Down Forum

Ulster Hurling...where now?

(Oldest Posts First)

Down beat Kerry in the CR final in2013, Kildare beat Kerry in the CR final 2014, Kerry beat Antrim in promotion/relegation match.....AND ANTRIM STILL get automatic qualification into the Liam Mc Carthy and straight into the Ulster Final. This is getting more ridiculous by the year! Antrim must have some important friends in Croker! time to treat ALL Ulster teams the same..and fairly!

Co.Down1 (Down) - Posts: 163 - 13/04/2015 12:39:42    1713690

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Forget the "they beat them and we beat them" strategy. How do Down normally get on against Antrim when they play each other?

martinprince (Tyrone) - Posts: 187 - 13/04/2015 14:12:12    1713735

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Before anyone says it, yes we are grateful to the Antrim league for including Down clubs and boosting their hurling level. At the same time, it is a fair point that Antrim's county side should not be given special treatment anymore. No more byes and home advantage in every Ulster final.

We in Down need to buck up our ideas too if we expect to stay ahead of the rest in our province.

Suas Sios (None) - Posts: 1409 - 13/04/2015 14:40:52    1713751

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I totally AGREE that Antrim should take their place automatically in the Ulster senior final and I am a dyed in the wool Down hurling fanatic! Antrim are FAR FAR superior to ANY other ulster team. What would happen if Antrim faced Donegal, Armagh, Down earlier in the competition..they would get tanked! The only team at this point in time capable of putting a semi-decent effort against Antrim is Derry! At least these 'lesser' teams can compete against each other for the right to appear alongside Antrim in the final.
All you have to do is take a look at the winners of the Ulster SHC over the past 20 years to see that there is little or no competition for Antrim in Ulster. Instead of blaming 'this and that, home venues, preferences', lets look within our own clubs and County and give assistance to the younger generation coming through and perhaps, perhaps, there will come a time when Antrim can be challenged for the Ulster SHC title...but for now, we are a LONG LONG way off their level !

THEMOLE2 (Down) - Posts: 1614 - 14/04/2015 09:44:23    1713970

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The Ulster championship has been treated as a joke by all involved if you look at the year they failed to even play it. Nothing to lose by changing the format a little. I would like to see all counties participate again but Antrim are not as far ahead as you say Mole. They are division 2A now. Put them against Derry or Down in an earlier round and away from home and it won't be the foregone conclusion you expect. Portaferry are Ulster champions as you know so why the inferiority complex? Have Antrim learned anything from Leinster? Have they progressed by getting a bye to the Ulster final every year?

Suas Sios (None) - Posts: 1409 - 14/04/2015 10:30:43    1713990

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Should be a open draw no brainer..

dingle82 (Down) - Posts: 183 - 14/04/2015 10:45:40    1713994

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As any Dowm hurling club worthy of the name is already in the Antrim league, why not have an all Ulster League and a single Ulster Team competing in the Liam McCarthy and National League?

Juniour Club County Leagues and Senior County Club Champuionships could continue as now.

Of course there are some negiatives to this, but this represents the only way forward for Ulster Hurling.

spiritof1991 (Down) - Posts: 693 - 14/04/2015 11:13:20    1714002

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Spiritof91, don't confuse the mess Antrim county team are in with anything remotely related to club hurling.

There shouldn't be an Ulster team representing anyone other than at the interprovincials every year, this nonsense comes up every so often when a northern team takes a bit of a thumping, but lumping all the 'best' hurlers together in some sort of mishmash will do nothing for the game in Ulster.

Sort the counties out, not mask the problem.

bricktop (Down) - Posts: 2458 - 14/04/2015 16:29:06    1714143

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Good point Bricktop.. It would be a epic fail.. how could some lads travel 2 hours to training! best for the counties to get there house in order.. If Kerry can progress why can't Down.. similar counties with football majority

dingle82 (Down) - Posts: 183 - 14/04/2015 18:20:57    1714215

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Bricktop

I wouldn't have to be a "mish mash". I'm talking about one Ulster League with Division 1 & 2 containing the best teams from Dery, Antrim and Down and one "County" team playing in Ulster Colours. Almost all the clubs would be from North Down, Antrim or South Derry - an area no larger than geographical bigger counties such as Kerry, Cork or Donegal - except a much better road system is in place. Those counties don't seem to have difficulty training their county teams!

No barrier to this except the dilutuion of the power of county level officials and a (very) few die hard supporters such as yourself.

