Royal sympathy from Ryan

May 17, 2017

Westmeath manager Michael Ryan.
©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Westmeath manager Michael Ryan has stressed that the current championship hurling structure is unfair as last Sunday's opponents Meath won't have a competitive match until next February.

In a do or die game against their neighbours, Westmeath came out on top for the first championship victory over Meath in 23 years.

The win also saw Westmeath through to the Leinster SHC quarterfinals, while win or lose they will be guaranteed another game in the qualifiers.

For Meath though, not only is their campaign over, but they are relegated back to the Christy Ring for next year, having made such a promising start to the campaign.

Ryan told the Westmeath Examiner that the current structure needs to be looked at as teams should be playing championship hurling in the summer, according to the Waterford native.

"They (Meath) are gone after two weeks of hurling in May and won't have a serious hurling match now till next February. The GAA are doing a lot of things right, but there has got to be some structure to allow counties to play hurling in the summer months," said Ryan.

"My gut feeling is that finance will take over and that we'll have the same system as the football. That will only make the strong teams stronger and will do nothing for teams like Westmeath."

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