How a round-robin would have worked out this year
Published 20/10/2016 | 02:30
The Dubs in Ennis. . .Tyrone in Thurles. . . Kerry in Castlebar. . . Galway v Mayo renewing their fierce rivalry outside the Connacht championship.
Those are some of the attractions that would have featured if a round-robin had applied to the latter stages of the football championship this year.
Four provincial champions and four qualifiers would be divided into two groups of four, with each team playing three games to provide the semi-finalists.
Each team would have one game in Croke Park (a neutral venue for all except Dublin), one home tie and one away test. The first round would feature the four provincial champions playing each other in Croke Park.
Round 2 would have the provincial champions at home while Round 3 would provide a qualifier with a home game.
This year's groups would have comprised as follows: A: Kerry, Galway, Mayo, Donegal; B: Dublin, Tyrone, Clare, Tipperary
The obvious fear is that one or more of the counties would be out of contention after the first two rounds, leaving them with little interest in the last game.
SAMPLE FROM 2016
July 9/10: Dublin v Tyrone; Galway v Kerry, Croke Park
July 16: Mayo v Donegal; Clare v Tipperary, Croke Park
July 23: Kerry v Donegal, Killarney; Galway v Mayo, Pearse Stadium; Dublin v Tipperary, Croke Park; Tyrone v Clare, Omagh.
July 30/31: Mayo v Kerry, Castlebar; Donegal v Galway, Ballybofey; Clare v Dublin, Ennis; Tipperary v Tyrone, Thurles.