas Moroney said following a discussion among some players in his club that the current hurling championship format remains the best but that dates could be tightened up to create a bigger period for clubs.

North Board chairman Dan Kennedy said the process of restructuring the inter-county championship was another step down the road to where players selected to play for their county can't play for their club.

Borris-Ileigh's Gerry Treacy suggested Tipperary back the current format for one year with county secretary Tim Floyd admitted if Tipperary's motion fails that they will support the retention of the current championship format.


One inter-county player who had his say on the issue is current Tipperary captain Padraic Maher who would favour retaining the knockout element.

I would be a bit more (of a) traditionalist,” he said.

Look, if they come up with a system fair play, but, I suppose, all we want to do is play games. Even in the National League, you are playing quality games week-in, week-out and they are very enjoyable. I don't know what is going to happen, but if we stick to the Munster championship I would be happy enough with that.”

He added: “If you could shorten up the gap between a Munster final and an All-Ireland semi-final that’s the issue.

However, wearing his club hat as captain of Thurles Sarsfields, he would prefer a defined season for the inter-county championship during the summer months as he admitted it can be difficult to prepared for club championship games when gaps present themselves to play them.

He revealed: “Sometimes if you are coming off the back of a hard match in the Munster championship then you might have to face into a vital (club) match. I remember that Cork beat us in the Munster championship this year and then we had to face into Kilruane the following weekend in a very important club match. It is difficult.

If you played off the National League and then got a round or two of club games, that are important, and then when they are done run off the (inter-county) hurling championship and come back into the club championship - concentrate on one at a time.

If they could condense it down, it would be great because waiting a month or five weeks between matches in senior hurling is difficult. I know you can get a lot of training done, but the ideal (break) is three weeks between each match. You get to recover and then you get a good week's training and then you are getting yourself ready again. Look, it is difficult to come up with a solution, you are not going to keep everybody happy, but all we want to do is play games and the more games the better.”

SPECIAL CONGRESS motions on the restructuring of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championships

  • Árd Comhairle proposes that the Munster and Leinster championship be run on a “Round-Robin” basis with each county having two home and two away games. The counties finishing in the top two places in each province to play in their respective provincial final with the third team also going forward to the All Ireland quarter final.

  • Thiobraíd Árann proposes that the provincial championships be organised on a knock-out/ losers group basis with the winner going straight to the All Ireland semi-inal. The defeated provincial semi-finalists playoff for the winners to go forward to the All Ireland quarter finals with the provincial final runners-up.

  • Ath Cliath propose only to amend the current All Ireland qualifier series to allow the four winners from Round 1 to progress to the All Ireland quarter finals (No round 2). In the quarter finals they will meet the four provincial finalists. There would be no benefit to winning the provincial title.

  • Corcaigh are proposing to retain the provincial championship in its current format but following Round 1 of the qualifier, the last eight in the All Ireland Quarter Finals will participate in a “Round-Robin” similar to the football championship.

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