Monday 10 December 2018

Here is how final round of Super 8 results could lead to delay in All Ireland football semi-final

Kieran Hughes of Monaghan in action against Jack Barry of Kerry - Both counties are vying for a place in the All Ireland semi-final
Kieran Hughes of Monaghan in action against Jack Barry of Kerry - Both counties are vying for a place in the All Ireland semi-final
'As things stand in Group 1, Kerry (1 point) need to beat Kildare (0 points) to have any chance of staying in the All-Ireland race. ' (stock picture)
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Saturday, August 18 - the eve of the All-Ireland hurling final - has been pencilled in for the football semi-final involving Dublin if the final round of Group 1 'Super 8' games result in deadlock between Kerry and Monaghan.

The semi-final featuring Dublin is fixed for Saturday week but it could be delayed by a week if Kerry and Monaghan mirror each other after this Saturday's games. No fewer than four provisions were included in the regulations to separate counties that finish on the same number of points after the 'round robin' series, but there's a possibility that none of them will divide Kerry and Monaghan.

A play-off on the weekend after next would then become necessary, forcing one semi-final to be put back by a week.

As things stand in Group 1, Kerry (1 point) need to beat Kildare (0 points) to have any chance of staying in the All-Ireland race. Even then, the Kingdom need Galway (4 points) to beat Monaghan (3points).

If those two results come up, Kerry and Monaghan will be on three points, bringing the means of separating teams into play.

  • Head-to-head result: it won't work because Kerry and Monaghan drew.
  • Scoring difference: Kerry are currently on -3 points, with Monaghan on +2. Depending on the Kerry-Kildare and Galway-Monaghan scores, that could settle the issue.

However, if Kerry win by three points in a goalless game (e.g. 0-15 to 0-12) and Galway beat Monaghan by two points, with the latter scoring a goal (e.g. 0-15 to 1-10), a problem arises. Kerry and Monaghan would not only have the same number of points , they would also have similar scoring differences, similar overall totals and the same number of goals.

That would leave no option but to play-off to decide who faces Dublin.

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