Alley want change to Senior championship structure

Published 24/11/2015 | 00:00

The Buffers Alley club will attempt to introduce a championship format modelled on the Kilkenny equivalent when delegates gather in the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, tonight (Tuesday) to decide the structures for 2016.

Under the proposed format, there would still be two groups of six with five games apiece initially. However, the manner in which teams qualify would be different.

This year the top four per group reached the quarter-finals, the fifth-placed teams were eliminated, while the bottom teams met in the relegation decider.

Under the Buffers Alley proposal, the top two teams in each group would qualify for quarter-finals and would be seeded.

Two third versus fourth matches would be played, with the winners also reaching the last eight and the losers being eliminated.

Fifth would also play sixth in two games, with the two victors advancing to the quarter-finals while the losers would contest the relegation final.

Under this format, no team would be eliminated after the group stages, and there would be one extra round to play in comparison to this year. Potentially, the team finishing third in the group could be eliminated before quarter-finals in the additional knockout round, and equally the sixth team could advance.

It's just one of five motions tabled for the meeting, with the C.C.C. committee devising one which is aimed at introducing promotion and relegation into the All-County Leagues.

Under the current system, the final placings in the league are meaningless as the following year's divisions are determined by championship grading.

Under the C.C.C. proposal, there would still be two groups of six per division along with semi-finals and finals, but promotion and relegation would be added.

In a bid to free up extra days to play games, they also want the decision to keep St. Patrick's Day free of games - passed last year - to be deleted.

They also want the holiday period in June to be discontinued, and Under-21 hurling and football games not to be confined to any particular night which is the case at present.

Gusserane want the current championship format to continue, with the stipulation that three rounds be played before the Leinster inter-county games. This was the intention in 2015, but one football week was lost in May following requests made by the Wexford Senior managers.

St. Mary's (Rosslare) also want a minimum of three rounds in each championship grade played before July 1, while they are calling for the All-County Leagues to be re-formatted in four groups, with the top four teams in each District playing in Division 1.

The next four teams would be in Division 2, with the same format carrying on down through the divisions, depending on the number of teams entered.

Horeswood want some form of back door introduced in the last knockout grade remaining, Under-21, as they are looking for a minimum of two games.

They also want the system of re-grading of players at the beginning of the year to be replaced, with status to be decided once they appear in the first or subsequent rounds of the championship.

A lively meeting is on the cards.

Wexford People

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