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Westmeath Hurling thread

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We don't have 8 teams of sufficient quality. Current system is excellent

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 864 - 14/08/2022 20:19:53    2437416

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We don't have 8 teams of sufficient quality. Current system is excellent

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 864 - 14/08/2022 20:47:42    2437419

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "We don't have 8 teams of sufficient quality. Current system is excellent"
The first part of this statement is true. There isn't a full-proof system but it's as close to fair as we can get. If the Senior B teams improved sufficiently, a re-structure could be considered. We're miles away from that as the promoted team is odds on to boomerang back down each time.

An alternative is an 8-team two-group system for Senior with promotion/relegation between both. The bottom team in group 2 then drops down to the next grade. Another option is an open draw for the two groups and a relegation play-off between both bottom teams. Potential for some serious mismatches though and we've seen Cullion, Crookedwood etc get proper trimmings. The odd outlier like Brigid's clipping Clonkill does happen though.
Regardless, if you do this re-structure then Senior B/Intermediate/Junior all need to adjust accordingly. Not all clubs would be in favour either.

I'm sick of mentioning it but calling our 2nd tier c'ship Senior B is nonsense. It's the de facto Intermediate c'ship and the current Intermediate is the "Junior" proper.

gedupoutofit (Westmeath) - Posts: 155 - 15/08/2022 11:32:49    2437475

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The previous system allowed a situation where the county champions at the end of the year could have lost 3 matches and still emerged as champions. There weren't enough competitive matches, the current system where only 3 teams qualify means every match is crucial, Raharney have lost two matches this year and are now in knockout territory, Raharney vs Castletown next weekend is a huge game.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 864 - 15/08/2022 12:35:19    2437491

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I suppose there is no perfect method but the teams like cullion , the wood etc who get promoted need games at that level to learn and improve same as Westmeath at county level. I think a two group system with 4 in each would be best and top two into semi finals. I don't understand some posters having such a problem with a championship being called senior b and intermediate either ?

Another more out there option but I'd love to see implemented would be the regional/Divisional championship like in Kerry football. Lots of Kerry people I spoke said it's great that if your good enough regardless of whether your club is junior intermediate etc you deserve to play senior and this gives them the opportunity. Cullion have there purple patch of players through and still can't bridge the gap to the big 5 ( especially the top 3). What would people think of this because I don't see how teams are ever going to bridge the gap to the big 3?

Gaawestmeath (Westmeath) - Posts: 56 - 15/08/2022 14:00:50    2437509

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Replying To Gaawestmeath:  "I suppose there is no perfect method but the teams like cullion , the wood etc who get promoted need games at that level to learn and improve same as Westmeath at county level. I think a two group system with 4 in each would be best and top two into semi finals. I don't understand some posters having such a problem with a championship being called senior b and intermediate either ?

Another more out there option but I'd love to see implemented would be the regional/Divisional championship like in Kerry football. Lots of Kerry people I spoke said it's great that if your good enough regardless of whether your club is junior intermediate etc you deserve to play senior and this gives them the opportunity. Cullion have there purple patch of players through and still can't bridge the gap to the big 5 ( especially the top 3). What would people think of this because I don't see how teams are ever going to bridge the gap to the big 3?"
The problem with the names of the competitions is that there's only 1 actual senior c'ship that 6 teams can win. Senior B teams can only win their competition for promotion. They can never compete in knockout Senior "A". Therefore it is the 2nd tier. Senior B teams are in the intermediate Leinster club c'ship also. Our intermediate c'ship winners (our 3rd tier) play in the junior Leinster c'ship.

The current naming convention was purely pandering to make sure the motion got through without upsetting certain clubs by "relegating" them. If I'm not mistaken two teams also had the chance to "go up" a grade during the re-structure. They both turned it down as they wanted to win their place or didn't feel competitive enough. I'll stop on this point because it's purely pedantic on my part. Call it upper-middle Z competition and it doesn't actually have any impact besides my OCD.

