Hurling league structure to remain in place

Hurling league structure to remain in place

The GAA's Central Council have decided to retain the current 12-team Division 1 structure in the Allianz Hurling League, with the added element of quarter-finals.

The Central Council voted to keep the six-team Division 1A and six-team Division 1B in place at a meeting today, meaning that Munster champions Limerick will play in Division 1B along with beaten All-Ireland finalists Cork who were relegated from the top flight last season.

Three separate proposals were put forward regarding the Hurling League structure, including a 12-team Division 1 comprised of two section of seeded teams and a Carlow and Westmeath-led move for 14 counties to compete in Division 1.

Carlow and Westmeath's proposal for the top divisions to be expanded to 14 sides was narrowly defeated in a vote, 19-17.

So, with the proposal to retain the current structure proving most popular with delegates, next year's Division 1A will see defending champions Kilkenny, 2013 All-Ireland winners Clare, Waterford, Galway, Tipperary and Dublin battling it out.

Munster rivals Limerick and Cork will have Offaly, Antrim, Laois and Wexford for company in Division 1B.

The top four teams from Division 1A and the four highest positioned sides in Division 1B will progress to the quarter-finals - this replaces the previous knockout system which saw the top three in Division 1A and the Division 1B winners go through to the semi-finals.

"The new arrangements will run for three years, concurrently with the changes pending for the Championships, which also come into effect next year, allowing for a full review of the two main hurling competitions in 2016," a GAA statement confirmed.

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