Sunday 4 December 2016

Colm O'Rourke: Trophy hunters need all the promotion they can get

Counties outside the top tier of the league are at a disadvantage in race for Sam, says Colm O'Rourke

Published 30/01/2011 | 05:00

F acing into next weekend every man and every county are equal for at least a day. Everyone is unbeaten and hopes are high, however unrealistic that may be. Before February has run its course, however, quite a few counties will have figured out that not much has changed. Same beatings, different year.

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Yet the league offers some promise of progress. At the very least there should be the real prospect of winning the odd game. The championship is rather different. The same few who have dominated for a decade still hold pole position; the rest make up the numbers.

Preparation for this league has been dominated more by complaints from managers on the closed season and the problems of getting their team together as some of their players are tied up with third-level colleges. The issues may be complex but the solutions are easy to identify and at least now there appears to be growing consensus that something radical needs to be done with the glut of fixtures in the early part of the year. A new fixture plan could be worked out on the back of a cigarette box.

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