Divisional teams are great and could give some players a real chance to develop at a higher level. Unfortunately, I think this means fixture congestion and player burnout potential as well as questions on player availability. We do however need to have some way of helping the 2nd/3rd tier teams develop better. It's probably more relevant for developing their underage and player retention success for 17-19 age groups. There isn't a massive amount that can be done purely at the adult level.

gedupoutofit (Westmeath) - Posts: 155 - 15/08/2022 16:14:17    2437533

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Fair points, the dual element of many clubs is an issue re divisional sides, virtually every club has dual players so adding another team to the training roster would be impossible, likewise with fixtures, we have borderline fixture congestion as it is, the Kerry example works because their pocket of hurling in north Kerry is so small, hurling in Westmeath is not simply in north Westmeath.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 864 - 15/08/2022 17:36:31    2437553

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "We don't have 8 teams of sufficient quality. Current system is excellent"
6 teams is still too little for senior championship imo, if you put in delvin there and maybe father daltons it wouldnt be massively lobsided, at the end of the day teams need to be playing the best teams to improve, big beatings will always happen ,thats life. if the 8 teams all in one group with 7 games each, the so called weaker three (cullion, Delvin, maybe father daltons or someone else) would take points off one another and their year wouldnt be a disaster. 2 groups of four is too little games for the teams.

preddan (Kildare) - Posts: 651 - 15/08/2022 18:22:24    2437558

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Replying To preddan:  "6 teams is still too little for senior championship imo, if you put in delvin there and maybe father daltons it wouldnt be massively lobsided, at the end of the day teams need to be playing the best teams to improve, big beatings will always happen ,thats life. if the 8 teams all in one group with 7 games each, the so called weaker three (cullion, Delvin, maybe father daltons or someone else) would take points off one another and their year wouldnt be a disaster. 2 groups of four is too little games for the teams."
One group of 8 teams just wouldn't work with all the games required. The majority of the players in senior hurling all play football too. It would take 3 months to finish group stages of both hurling football if going week on and week off which isn't fair on players.

soreknee (Westmeath) - Posts: 162 - 16/08/2022 13:15:01    2437640

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There's also Too many lopsided games in that scenario, no point in likes of Clonkill having 3-4 games beating teams by 15-20 points. Six teams works because every game means something. Five championship games minimum for clubs is lots, plus league fixtures.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 864 - 16/08/2022 13:19:57    2437644

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "There's also Too many lopsided games in that scenario, no point in likes of Clonkill having 3-4 games beating teams by 15-20 points. Six teams works because every game means something. Five championship games minimum for clubs is lots, plus league fixtures."
This is it in a nutshell. All the games are important and treated accordingly. No margin for error, sandbagging or fielding weakened sides. The points about dual players are critical too. Ultimately, the 2nd tier clubs have a job on their hands to raise standards, increase participation and bring more underage players through to the adult grade.

You'll always have bereavements or a reason why a handful of games needed to be postponed. Adding more fixtures to an already jammed calendar isn't feasible.

Also, is the Feis Cup still on the go or was it binned because it could be completed during the calendar year?

gedupoutofit (Westmeath) - Posts: 155 - 16/08/2022 13:52:45    2437650

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "There's also Too many lopsided games in that scenario, no point in likes of Clonkill having 3-4 games beating teams by 15-20 points. Six teams works because every game means something. Five championship games minimum for clubs is lots, plus league fixtures."
This is a far superior competition as is the Swnior B in comparison to the old intermediate.Who cares what we call our championships.For the first time ever we have three competitive championships that can only improve standards.The amalgamations are working well at underage the competition at all three grades is at an all time high.With proper underage management we will begin to see the fruits shortly.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1118 - 16/08/2022 14:07:52    2437654

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The divisional/ regional championship would have to be ran as a straight knock out so it wouldn't add too many games. It would really benefit Westmeath hurling imo and the clubs outside senior. The other clubs can only do so much to keep participation up ( of course they need to be doing everything they can to improve) and bring through hurlers but realistically how can any of them close the gap because the top clubs are doing all this too to keep at the top. The clubs can't do much to increase participation in most the areas as you can just make the numbers come from thin air. I think it would be a cool way and would only add possibly 3/4 games to the schedule. The top clubs would probably really enjoy beating amalgamated teams too.

