It looks like we will have a second tier GAA All-Ireland competition in 2020 and we have a predicted list of the counties that will play in the second tier.
People have had enough of one-sided matches, Dublin hammered Louth by 26 points a game of no benefit to both sides. In Ulster, Tyrone hammered Antrim 2-23 to 2-09. Kerry are dominating in Munster and they will probably have a big win over Clare at the weekend. In all honest truth, you can predict the 2 winners of the Munster and Leinster Championship every year, Dublin and Kerry. Connacht is competitive and Ulster is obviously competitive but big defeats prove little or no good to anyone. Wouldn’t it be much better for players to play in a competition where they have actually a chance of winning, with the added bonus of maybe a way back into the Sam Maguire? I personally think so, imagine training 6 or 7 months to get hammered by 26 points?
Just looking at the round 1 qualifier draw which was made on Monday the majority of teams play in Division 3 and 4. Of the 17 teams drawn from the bowls on Monday morning, Carlow, Westmeath, Longford, Louth, Offaly and Down all play in Division 3, Division 4 teams that are currently in the draw include Derry and Leitrim (although promoted from Division 4 this season), Antrim, Waterford, Wicklow, London and Wexford. Meaning that 13 of the 17 teams in round 1 of the qualifiers play in Division 3 or 4. Sligo also operated in Division 3 and they were relegated. They were beaten by Galway in the Connacht semi-final and will play in round 2 of the qualifiers.
Obviously a bit of debate on whether some teams should be in it or not but as I said second-tier competition would be generally for division 3 and 4 teams, Bit of debate on whether Derry who were promoted to Division 3 this season should be in the second tier or not but giving their performance against Tyrone probably not. Down also in Division 3 would be open to debate but think they would remain in tier one also.
12 Teams for Second Tier:
Antrim, Louth, Waterford, Wicklow, Limerick, Leitrim, London, Wexford, Carlow, Sligo, Offaly, Longford.
So going on the above that 12 teams would be in tier two. I would make two groups of 6 teams, each team has 5 games, played 3 home and 2 away. Top 2 in each group advance to semi-finals, winner goes up to tier 1 following year. Some idea would have to see a team relegated from the Sam Maguire but what structure change that would mean I am not so sure.
President of the GAA John Horan has also said that there is a need for a tier to competition speaking on RTE Morning Ireland he said “When you look at the championships in the last few weeks, you see great local derbies and great matches and then you see some games a little bit too big a gap in the actual result.”With the big gap in result, if you look at the draw we’ve made this morning, you see a large number of Division Three and Four teams are already in the qualifier section.”Our hope will be at the next central council meeting in June to bring forward proposals to look at the introduction of a Tier 2 Championship for those teams in Division Three and Four.
He continued There’s an appetite out there within the organisation to go ahead with a Tier 2 Championship and now is the time to grab that while the appetite is out there and I think we will possibly get it through at Central Council. If we do we’ll call a Special Congress in September/October to look at putting it forward to maybe having it introduced next year.”
It remains to be seen what will happen but it is looking likely a motion will be put forward in the coming months.