By the way, this as least the 3rd time in the last 30 years that Kerry have been tipped to styep up to the elite level. They won't, and nor will Down, Derry or Antrim as they have all just too few proper hurling clubs.

spiritof1991 (Down) - Posts: 693 - 16/04/2015 09:46:00    1714692

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Kerry hurling is almost all North Kerry, so a small geographical location, but the logistics you talk about are not insurmountable, I just don't think there's a will within the playing population for it?

Would in all sincerity, many of the current Down team get a look in? The Derry lads would have a bit of a shout, but by and large the bulk of the team would come from Antrim, so what's the gain for the rest of Ulster? Where would the rest of the Down intercounty hurlers play? This would cater just for the elite and f**k the rest as always, a bit like our very own development squads, in my mind that is just putting on a show and doing nothing for grass roots hurlers and clubs.

Lets get the standards raised within the clubs with consistent, regular fixtures throughout the year at all age levels, get as many children with hurls in their hands every week over the summer months and build from there.

But,
When they've a hurl in their hand, they're not kicking football, the great big elephant in the room. In my mind we can work together, but there's no will at CB level for this to happen!!

Ulster Leagues;
Not a bad idea in principal, but what happens when a dual club looks to move a fixture due to a junior B football game? It can happen to dual clubs in Antrim, but if you have two masters, say the Ulster council overseeing this Ulster league and Derry CB overseeing the Derry leagues???

bricktop (Down) - Posts: 2458 - 16/04/2015 14:45:52    1714815

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Bricktop, in fairness to the CB they moved reserve leagues to Wednesday nights, which has given hurling a chance on Sundays, but the flip side is it will hurt the minor hurling league

allseeingeye (Down) - Posts: 65 - 16/04/2015 15:41:16    1714834

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In fairness to the CB there are big improvements in running the leagues this year with plentiful games for clubs to play

dingle82 (Down) - Posts: 183 - 16/04/2015 17:06:28    1714861

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There is not that many league games for the minors only one round of fixtures ! 5 games in total! A number of which will be very one sided!The county board also had the great foresight to play minor football and minor hurling matches on consecutive nights what way is that to treat these young men!

Red Head (Down) - Posts: 144 - 16/04/2015 17:41:08    1714873

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Bricktop - you say

Would in all sincerity, many of the current Down team get a look in? The Derry lads would have a bit of a shout, but by and large the bulk of the team would come from Antrim, so what's the gain for the rest of Ulster?

For a centralised Ulster Hurling Structure to work everybody concerned would have to understand that the kind of parochial attitude you represent her would need to be left behind. Its not about how many Down or Derry playes would make the team but about creataing 2 divisions of top class senior club hurling which would be on a par with many of the major counties and that would develop more top class hurlers would could one day compete at Liam McCarthy level.

As regards fixtures the 3 counties would need to agree a set hurling dates at the start of the year, a mixture of Sundays amd some midweek evenings during the summer.

I'd also suggest regionalised (Derry/Antrim and Down/Belfast) Division 3 which might allow teams like Bredagh to progress to a higher level.

Also, agreed centrally located neutral venues such as The Dub, Casement Park and 4G pitches around Belfast would reduce travel times for say midweek Derry v Down Division 1 or 2 matches.

Lastly it should also be said that with a top class league good hurlers would be less interetsed in football anyhow as is already the case in The Ards and The Glens.

spiritof1991 (Down) - Posts: 693 - 17/04/2015 10:34:12    1715006

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For a centralised Ulster Hurling Structure to work everybody concerned would have to understand that the kind of parochial attitude you represent her would need to be left behind. Its not about how many Down or Derry playes would make the team but about creataing 2 divisions of top class senior club hurling which would be on a par with many of the major counties and that would develop more top class hurlers would could one day compete at Liam McCarthy level.


I think we're talking about two separate things here, I was initially talking about an Ulster team representing us all in the NHL or Leinster championship when I asked how many of the current Down team would get onto it... Any idea? What would the rest play in?

As for the Ulster club leagues, I just don't see how it can work across three/four separate GAA structures, just look what happened the Derry teams in the Tain leagues and the Antrim teams in the early days of it when it finally was moved to a 'preseason' league.
If it overrun for any reason the final stages of the leagues were played weeks/months apart as the domestic leagues, intercounty hurling took precedent.
Has anything other than Antrim getting beat by Kerry changed since then?

bricktop (Down) - Posts: 2458 - 17/04/2015 11:04:25    1715020

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I for one would love to see an all ulster team in the AI. At the very least we might get a few 100 fans on board for games

DoireCityFC (Derry) - Posts: 1580 - 17/04/2015 15:20:38    1715104

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Bricktiop, you asked
How many of the current Down team would get onto it... Any idea? What would the rest play in?

