30 Jan 2016

An Alternative Race for Sam

All-Ireland Championships

By Adrian McGuckin @shamrocksabu

With all the debate about championship structures, B competitions and who all has a say in the race for Sam, Ballinderry man Adrian McGuckin has put forward this structure.

It is based on three separate All-Ireland competitions that are linked into the provincial championships. The teams in the AN Other Cup and the winner of the Tommy Murphy Cup all have an opportunity to join the race for Sam.

He has laid it out into 3 All Ireland Competitions.  We have put scenarios and counties alongside it to see how it progresses.

  • Sam Maguire Cup -Overall winner of All-Ireland
  • AN Other Cup
  • Tommy Murphy Cup
Championship is played as normal to the provincial final stage

Provincial Winners go straight into Last 8, so at this stage we have an incomplete quarter-final lineup as shown below.

  • Derry
  • Mayo
  • Dublin
  • Kerry
  • TBC
  • TBC
  • TBC
  • TBC
The provincial runners-up go into last 12 – so at this stage the last 12 looks as like:

  1. Derry
  2. Mayo
  3. Dublin
  4. Kerry
  5. Donegal
  6. Galway
  7. Meath
  8. Cork
  9. TBC
  10. TBC
  11. TBC
  12. TBC

So we need four more teams, so that’s where the AN Other and Tommy Murphy Cups come in.

The AN Other Cup is played out between the 16 teams who finished highest in league but who didn't qualify for their provincial finals.

  • The winner (Tyrone) and runner up (Roscommon) would then go into the last 12, leaving two spaces left to be allocated.
  • In the AN Other Cup both beaten semi finalists play a 3rd place play off. The winner (Armagh) takes the 11th slot in the last 12.
  • The loser of the 3rd place play-off (Westmeath) is eliminated from the All-Ireland Championship.
This means 11 have qualified for last 12 and that’s where the Tommy Murphy Cup comes in.

The Tommy Murphy is played off amongst the 9 teams who have the lowest league placing and who didn't qualify for their provincial final.

The winner of the Tommy Murphy Cup (Antrim) then enter the race for Sam, which could look something like this.

Last 12 Games (Qualify for Sam Maguire Cup)
  • Donegal v AN Other Cup Winners (Tyrone)
  • Cork v AN Other Cup Runners Up (Roscommon)
  • Galway v 3rd Place team (Armagh)
  • Meath v Antrim Tommy Murphy Cup winners

All-Ireland Quarter Finals

4 Provincial winners v Winners of Last 12 games

  • Most teams are playing MEANINGFUL football at level where they can compete with a title at the end off it.
  • A MASSIVE PRIZE in qualifying for last 12.
  • Everybody gets competing in the all Ireland competition.

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