National Forum

Westmeath Hurling

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Lads , anyone here think its very unfair on Westmeath that they are in Division 1A instead of 1B ? I realise that they earned the right to be in divison one (That's not my point) but to be put into a division with the likes of Limerick Tipp and Galway does nothing for the improvement of Hurling in that county. Why can't division 1A have the best hurling counties and then 1B the next best six. If Westmeath were in 1B they would have games against Laois and Antrim which they have a reasonable chance and then get to test themselves against Dublin , clare and Wexford . ( I promoted KK based on history!!!) At least then they have something to aim for. It gets my blood boiling (and I am Laois supporter) when I hear the bigger counties need a less tough league!!! Echos of the soccer super league here lads with the big teams buffered from relegation.

Alternative to the above why not have 8 in each Division (My prefered option) - Limerick, Tipp, Cork, Kilkenny , Galway, Waterford, Wexford and Clare in Division one and divison two consisting of Dublin, Laois , Antrim , Westmeath , Carlow, Kerry , Meath and Offaly. One automatic up and relegated and second in divsion two play off with second bottom from division one. So what if a team is relegated to Division two. The current model is a farce in my opinion.

Ben (None) - Posts: 100 - 08/05/2021 23:22:55    2340627

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Yes. Despite being hammered, Westmeath showed yesterday that they have some very skilful hurlers. But the trouncing they got and the ones they will get wouldn't encourage any good young prospect to dedicate themselves to the sport or indeed encourage the good ones they have to keep going or encourage the team as a whole persist and try to improve themselves and get to the next level. It is in S+C that they are most lacking and it is clear they have nowhere near the same resources as the top counties.

PoolSturgeon (Galway) - Posts: 1600 - 09/05/2021 11:09:29    2340669

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Oh for god sake - there was an 8-league division 1 less than 5-10 years ago when I first remember going to Wexford matches and people were giving out about it? The complaint (if I am remembering right) was that counties like Westmeath never get to play the big boys.
How were these groupings decided though does anybody know? Much and all as I love seeing Wexford play Kilkenny, you can get too much of a good thing.
Why don't these 2 groups have 2-3 from each province?

StoreysTash (Wexford) - Posts: 1377 - 09/05/2021 11:39:47    2340676

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On a general point, the only way a county like Westmeath can ever progress is by playing these counties. There will be hammerings. Naturally.
But you'll never progress unless you play them.
But they need to sort out the lop-sided nature of the league. Why not re-draw the 2 groups every year? I still remember Davy Fitz's first game in charge being vs Limerick and I'm not sure we played them since.

StoreysTash (Wexford) - Posts: 1377 - 09/05/2021 11:42:59    2340681

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Replying To StoreysTash:  "Oh for god sake - there was an 8-league division 1 less than 5-10 years ago when I first remember going to Wexford matches and people were giving out about it? The complaint (if I am remembering right) was that counties like Westmeath never get to play the big boys.
How were these groupings decided though does anybody know? Much and all as I love seeing Wexford play Kilkenny, you can get too much of a good thing.
Why don't these 2 groups have 2-3 from each province?"
In an eight team division one counties like Laois and Westmeath would still get a chance to play against the big boys as there would be still a team in the top nine in division two plus you could have promotion relegation play off to go up to division one or second place gets a shot at a league quarter final.

Ben (None) - Posts: 100 - 09/05/2021 13:41:53    2340697

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Similar to the hidings Offaly were getting a few years ago and everyone was saying they deserved it and shouldn't be in the top flight. It's all well and good saying they will only improve by playing the big teams, but what team gets encouragement from an absolute hammering and conceding 5-30.
Limerick and Tipp will absolutely devour Westmeath, two more hammering's but hey it's ok you only get better by playing the big teams.

ke40 (Kildare) - Posts: 198 - 09/05/2021 14:32:58    2340709

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Replying To StoreysTash:  "On a general point, the only way a county like Westmeath can ever progress is by playing these counties. There will be hammerings. Naturally.
But you'll never progress unless you play them.
But they need to sort out the lop-sided nature of the league. Why not re-draw the 2 groups every year? I still remember Davy Fitz's first game in charge being vs Limerick and I'm not sure we played them since."
If that's the case, what's the fuss about Dublin hammering every other county in the Leinster football championship? The thrashings will be good for them and they'll only improve!

Regarding the league set up this year, I think groups were formed with Covid in mind to reduce cross country travel as much as possible. Though if that was the thinking, why they didn't put Galway and Clare in the same group I just don't know.

