Take a look at any of the four Allianz Football Leagues and you’ll see the real meaning as teams prepare for the penultimate weekend action.
At the top of Division 1, Armagh entertains Kerry know a third home win of the campaign would secure them a spot in the tournament final but also give them a shot on the arm that has already benefited from wins over Dublin, Tyrone and even Kildare last weekend.
Three teams are mentioned a lot in the relegation bracket from Division 1so much so that all four games in the premier league carry weight this weekend.
The battle for promotion in Division 2 remains between the three teams – Galway, Derry and Roscommon – while the fight for survival is the tournament’s most exciting spin-off, in the aftermath of the Tailteann Cup soccer match at the end of the summer.
Down and Cork have rooted to the bottom, Offaly is leading them, while Clare has now been pulled back, level with Meath, who they played this weekend.
Head of the 3 . divisionany two of the six teams can still earn Sam Maguire status by securing promotion. Only the last of Division 3 looks simpler, where Longford and Wicklow are shaping up to be more likely to be relegated.
Suffice it to say that for the next two weekends There will be no shortage of talking points. Everything seems like it has a consequence.
Contrary to the Allianz Hurling League could not be bigger. Nothing emphasizes that more than the different reactions to the previous four consecutive defeats Dublin footballers and Limerick hurdlers.
This weekend, there’s really only one game worth talking about: Waterford’s trip to Kilkenny to play a home team that needs something from the game if they make it to the semi-finals.
And if they don’t? The drop from there won’t be much. For his part, Waterford’s place in the tournament semi-finals looks well-isolated. they are 45 points ahead of Dublin if they lose and Dublin beat Laois.
It would take significant disparity defeats for Waterford and Laois to tilt Dublin’s balance on the points gap as Dublin and Waterford have drawn so head-to-head will not count in this case.
But in other places, everything is just a formality. Limerick will beat Offaly to avoid any relegation trouble and end their losing streak, while Cork and Wexford, who have already qualified for the semi-finals on full points, don’t have anything at risk. threatened during their meeting with Chadwicks Wexford Park.
Galway, Clare and Tipperary have nothing to play this weekend and their thoughts have turned to championship action in just over four weeks.
That was five of the 11 Liam MacCarthy Cup teams with essentially nothing to compete in the final round of the second competition – Westmeath Contest Division 2.
In fact, all counties are now heading for a bigger championship than ever at this stage of the year with the split season..
And with the provincial round robin tournament restored after a two-year Covid hiatus, the tournament looks to have been further reduced. Variation of a pre-season competition currently circulating around it.
Leaving two Division 1s based on merit the groups have effectively accelerated the decline and transferred the spring period to its football partner.
That will only continue next year when football championships and leagues become more closely linked when the 2nd Division status alone will not guarantee participation in the Sam Maguire Cup, with the winners of the Tailteann Cup and those who beat the provincial finalists, if they are from Block 3 or 4replace the lowest ranked Division 2 teams at Sam Maguire.
Hurling will have a period from mid-April until the completion of the round-robin series and the provincial finals, but by next year even some of that will be overlapped by the round-robin groups. new score.
The move away from the performance-based groups that had already hit the hurdles well between 2012 and 2019 was made to give the likes of Westmeath, Antrim, Laois and now Offaly more exposure to the top teams.
For Antrim, especially at home, it went very well with some notable results and performances. But for others there was much pain. There’s only so much you can ‘learn’ from a defeat before the scale of those defeats has collision.
Some older teams feel The achievement-based group of six 1A teams was too competitive and didn’t allow enough testing, especially at the start of the points round-robin in 2018. And with those four games now. closer, that sentiment is likely to prevail.
But the relevance of the hurdles tournament seems to be slipping. With championships starting for all but Clare at the MacCarthy Cup on April 16, 17, even the rest of the race will have a slow bike racing feel. Who would really want to hit and go for it? Cork maybe, because it’s 1998 since they won a championship. And Wexford, as their last title dates back to the 1970s.
The hurdles tournament has gone through many iterations over the past three decades and has never really found a place where it is completely at peace with itself. But what it is is becoming not good for the game.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/growing-insignificance-of-the-hurling-league-is-not-good-for-the-game-41451898.html The increase in the importance of the hurdles tournament is not good for the game