Wexford People

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Hurling format is likely to change

If the public mood is anything to go by, there will be a new format for the provincial and All-Ireland hurling championships next year.

The big decision will be taken at the Central Council meeting in Croke Park next Saturday, and it looks like round robin formats will be coming in for a trial period from 2018 to 2020.

With the 'Super 8' guaranteeing extra football games, the C.C.C.C. were asked to look at the hurling championship too with three considerations in mind.

Firstly, to ensure that the Leinster and Munster championships were retained; secondly, to provide more quality games; and thirdly, to do so without impacting negatively on the space allocated for club activity.

The proposal for the Liam MacCarthy Cup is that the teams would compete in the two provincial championships plus a provincial qualifier group.

Wexford would feature in Leinster with Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny and Offaly, with five rounds of games and four matches for everyone, two at home and two away.

The Munster five of Clare, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford would compete on a similar basis, with the top teams in each group qualifying for their respective provincial finals.

A provincial qualifier group would also be staged, featuring Laois, Westmeath, Kerry, Antrim and Carlow, with the winner gaining entry to the All-Ireland series in a play-off for a quarter-final spot against the third-placed team in either Leinster or Munster.

It all seems perfectly acceptable and understandable on paper at least, so hopefully the motion will have a smooth path through Saturday's meeting.

More high-profile games, with two guaranteed in Innovate Wexford Park, would be fantastic, although it could lead to a lot more fun with tickets for hard-pressed fans.

Wexford People