PoolSturgeon (Galway) - Posts: 1600 - 09/05/2021 14:51:12    2340714

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Replying To StoreysTash:  "Oh for god sake - there was an 8-league division 1 less than 5-10 years ago when I first remember going to Wexford matches and people were giving out about it? The complaint (if I am remembering right) was that counties like Westmeath never get to play the big boys.
How were these groupings decided though does anybody know? Much and all as I love seeing Wexford play Kilkenny, you can get too much of a good thing.
Why don't these 2 groups have 2-3 from each province?"
Was based on where teams finished in the last div1a and 1b(2nd division) but I agree it would have been much better to have had a better mix of teams. Was just odd the way the teams ended up placed that season but it was set out in advance how the restructure would happen.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3204 - 09/05/2021 15:34:24    2340726

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Replying To PoolSturgeon:  "If that's the case, what's the fuss about Dublin hammering every other county in the Leinster football championship? The thrashings will be good for them and they'll only improve!

Regarding the league set up this year, I think groups were formed with Covid in mind to reduce cross country travel as much as possible. Though if that was the thinking, why they didn't put Galway and Clare in the same group I just don't know."
Wasnt based on geography.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3204 - 09/05/2021 15:35:21    2340727

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This is a debate which has been going on for years and not just in hurling. The argument is you improve playing better quality versus you get absolute hammerings and players become demoralised. Same problem with Dublin Club Senior Hurling championship, no way around it, it is what counties and clubs want. Maybe ask the players. What I do know is it makes for very poor entertainment, these games shouldn't be near a TV screen.

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 4727 - 09/05/2021 15:59:57    2340739

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Replying To Viking66:  "Was based on where teams finished in the last div1a and 1b(2nd division) but I agree it would have been much better to have had a better mix of teams. Was just odd the way the teams ended up placed that season but it was set out in advance how the restructure would happen."
From memory Dublin won their last match and that messed up the evenness of the groups.

carlovia (None) - Posts: 1339 - 09/05/2021 16:06:45    2340741

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I was watching the Galway/Westmeath game..a few things struck me...supposedly teams would be rusty and it was going to be difficult coming straight into league games without challenge games etc..Galway, I dont know what they did when the country as in lockdown but they were surprisingly sharp yesterday...how I dont know...there is only so much practice one can do on their own...the opposite and my fear is that the lockdown to teams like Westmeath, who as Offaly and Kerry will testify were a nicely tuned developing team the last two years...with Galways sharpness yesterday Westmeath looked far from well tuned and looked very out of synch to me. Contrast the Dublin/Kilkenny game where lots of wides were hit by both teams and the commentators and managers told us it was down to no games...so how were other teams so sharp??..Cork hit 5-22 to Waterfords1-27 Ime reading (didnt see the game) again exceptional accuracy for teams with no gae time behind them..Offaly hit 3-25 against Meath...again a high tally...my fear is the so called weaker teams I fear might regress, Meath were a nice tidy outfit last two years, today against Offaly they were very good up to first waterbreak, after that they were falling apart and bar a bit of surge at end made the score a bit more better to read for them...Nothing against Westmeath, I like them, but as others said, its one thing to be great playing Kilkenny and Galway etc..getting anialated by 30 points, I dont care what anyone says, is not going to do them or any team any good at all...

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 866 - 09/05/2021 22:53:40    2340824

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Replying To carlovia:  "From memory Dublin won their last match and that messed up the evenness of the groups."
Why do the Dubs always get the blame?

BlueBeret (Dublin) - Posts: 36 - 09/05/2021 23:15:52    2340825

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It is the nature of hurling really. Westmeath has only about clubs playing the sport. There are a batch of counties like this . Carlow,Kerry, Meath etc. Apart from Offaly,all other counties in the leagues below them have even fewer hurling clubs. So Westmeath will get relegated and Carlow will replace them. They will get some hammerings and go down. Westmeath be back up again in another cycle. Yesterday result won't help them but they won't be here long and will be back at their level shortly.

bennybunny (Cork) - Posts: 3862 - 09/05/2021 23:37:32    2340830

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Teams get encouragement from winning. Could see what it done for laois a couple of years ago. From a struggling senior club myself we got hammered every year. Went down intermediate for a while and got back up and competed again - for a while anyway! There's no value in hammerings. It doesn't bring teams on to be playing against the best if you're miles off it

tiobraid (Tipperary) - Posts: 3110 - 09/05/2021 23:40:56    2340832

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Replying To carlovia:  "From memory Dublin won their last match and that messed up the evenness of the groups."
That was it

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3204 - 10/05/2021 08:00:43    2340843

