Anthony Daly wants return to eight-team hurling top division

Dublin manager says 10-team division would be unworkable

Dublin manager Anthony Daly would love to be celebrating after Sunday’s NHL Division 1 semi-final against Tipperary in Thurles. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin manager Anthony Daly would love to be celebrating after Sunday’s NHL Division 1 semi-final against Tipperary in Thurles. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 05:00

Dublin senior hurling manager Anthony Daly believes a 10-team Allianz National Hurling League Division 1 would be unworkable.

Instead, Daly would prefer to see the return of an eight-team top flight – with two teams relegated and promoted each year.

Daly believes GAA chiefs should not have radically alter a system that was working just fine.

“I don’t really know why they changed it in the first place, I thought it just needed a bit of tweaking.

“I think we’d struggle with 10 teams. You’d be looking at nine weekends and if you got a bad run of weather, it would be a bad idea.

No easy solution
“There’s no easy solution for hurling but I’m in favour of eight teams, although one up, one down is too tight. You relegate two from Division 1, with two coming up to replace them.

“Either have two up and two down or relegate the bottom team, promote the top team in Division 2 and then have the second from bottom team in Division 1 play-off against the second team in Division 2 for top flight status.

“You don’t need a Division 2 final – the top team wins the League, gets promoted and is into a League semi-final, joining the top three in Division 1. There's no need for quarter-finals, like they're suggesting for next year.

“Four from Division 1B will contest a quarter-final next year so that means the third from bottom team in 1B is fighting for survival but could still end up in the quarter-final of the National League. That makes no sense.”

Meanwhile, Alan Nolan is expected to retain his place on the Dublin team for Sunday’s Division 1 semi-final against Tipperary in Thurles.

Daly’s team for the Semple Stadium showdown will be announced after training tonight, with 2011 Allstar shotstopper Gary Maguire still recovering from an eye injury.

Solid treatment
“Outside of that, Ross O’Carroll is still out with his back. We haven’t had him for the latter part of the League and we’re going to give him two to three weeks of solid treatment, without training.”

Daly concedes Dublin are underdogs on Sunday, with Tipperary are on the verge of rediscovering their best form under Eamon O’Shea.

Daly noted: “If you took away their first match (against Cork), they’ve been very consistent. And their experienced guys are back to their hungry best – right through the spine of the team.

“Paul Curran, Conor O’Mahony, Shane McGrath, Lar Corbett and Eoin Kelly – you could safely say that all of those guys played well against Clare.”