Martin Breheny: Leinster hurling 'round robin' chirps out warning for football
Those who opposed the introduction of the 'Super 8' round-robin system as a replacement for the football quarter-finals on the basis that it's not appropriate at such a late stage of the showpiece event are having their case supported by results in the Leinster SHC.
It shows in clear terms how a team can, in certain circumstances, finish in the top two despite losing two of three games.
Westmeath lost to Kerry and Laois but are still in with a good chance of reaching the Leinster quarter-finals. If Laois (4pts) beat Kerry (2pts) and Westmeath (0pts) beat Meath (2pts) in the final round, Laois and Westmeath will fill the top two places. Westmeath would have a better scoring difference than Kerry or Meath, leaving them in the next round with one win.
At least this is in the preliminary stages of the hurling championships but something similar could easily happen in the football 'round robin', which will decide the All-Ireland semi-finalists.
How odd will it look if a county loses in the provincials and twice in the 'round robin', yet still advances to the semi-finals? It could easily occur.