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "I was watching the Galway/Westmeath game..a few things struck me...supposedly teams would be rusty and it was going to be difficult coming straight into league games without challenge games etc..Galway, I dont know what they did when the country as in lockdown but they were surprisingly sharp yesterday...how I dont know...there is only so much practice one can do on their own...the opposite and my fear is that the lockdown to teams like Westmeath, who as Offaly and Kerry will testify were a nicely tuned developing team the last two years...with Galways sharpness yesterday Westmeath looked far from well tuned and looked very out of synch to me. Contrast the Dublin/Kilkenny game where lots of wides were hit by both teams and the commentators and managers told us it was down to no games...so how were other teams so sharp??..Cork hit 5-22 to Waterfords1-27 Ime reading (didnt see the game) again exceptional accuracy for teams with no gae time behind them..Offaly hit 3-25 against Meath...again a high tally...my fear is the so called weaker teams I fear might regress, Meath were a nice tidy outfit last two years, today against Offaly they were very good up to first waterbreak, after that they were falling apart and bar a bit of surge at end made the score a bit more better to read for them...Nothing against Westmeath, I like them, but as others said, its one thing to be great playing Kilkenny and Galway etc..getting anialated by 30 points, I dont care what anyone says, is not going to do them or any team any good at all..."
The defending and intensity in the Cork Waterford game was challenge match standard. That was why the scores were high not because of sharp hurling. Limerick Tipp was littered with mistakes while the ref was a bit whistle happy alot of the frees were awarded where fouls had actually happened. Kilkenny Dublin and Wexford Laois there were alot of mistakes too. Antrim looked fitter and faster and lighter than the Joe Mac Final last year but had every incentive to hit the weights and the road over the winter after what that idiot pundit said after that final last year. On a different subject he has Cork picked for Liam after scoring 5 goals in a glorified Challenge match!!! As regards Westmeath I think hurling on better opponents would have to bring on anybody's game individually, even if the team ends up losing by 20 or 30 points. Maybe a regional senior club senior championship for counties like Carlow and Westmeath combined would also being up the standard in those counties.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3204 - 10/05/2021 08:10:56    2340845

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Replying To Viking66:  "Was based on where teams finished in the last div1a and 1b(2nd division) but I agree it would have been much better to have had a better mix of teams. Was just odd the way the teams ended up placed that season but it was set out in advance how the restructure would happen."
Ah right, I did not realise it was pure coincidence. Well then - why not draw it every year?
In each group:
1 x All-Ireland finalist
1 x All-Ireland semi-finalist
1 x All-Ireland quarter-finalist.
1 x qualifier round
2 x others.

A good mix of teams is absolutely needed in both groups.

StoreysTash (Wexford) - Posts: 1377 - 10/05/2021 21:42:20    2341005

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Replying To Viking66:  "The defending and intensity in the Cork Waterford game was challenge match standard. That was why the scores were high not because of sharp hurling. Limerick Tipp was littered with mistakes while the ref was a bit whistle happy alot of the frees were awarded where fouls had actually happened. Kilkenny Dublin and Wexford Laois there were alot of mistakes too. Antrim looked fitter and faster and lighter than the Joe Mac Final last year but had every incentive to hit the weights and the road over the winter after what that idiot pundit said after that final last year. On a different subject he has Cork picked for Liam after scoring 5 goals in a glorified Challenge match!!! As regards Westmeath I think hurling on better opponents would have to bring on anybody's game individually, even if the team ends up losing by 20 or 30 points. Maybe a regional senior club senior championship for counties like Carlow and Westmeath combined would also being up the standard in those counties."
Only thing I will say is Cork have tradition and a few good U21 team in recent years, and maybe no All Irelands but a few quality players will surface...while not mentioned, most years Cork are in with a chance..I think Kingston has a point to prove and wont be a million miles away from final...was looking at who are gone off their panel from other years is significant too...anway...time will tell..

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 866 - 10/05/2021 23:01:26    2341026

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "Only thing I will say is Cork have tradition and a few good U21 team in recent years, and maybe no All Irelands but a few quality players will surface...while not mentioned, most years Cork are in with a chance..I think Kingston has a point to prove and wont be a million miles away from final...was looking at who are gone off their panel from other years is significant too...anway...time will tell.."
Agree Fairplayalways I think Cork are always in with a chance. But I didnt see anything in their game against Waterford that made me think they are in with a better chance than last year. The intensity in the game was missing altogether I dont think if they meet Waterford or anyone else in the Championship they will get as much space to get the 5 goals. How a pundit can tip them for Liam based on 1 game after 3 weeks training is beyond me! Or anyone else to win it for that matter!

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3204 - 11/05/2021 11:59:59    2341080

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