The answer is of course the rest would be playing, probably in Division 1, of the Ulster Elite League. The point is they are club hurlers trying to compete at County Level & failing. If they are good enough they will progress to a very competitive Ulster Team. That is the entire point !

You also say;

If it overrun for any reason the final stages of the leagues were played weeks/months apart as the domestic leagues, intercounty hurling took precedent.

Obviously there will be much less players involved in Inter-county hurling which will assist the current problems greatly. Also the dual players/fixtures argument is the same in every county. We can't just assume it will be badly organised and use that as an excuse.

Also
Has anything other than Antrim getting beat by Kerry changed since then?


20 years ago Antrim Derry & Down were all beating Kerry and were able to compete with the very best. Each had all had players that could have made any team in the country. Everyone one can see standards have fallen and are falling alarmingly, Also, I doubt if Liam Watson and others would pass up the chance of big Croke Park games with an Ulster Team.

spiritof1991 (Down) - Posts: 693 - 18/04/2015 12:17:25    1715225

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Another fine example of Ulster hurling not doing itself any favour. I live in Derry and went to the Donegal/Tyrone game as a netural. This is division 3 hurling and they charged £10 in on a sunny day when "top premier league" teams were playing and a week after easter and toward the end of the month when alot of people and families are watching their money. Surley the prices should be looked at for games like these and more advertising done locally. There was maybe 150-200 people on a great day in a 25000 stadium. Id be better of getting a £30 return ticket to germany and go to a Dortmond game for £9 :)

DoireCityFC (Derry) - Posts: 1580 - 20/04/2015 10:42:15    1715662

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Bricktiop, you asked
How many of the current Down team would get onto it... Any idea? What would the rest play in?

The answer is of course the rest would be playing, probably in Division 1, of the Ulster Elite League. The point is they are club hurlers trying to compete at County Level & failing. If they are good enough they will progress to a very competitive Ulster Team. That is the entire point !


Right so any hurler in Down who doesn't make the Ulster selection will be playing in the Ulster Elite Club League? And who else will be in this Ulster Elite League? Loughgeil and Cushendall etc, etc, obviously minus their Ulster representation. That would be a fine standard alright to develop into a top top hurler!!!


You also say;

If it overrun for any reason the final stages of the leagues were played weeks/months apart as the domestic leagues, intercounty hurling took precedent.

Obviously there will be much less players involved in Inter-county hurling which will assist the current problems greatly. Also the dual players/fixtures argument is the same in every county. We can't just assume it will be badly organised and use that as an excuse.



Well we know that the Ulster Council doesn't give a jot about hurling so why would the sit down with the likes of Derry CB and insist that they designate certain dates for hurling when they don't even do the same themselves.
With the Ulster council involved its safe to assume it will be badly organised as its hurling and they don't give a toss.


Also
Has anything other than Antrim getting beat by Kerry changed since then?


20 years ago Antrim Derry & Down were all beating Kerry and were able to compete with the very best. Each had all had players that could have made any team in the country. Everyone one can see standards have fallen and are falling alarmingly, Also, I doubt if Liam Watson and others would pass up the chance of big Croke Park games with an Ulster Team.


History lesson.

Prior to the mid ninties Down, Antrim in their pomp were regularly getting beat by Meath, Carlow and Westmeath, hence the lack of Ulster winners of what used to be called the old B championship. Heck, even London regularly beat both. It was only during the short lived purple patch in the early 90's that Down and Antrim looked like competing at NHL level with the top counties. That period was the exception rather than the rule, so don't be thinking it was like that all the time.
Kerry have regularly beat both Down and Antrim through the years, even in Sambo's time, so it isn't something new.

With all these development squads, full time coaches we expect more, but TBH, it look likes that other counties have better utilised this resource that it has been in Ulster. Remember most full time coaches are answerable to the Ulster Council, not the county boards and therein lies the problem. They tick their own wee boxes and ride into the sunset and we're no better off!!

bricktop (Down) - Posts: 2458 - 20/04/2015 11:25:50    1715684

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