English: Tweak system to help Munster champions

English: Tweak system to help Munster champions
Former Tipperary hurler Nicky English in attendance at the GAA Museum where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the GAA Museum Hall of Fame 2019 at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile.

By Paul Keane and Eoghan Cormican

Tipperary great Nicky English has recommended a change to the hurling championship structure to help Munster title-holders in the All-Ireland series.

Yet again, in this year’s championship, the Munster winners — Limerick — slipped up in their next game.

It’s in keeping with the trend of Munster winners appearing to lose momentum during the gap between the provincial final and the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Tipperary (2001 and 2016) and Cork (2005) are the only three teams this century to have won Munster and All-Ireland titles in the same season.

In fact, only seven Munster winners since 2000 have managed to reach that season’s All-Ireland final.

“You’d have to think that the system needs a little tweak,” said English, who managed Tipp to provincial and All-Ireland wins back in 2001.

This year, you had Cork and Dublin playing the Joe McDonagh finalists, Laois and Westmeath (in preliminary All-Ireland quarter-finals). Why not make four quarter-finals and bring the Munster champions and Leinster champions to play those two teams and it would at least equal out the scheduling?

“It just cannot be coincidence that only three of the last 14 Munster champions have won their subsequent All-Ireland semi-final. The stats can’t be that misleading.”

English was speaking at his induction into the GAA Museum’s Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, 2011 All-Ireland minor-winning manager David Power is set to become the new Tipperary senior football boss.

The favoured candidate of the football committee, Power, who previously managed Wexford, will be put forward for ratification at next week’s Tipperary county board meeting.

It has been reported that Power’s backroom team will include 2015 Clonmel Commercials Munster club winning boss Charlie McKeever, Michael McGeehin, and former Dublin footballer Paddy Christie.

Tipperary’s Jerome Cahill has been named the Bord Gáis Energy U20 Hurler of the Year. Cahill, who was also part of Liam Sheedy’s All-Ireland senior-winning set-up, was instrumental as the Premier County landed the first-ever All-Ireland U20 hurling championship.

He scored 1-1 in their All-Ireland final win over Cork and was a key figure on the evening of their provincial decider triumph over the same opposition. Kerry’s Michael Slattery was named Bord Gáis Energy Player of the Year for the Richie McElligott Cup, which the Kingdom won.

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