Gaawestmeath (Westmeath) - Posts: 56 - 17/08/2022 10:51:52    2437753

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Would amalgamation teams not need to train together? That in itself presents problems as players are already training or playing 4-5 times weekly, club pitches are being used every evening between Lgfa, Camogie, underage, training, matches. St. Brigid's would be a team in an amalgamation and they're really struggling to get their players to train at adult level for club training.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 864 - 17/08/2022 15:22:59    2437783

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Replying To Gaawestmeath:  "The divisional/ regional championship would have to be ran as a straight knock out so it wouldn't add too many games. It would really benefit Westmeath hurling imo and the clubs outside senior. The other clubs can only do so much to keep participation up ( of course they need to be doing everything they can to improve) and bring through hurlers but realistically how can any of them close the gap because the top clubs are doing all this too to keep at the top. The clubs can't do much to increase participation in most the areas as you can just make the numbers come from thin air. I think it would be a cool way and would only add possibly 3/4 games to the schedule. The top clubs would probably really enjoy beating amalgamated teams too."
are you saying to get rid of small clubs in area and population altogether?? clubs like Turin, Brownstown, Ringtown, Crookedwood, Thats wrong, those clubs have a proud history in hurling and shouldnt be disbanded for the sake of a divisional team. Amalgamation should be the last option completely

preddan (Kildare) - Posts: 651 - 17/08/2022 16:17:12    2437785

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There was amalgamations tried in the mid 90s for one year, Fr.Daltons/Southern Gaels and Delvin/Crookedwood joined up to play senior c/ship and then went back and played intermediate when knocked out. I remember even though it was an open draw the two amalgamations met in the 1st round, Delvin/Wood won it but were beat in the second round by a very strong Pollard team, not by much though. Maybe amalgamations are the way forward, but clubs would keep their names, like Crookedwood/Ringtown instead of St.Vincents, Tipperary has long term senior amalgamations, so has Galway, hard to know if clubs in Westmeath would agree to anything though.

stonemadbeany (USA) - Posts: 461 - 17/08/2022 20:16:47    2437819

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Amalgamations are going to become inevitable at adult level for a lot of clubs in the near future. You only need to look at underage divisions and there's not many who are able to stand alone, this is a real issue that will inevitably feed into adult level. In another decade there's a real possibility that there may be only 10 stand alone hurling clubs in the county. Hurling is dying slowly in the county unfortunately. The main reason for this is that the hurling factions are all mainly outside the population centres, and ironically the underage football teams within these areas even seem to be a bigger draw at the moment if you study the dynamics of the underage affiliation.

CleanShoulder (Westmeath) - Posts: 190 - 17/08/2022 21:22:29    2437827

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Replying To preddan:  "are you saying to get rid of small clubs in area and population altogether?? clubs like Turin, Brownstown, Ringtown, Crookedwood, Thats wrong, those clubs have a proud history in hurling and shouldnt be disbanded for the sake of a divisional team. Amalgamation should be the last option completely"
I'm not sure what results showed in the recent census for these areas but I'd love to see a shoot in the population there and to see the likes of Brownstown and Ringtown back competing at a higher level in the future, they have great tradition.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 465 - 18/08/2022 08:56:16    2437835

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Replying To CleanShoulder:  "Amalgamations are going to become inevitable at adult level for a lot of clubs in the near future. You only need to look at underage divisions and there's not many who are able to stand alone, this is a real issue that will inevitably feed into adult level. In another decade there's a real possibility that there may be only 10 stand alone hurling clubs in the county. Hurling is dying slowly in the county unfortunately. The main reason for this is that the hurling factions are all mainly outside the population centres, and ironically the underage football teams within these areas even seem to be a bigger draw at the moment if you study the dynamics of the underage affiliation."
Athlone is the most populated place in Westmeath and they have around 25 hurlers?
Real money should be put towards building Southern Gaels a pitch down in Athlone. Yes football is number one in and around Athlone but there is plenty of room for Athlone to have a Senior Hurling team if real investment and thought was put into it by the county board. I believe if Athlone Hurling was improved it would bring the standard of hurling in the county up a peg or two

People think that Southern Gaels share their pitch with Athlone GAA where this is untrue. They get treated like 2nd class citizens. They are denied access to the main pitch and the use of lights. There is an on going tension between Athlone GAA and Southern Gaels members.

Temple56 (Westmeath) - Posts: 234 - 18/08/2022 09:21:05    2437840

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I see brendan murtagh was back playing for clonkil intermediate team last night against raharney

Hurlingmad12 (Westmeath) - Posts: 16 - 18/08/2022 09:54:41    2437845

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